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What is Website Security?

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In: Web Design, Website Development

Website security can be a complex (or even confusing) topic in an ever-evolving landscape.

Solter Vision provides a clear framework for website owners to mitigate risk and apply security principles to their web properties.

When it comes to creating a website, security should be at the top of your list of priorities.

What is website security?

Website security is the protection of your site from online attackers that can access your site’s content and data. It should also protect the personal data and privacy of your site’s users. Every website should have a comprehensive understanding of security basics to ensure they’re website is safe from attacks.

The purpose of website security is to prevent these (or any other) sorts of attacks. The more formal definition of website security is the protecting websites from unauthorized access, use, modification, destruction, or disruption.

Effective website security requires design effort across the whole of the website: in your web application, the configuration of the web server, your policies for creating and renewing passwords, and the client-side code.

While all that sounds very ominous, the good news is that if you’re using a server-side web framework, it will almost certainly enable “by default” robust and well-thought-out defense mechanisms against a number of the more common attacks.

Other attacks can be mitigated through your web server’s configuration, for example, by enabling HTTPS. Finally, there are publicly available vulnerability scanner tools that can help you find out if you’ve made any obvious mistakes.

Some steps to improve your website security

Making sure your site is secure starts with choosing the right website builder. Opt for one that prioritizes website security, leaving you free to focus on managing your site. Here’s a rundown of some of the steps both you, and your website builder should take to protect your site:

01. Core platform and 3rd party updates

Third party apps can be a major source of site security breaches, with the potential to harm of sites at once.

To avoid this happening, we recommend choosing a website builder that contains as many built-in features as you need to run your business. Leaving you less dependent on third party apps, and more focused on your business.

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02. SSL protocols for Website Security

A secure website will include a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol, which can be spotted by the https at the front of a domain name within a site’s URL. SSL protects communication between the website and server by encrypting it. This prevents hackers from reading or interfering with the information passed from one to the other. A SSL protocol should be standard on any new site created, but is especially important on those that perform online transactions and sales. Recently, SSL protocols have been updated to handle more sophisticated attempts to breach its encryption.

03. Secure web hosting

There are many layers of protection necessary to secure a site, and reliable web hosting is an integral part of this. Secure web hosting is a must, and will prevent attacks on your website through your server. It’s also important that your hosting is screened regularly to ensure it’s prepared for any threats, including DDoS, that come its way.

04. Established admin privileges

We also recommend writing a security policy that applies to all site admins. This should include choosing a password, third party app downloads, and other important site management tasks to make sure your entire team has your site’s security as their number one priority.

05. Site backup for Website Security

While the best website security methods involve pre-empting attacks, in the event of a security breach, quick recovery will depend on your site being backed up. This means saving a version of your site separately and making sure it can be restored should the original be attacked in any way.

06. Change default CMS settings

Your site is easier to hack if your default CMS (content management system) settings haven’t been changed. Make sure to alter these when making your site. For example, you can start by changing your comment and user settings; one way to do this is by assigning different privilege roles to each of your site’s admin.

07. Follow password best practices for Website Security

Changing your site password regularly can protect you against credential attacks. Opt for strong passwords, making sure to use a mix of numbers, letters, and characters (pro tip: the longer, the safer). Other important credential practices include: never share your password or saving it on your browser. Always avoid using the same one across different sites. Make sure everyone who has access to your site knows how to keep their login credentials safe.

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