Why You Need to Update Your Website’s Cybersecurity

From a business’s perspective, the internet is a wonderful thing. It allows you to reach new customers across the globe and gain exposure for your brand. However, there are also risks associated with having a website, particularly in terms of security. Your website can be the first impression that people get from your company, and you want it to be a good one. While no storage platform is ever fully secure, fortunately there are steps that every business owner needs to take to update their website’s cybersecurity.

You need to protect the visitors coming to your site

As a business owner, you want your visitors to feel safe when they visit your site. You want them to feel like they can trust you and that they’re getting value for their time while there. There are many things that can make a visitor uncomfortable and cause them to leave your site, such as:

  • A website with outdated design or navigation
  • Security concerns about the site’s content
  • A lack of trust in the company

Your businesses reputation is at stake

Your business reputation is at stake. Your website is your first impression, and it’s important that it presents your company in a positive light. You want to give your clients confidence in you, so they will trust you with their data and information.

However, cyber criminals are trying to get access to your client’s data or even get into your sites’ database. And if they do manage this, they can go on to steal credit card numbers or personal information about the people who come through on their site—and that would be bad for both you and them!

Why You Need to Update Your Website's Cybersecurity

How to know if you’ve been hacked

You can determine whether or not your site has been hacked by:

  • If you search for your website on Google and see a page that looks like what you’re trying to get to, but it’s not the real thing and appears to be suspicious, then something might be wrong. Look at the URL bar and see if it matches yours. This doesn’t mean that every time you search for a website with the same name as yours will result in an obvious hack—sometimes someone else just has their own website with the same name—but if your official site is nowhere to be found, there’s a chance that something fishy is happening.

  • Checking source code (if you’re technical). If you know how to do this and have access to any files behind-the-scenes on your website (e.g., WordPress), check them out and make sure all information is correct before submitting them anywhere else online again! It may seem like common sense since hackers could have changed much more than just text within those files (like images), but never assume anything when it comes down these kinds of issues.

How hackers can steal customer data from your site

The first step to protecting your customer data is understanding exactly how hackers can access it. Hackers can steal data from your site in a variety of ways, including:

  • Stealing passwords and credit card information
  • Stealing personal information like email addresses or phone numbers.

How hackers can make their own pages on your site

Malware: Hackers can use your site to host harmful malware that infects visitors’ computers and causes them to crash. You don’t want your name attached to that. Don’t wait for this to happen in order to update your website’s cybersecurity.

Spam: Even if you don’t have a website, spam is still bad news. Spammers will attach their messages to the pages of sites they find and send those messages out through email or social media networks, which means that other people see your name in the email. And no one wants that either.

Phishing Pages: Cybercriminals use phishing pages to trick people into giving up their private information—like credit card numbers, usernames and passwords—to hackers who steal this sensitive data for malicious reasons (like identity theft). Don’t let your name be associated with this type of activity.

Adult Content Pages: If someone visits a pornographic site on purpose because they’re looking for adult content, that’s one thing; but if they accidentally stumble upon an adult page because it was hosted on a different site they found using Google search results—and then see it has “Your Company Name” at the bottom of the page—you’ll probably want some answers.

MORE: How Small Businesses Can Outrank Competition With SEO

Hackers can also copy your entire site

Hackers can also copy your entire site! This is scary, because they can do this to steal data, sell data, or use it for phishing attacks.

Hackers are always looking for ways to get into your site and steal sensitive information like customer credit card numbers. They love when you have a login system on your website because they can easily use that as an entry point into your system.

Use HTTPS and SSL to keep your website secure

To keep your website’s cybersecurity up to date, use HTTPS and SSL. HTTP sends data via plain text, making it easy for someone to intercept the data being sent. This means they could see what a visitor is looking at on your website or steal their information, like usernames and passwords.

When using SSL, HTTPS encrypts the data that’s sent between your server and a visitor’s browser with SSL, so it can only be read by those who have permission to view the content, preventing hackers from accessing sensitive information.

Why You Need to Update Your Website's Cybersecurity

Implement two-factor authentication

When it’s time to update your website’s cybersecurity, one of the most universal steps taken is implementing two-factor authentication. This requires users to provide something in addition to their username and password before they can log in, such as an access code sent via text message. This makes it harder for hackers to gain access to your site, because they’ll need both your username/password and the access code.

Two-factor authentication can be implemented through SMS or email verification or by using security apps like Google Authenticator or Authy:

  • In Google Authenticator, users enter their username/password and then scan a QR code with their phone to generate an access token that changes every 30 seconds. Users must have this app installed on their mobile devices before they can use two-factor authentication with those devices.
  • There is Authy, which generates temporary passwords when you sign in; these passwords change every 30 seconds so that no one else can get into your account even if they know what username and password combination you used recently.*
  • Another option is Duo Security’s Duo Push Authentication service. When someone tries logging into your website with an incorrect password more than three times within five minutes, Duo will send them a push notification asking them for another form of identification—such as answering questions only the account owner would know about themselves (such as name of first pet)––before allowing them into the system again

Let clients know you are taking steps to secure their data

It’s important to let your clients know why you are updating their website’s cyber security by including a privacy policy on your site and making sure it is easy to read, understand and find.

A clear privacy policy will not only inform your clients of what information you collect from them but also how you use cookies on the site. A cookie is simply a small file stored in a user’s web browser for use later when they visit sites that use the same cookie.

Make sure you’re doing everything you can to secure your website

  • Make sure you’re doing everything you can to secure your website!
  • Use HTTPS and SSL to keep your website secure.
  • Implement two-factor authentication.
  • Let clients know that you are taking steps to keep their data safe and secure.

First, implement HTTPS and SSL to keep your site secure. This is done by purchasing an SSL certificate for your website, which validates that your site is what it says it is, and encrypts the information passing through it. It’s a simple solution that can help protect both you and your customers from hackers. You also need to make sure you’re doing everything possible to secure passwords on your site—in other words, implement stronger requirements for passwords. Strong passwords from your users is a staple when it comes to determining an update for your website’s cybersecurity.

You can also go even further in securing passwords by implementing two-factor authentication for users logging in or making purchases on your site. Whether you choose to use email verification or SMS messages for this purpose, adding an additional step in the login process will increase the security of customer accounts immensely when you’re looking to update your website’s cybersecurity.

Finally, let clients know that their data is being protected on your website by communicating with them about these measures via clear text on pages like “My Account” and “Secure Checkout.” Customers want assurances that you’ve gone above and beyond when it comes to protecting their data—so if they see those kinds of messages from you in writing, they’ll feel more confident about shopping on your site!

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