You can support us by downloading this article as PDF from the Link below. Download the guide as PDF

Site security and safety is one of the most important, if not the most important issue for every site owner, especially for websites that hold personal and financial customer data. You need to secure your site in order to protect your business, your online presence, and your customers. 

Here are some tips that will help you keep your site protected from a security breach and potential hacks.

Learn from the Best

Our first tip is: learn from the best. If you really want to know how to keep your website and data safe you should learn from the most sensitive online industries.

Online banking websites like lloydsbank, for example, have a huge responsibility as they store sensitive data regarding their customers and their financials.

The online gambling industry is another sensitive industry. To play in real money online platforms like winstar, for example, players must provide their personal and financial information. Online casinos, must then ensure that the information is kept in a safe environment.

That’s why these industries use the latest and best technologies to ensure their websites are kept safe and secure. Follow the same steps as these industries, or even only some of them and you will ensure the safety and security of your own website.

Updated Software

Updating your software might seem like something obvious but you would be surprised to know how many site administrators neglect this simple task. You should have all the software up to date. This includes the CMS, forum and the operating system that you are using.

If you have a hosting plan then server operating system is taken care of but you still need to keep third-party software up to date. WordPress is a perfect example. Whenever you log in, WP will tell you if there is a pending update available.

Double Validation of Form Data

Be sure to perform validation on both the server side and the browser side. The browser can detect some failures but these can be bypassed. Place measures that ensure that different fields in a form are validated from the server and the browser.

File Upload Policy

If you allow users to upload files to your site, then that can cause a major security risk. This is true even if it is the avatar of the user. It is possible that a script is uploaded to your site that can leave your site vulnerable to hacks.

Most image formats support comment sections and could contain PHP code that your server might end up executing. This is something that you should keep in mind if you are interested in allowing users to upload images to your site.

The solution to this issue is to prevent direct access to uploaded files. This way, the uploaded files are stored in a folder that is not inside the webroot.

SSL data encryption technology

Until a while ago, websites used HTTP to transmit data. The problem with this protocol was that it allowed third parties to access sensitive data that was transmitted. HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP that uses TLS or SSL encryption technology to protect data transmission. It is now the industry standard and most websites now use https protocol. Getting SSL encryption is easy and you can get it for free when you buy a domain.

Create Backups Of Your Site And Database

Even though these measures should help you avoid getting hacked in the first place, you should still have a backup plan. Backing up your site and database is easy and can be automated. But it is a real lifesaver when things go south.

Two Florida cities had to pay $1.1 million to hackers that were holding important files hostage. If they had backed up their data then they could easily have recovered all the data.

Your hosting provider might already have a backup tool for you to use but you can use third-party software to do the same thing as well. If you are using WP then different plugins like BackupBuddy or UpdraftPlus can be used to backup your site files and database.

Summing Up

Setting up proper security for your site can seem like a hassle at first but once you have things sorted out it can be worth it. These security measures will protect your site from getting hacked and will ensure that your site and databases are safe.

Other relevant security guides:

Top 10 Free Backup software for Linux

Configure Jenkins behind Nginx reverse proxy and Let’s Encrypt SSL

How to Set Strong Password Policy on Ubuntu / Debian

You can support us by downloading this article as PDF from the Link below. Download the guide as PDF