One of the most important aspects of any startup is its website. This is where people find out about your business, contact you, order a product, or schedule a service. It’s also one of the cheaper parts of your new business, which is great for startups. Because your website is so important to your startup, you need to give extra attention to protecting it. There are plenty of ways that someone with malicious intent could harm not only your website, but your customers or your business itself. Here are a few precautions you can take to help improve your website and keep it safe.
Have Secure Login Credentials
One of the easiest things you can do is make sure the username and passwords used to access any part of your site are secure. You don’t want your username to be something like “admin” or the password to be “password”. The more complicated you can make both your username and password, the less likely it is that someone will be able to crack it. However, no matter how complicated you make your credentials, it’s a good idea to at least change your password every few months. This will give you an added layer of security, just in case someone figures out your current password.
Use a Secure Server
The next thing you should look at is the server you are hosting your website on. If this server is not protected, hackers will have an easy time gaining entry into it and accessing all of your files. Luckily, setting up a secure server is typically pretty easy. You just need to talk to your hosting providing, and make sure you are on a plan that provides the HTTPS server. This will not only protect you, but any customers who submit information through your website.
Block Access to Certain Files
Another good thing you can do is block access to certain files. This will keep people from editing files that are important to your website and ensure that only the right people can access them. This is especially important when you are running your site through a program like WordPress, as the directories and filenames are set by default, and therefore easy to guess. To change the permissions of certain files, you can edit your WordPress htaccess file.
Moderate the Comment Section
One way to protect the visitors to your website is by moderating the comment section. If you have a place where people can post comments – such as a blog – then this area is susceptible to people with malicious intent. They can post links that will harm the computers of anyone who clicks on them or try to phish for information. To protect your actual customers – and yourself – you’ll want to examine all of the comments you allow to be posted on your site. Check for malicious links or other spam content before allowing the post to go live. There are many WordPress plugins that will do this for you, but it doesn’t hurt to give it an extra look yourself.
Be Aware of Malicious Email
Speaking of spam, you’ll want to be wary of it in your inboxes. Some spam emails are designed to look like they come from your hosting company or your website, with the aim of getting your credentials. You should be extra careful about any email that directs you to a page asking you to login, and double check where the email came from. Many people have been fooled into thinking they are signing into their hosting account, or a social media page, only to find that they just sent their username and password to a hacker. For help identifying malicious email, check out this guide.
Limit the Number of Users
Finally, if you have other people working for your startup, they likely have some level of access to your website. It’s important to not only limit the number of people who can change your website, but to make sure they can only see the parts they need to. For example, if you hired someone to blog on your site, they don’t need to be able to change the design of the site, only the ability to post content. You should also go over security protocols with everyone who has access to your site, such as creating a secure password, not logging in on a public computer, and looking out for malicious emails.
Start Protecting Your Website Today
As you can see, there are plenty of ways that your website is vulnerable. As a startup, your website is invaluable, and if it goes down for even a few days you could be in trouble. Luckily the above steps are not hard to implement but provide a great deal of security once you do. So, take some time to start securing your website as soon as you can – you’ll be happy you did.