Five Ways to Help Secure Your Website Today
With each passing year, the internet becomes home to more and more personal information that – if put into the wrong hands – could bring devastating consequences for those to whom it belongs. We not only have responsibilities as individuals to keep our own information safe, but we also have that responsibility as webmasters and site owners. Without the proper protocols in place, your website could fall victim to one of many different types of attacks that reveals sensitive information about your brand and its customers. In the following article, we’ll discuss five simple ways that you can begin reinforcing your website’s security measures today and reduce the chances of someone gaining unauthorized access.
Update Your Software
This sounds so silly to many, but the prime way in which basic security is violated on the web is through the exploitation of old software. Content management systems like WordPress will indicate to you whenever a new update is available for your website or for select plugins. It is vital that you act: whenever a new update is released, old bugs are documented in the patch notes of the newest release. Would-be hackers can use this information to exploit your website if it is not up to date.
Login Error Messages
What does your website tell a user whenever they incorrectly attempt to login using a password and a username? You do not want to be pinging users with too much information regarding the result, as this can indicate to those attempting to force their way in which part of the login process they may have gotten right. By using something along the lines of “incorrect username/password” instead of “incorrect username” or “incorrect password”, you will make it that much harder for criminals to break into your website.
In years past, passwords could be just about anything. Maybe they had a minimum character limit, but the characters could be literally anything. In order to increase the security of both your consumers’ accounts and your own, you should set stricter regulations governing the creation of passwords. By requiring upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols to all be included in the password, you exponentially increase the number of possibilities that a password can be (and likewise, make it that much more difficult for a suspect to correctly guess a password).
Disabling File Uploads
You have two options here: disabling file uploads completely from your website, or only allowing certain file types. In the former case, you’ll want to verify that file upload is not a crucial part of your website’s purpose. In the latter case, you can allow this option so that individuals can contribute images and photos (or any other file type) but not files such as executables that can give hackers access to your website.
Install a Security Plugin
There are plenty of security plugins and utilities available for download – for free or otherwise – that will monitor the behaviour of people on your site by pinging users, checking page vulnerabilities and inspecting various other elements of the site to ensure maximum stability. You’ll even be able to generate reports with action recommendations on how to fix any potential vulnerabilities.