When you run a business website, you will want to do everything in your power to make it more successful by creating more links, adding lots of content, tweaking the design and encouraging social sharing. All these strategies can help you to increase your site’s visibility and to make it more effective at converting visitors into paying customers.
But while all these things can help your site to climb the ladder and serve your business better, it’s also important to cover your tracks and to think about how things could go wrong. Your site is vulnerable to attacks… from malicious hackers, from spam, from competition and from catastrophes. Here, we will look at how to protect your website and thereby protect all your hard work and your investment.
Make a Backup
The number one way to protect your site is to back it up, which is very easy to do if you’re on WordPress. By backing up your files regularly, you will also be able to restore your site should anything ever happen to it: whether you make a coding error, whether your hosting company burns down, or whether someone hacks in and makes destructive changes – you’ll have a backup and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
Use Strong Passwords
For WordPress, for your server and for any online services you use, make sure you have a strong username and password combination. A strong password should be one designed to combat ‘brute force’ tactics. This refers to when a hacker will run a program that simply attempts to enter one password after another unceasingly until it finds the right combination. To withstand this, your password should be long and it should include a combination of capitals and lower case, along with symbols and other elements.
Learn to Use the Disavow Links Tool
Google’s ‘disavow links’ tool, is a tool that allows you to scrub out in-bound links to your site. This is useful not only for undoing your own mistakes, but also for protecting yourself from ‘negative SEO’. This is when a competitor will purposefully make it look like you’re trying to spam Google by building lots of low quality links to your site. Using this tool, you can undo their efforts and maintain your position.
Captcha is the box of deformed letters that you often get asked to decipher before you post a comment or sign into an account. This is very useful, because it prevents the brute force method mentioned above. And when a password isn’t required, captcha can help get rid of automated spam in your comments sections that can otherwise sully your website and kill meaningful discussions.
When running a business website that collects personal or sensitive data from your visitors, you might want to encrypt the data coming in and out. This is crucial for transactions that involve card details for instance, as it ensures that even if the data is stolen, it won’t be useful for a hacker. Data encryption gets complicated and is relatively advanced though, so you may want to ask your web designers about this one!