October 29, 2020 A Technology Blog

7 Website Security Mistakes to Avoid for Small Businesses

About 43% of website breaches target small businesses.

You might think that your business is too small to be noticed by hackers, but in reality, you’re the perfect target. You’re not a security expert, your website is vulnerable, and you have a lot of data that hackers would find useful.

You could be making the biggest website security mistakes and not even know it until it’s too late. A cyber threat could cost a small business as much as $200,000 to recover.

Not many small businesses have that kind of money lying around, which should make security a high priority. Read on to learn the most common cyber threats and what you can do about them.

  1. You Don’t Update Your Software

One of the top rules in website security is to run the latest software. If you use WordPress to build your site, you need to make sure that your plugins are up to date, and you have the latest version installed.

Plugin developers always update software once there is a security bug. If you don’t install an update, it’s much easier for hackers to break into your website.

It’s also good practice to install a security plugin such as Wordfence and log into your site once a week to perform software updates. These updates usually take about 5 minutes at the most.

  1. You Use Weak Passwords

Almost 70% of passwords can be hacked in less than a second.

That’s because most website administrators are still using passwords like ‘12345,’ ‘123456,’ and ‘123456789.’ These may make your life easier, but they can also turn your business into a nightmare.

Using strong passwords is your first and best line of defense against hackers. You can use a passwords generator to create strong passwords, and use a tool such as Last Pass to store them safely.

You want to make sure that all of your passwords and the passwords of your employees are strong. It just takes one small opening for a hacker to get into your system.

  1. You Don’t Know Much About Websites

A lack of website knowledge could make your site more vulnerable. You may not know what to look for to keep your site secure, but you know enough to install a content management system and update it.

There are three areas of your site you should check for security. The first is to add an SSL certificate to your site if you don’t have one already.

If your site starts with HTTPS, then you have an SSL certificate installed. If you’re still using HTTP, then your visitors don’t have a secure connection when they visit your site.

If you don’t have one installed, check with your hosting company to get one. Many offer SSL certificates for free.

The second thing to look for is an SQL injection. This is a database breach that lets hackers take over a WordPress site. You need to make sure that your site is designed with security in mind.

One other thing you have to be aware of is a remote file inclusion. This is important to know for businesses that have customers upload documents and files.

Hackers can upload files, too. That makes your site vulnerable to having malware uploaded. You can exclude executable files from being uploaded to prevent that from happening.

  1. You Use Public WiFi

If you have public WiFi in your office or you use it at a coffee shop, you can leave your website vulnerable. You may be working on your website on a public network, which hackers can scan and find vulnerable connections.

It just takes one moment to figure out how to break into your website. The best way to protect yourself and your website is to use a secure network.

If you can’t use a secure network, use a virtual private connection (VPN) that can keep your connection private and secure.

  1. You Use Outdated Website Design

A website’s design can also be a security risk. Years ago websites used Adobe Flash as part of their design to animate certain aspects of their site.

That was a great use of the program, but it could be a security risk. Not only that, but not many devices also run Adobe Flash. Asking people to download Flash could be a security risk.

You can find out more about that and how to download Flash for Macs in this article https://setapp.com/how-to/download-adobe-flash-player-for-mac

You may want to consider how Adobe Flash is used on your site and whether there are other ways to accomplish the same thing.

  1. You Don’t Think About Email Hacks

Your email servers are vulnerable to hacking attacks as well. It isn’t so much in your servers as much as it is clicking on the wrong attachment.

Most of the security breaches that companies experience is due to a phishing attack. These are emails that are sent to a large group of people that have an attachment. They may also look like legitimate sites asking you to change your password.

  1. You Never Audit Your Website

Security threats to your website will always change and evolve over time. It’s important to keep up with these threats to your website. As you stay updated, you want to audit your website to see where there are vulnerabilities.

A regular security audit should be done once every 3-6 months. You should then take action to plug security holes immediately.

Never Make Website Security Mistakes Again

It’s impossible to guarantee that your website won’t be hacked. Once you know these common website security mistakes, you can make it much more difficult for hackers to breach your site.

The easiest things you can do are to make sure you update your software regularly and use strong passwords. You may want to update your site’s design to something that’s a bit more secure, too.

You’ll be able to protect your website and your business. For more tech tips, check out the Technology section of this site.

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