You could be putting your business at risk if you aren’t confident in the maintenance and security of your website. Without taking proper precautions, your customer’s private data could be subject to a data breach. This can come back to hurt your company in a big way. Here’s what you can do to prevent a website security breach on your website:

Perform Regular Website Security Updates & Maintenance

One of the best ways to protect your website is to update or “patch” the software used to design it. If you are using open software like WordPress, regular updates should be available that will fix bugs or problems in the coding. This will prevent hackers from gaining access to your website server where they would be able to infect your website users.

Some people have expressed concern that open software is less secure and more vulnerable to attacks. This is simply not true. WordPress has a huge team of engineers that works to ensure the safety of their program, and they have the additional benefit of other users who look into the software on their own. Because it is available for anyone to see and use, WordPress has a great community of users who are all invested in the quality of the product.

If you don’t have time to ensure that your website is regularly updated, consider hiring a team to monitor your site. R&A offers a hosting and care solutions package to check for updates and install them in a timely manner.

Install a SSL Certificate

The SSL or Security Sockets Layer is set of files that protects a website by encrypting information passing between a website server and a browser. If you aren’t sure what this is, look up at the search bar or address bar for this page. You should see that instead of using http://, it reads https://. You should also see a padlock located somewhere in that bar (the exact location varies by browser). These symbols indicate that you are visiting a website protected by a security certificate.

Essentially, this certificate ensures that data passing between networks is encrypted. Therefore, credit card transactions and personal information gathered by your website will be safe from attacks. If your website does not have a security certificate, one can be purchased relatively easily. Click here to read about one available through Symantec. If you have a website built by R&A, a SSL Certificate is included automatically.

Having this certificate is important for the safety of your website and its users, plus it is important for good SEO. Google looks unfavorably on websites that have not installed these certificates because it is their job to provide results that are safe for users and won’t cause issues for them. Installing an SSL Certificate lets Google and users know that your website can be trusted.

Secure Payment Options

An important rule in website design is that it needs to be easy for customer to pay you. However, it is just as important that they can pay you in a safe, secure way even if they’re using the internet. Paypal and are great solutions that are recommended and trusted across the US. Apple Pay is another secure method that makes it fast and easy for mobile users to make purchases from their iPhones.

Next Steps

If online security hasn’t been a priority for your small business, it’s time to make a change. Not only are you leaving your loyal customers at risk, but you’re exposing your company to possible threats and lawsuits. Contact your current website administrator or hosting service and make sure that the above processes are in place. You can also click here to contact R&A to learn more about our services and website security.