I don’t know how many times I’ve heard business owners ask me why hackers and criminals want to mess with their website. It’s a common misconception especially among owners of small and medium size businesses that “it can’t happen to me.”
The reality is, it doesn’t matter how big your business is, or how much traffic your website has, you’re a target. The hackers and criminals, will plant malware anywhere they can. If they can infect your website and collect personal or payment information from even one of your customers, they are successful. The bad actors on the internet have armies of bots (robots) that scour the internet looking for security holes to exploit. And when they find even a tiny security crack, big problems can start happening with your website. And big website problems usually turn into big bucks to fix.
- Building Customer Trust with SSL Encryption: Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption is the technology that makes your domain name show as https instead of http in a users browser. Simply speaking SSL protects the interactions between a customers device and your websites server from being snooped on by criminals. Most browsers now tell users that a website is unsafe if SSL is not present. This is not a great way to build customer trust in your brand. Adding an SSL security certificate prevents snooping and builds trust.
- Protect Customer Information with Strong Passwords and Brute Force Protection: The most common method of attack on websites is to use a brute force attack. A brute force attack most often involves a bot trying millions of username and password combinations per minute until they gain access to a website. Once a site is compromised, hackers can steal customer information, plant malware, send spam, or deface the website. We hear in the news about big companies that get hacked all the time. But it happens to smaller businesses frequently. Don’t be the company that has to explain to customers why their personal information was not secure. Use brute force protection and strong passwords to protect your site. 2 Factor Authentication is also highly recommended. All of these are readily available WordPress security features.
- Malware Scanning for Peace of Mind: There are numerous ways hackers can implant sophisticated malware on a website. This often happens without the site owner even being aware. Malware can function to steal information, spam your customers, or cause harm to computers used to view your site. So just as scanning your computer for viruses and malware is important, the same is important for your website. If your hosting company provides secure WordPress hosting, they are likely scanning your server regularly. But it never hurts to add an extra security layer for safety and peace of mind. There are numerous WordPress security plugins that automate the scanning process and make it easy.
Taking a multilayered approach to website security is important for many reasons. But the bottom line is that a hacked website erodes customer trust, is expensive to fix, and causes headaches for your business.
Lowcountry Media Solutions specializes in developing internet marketing strategies that align with your business needs and goals with a focus on building a website that is secure, and that your customers can count on. For more information, please contact us.