Tips On Keeping Your Business Website And Content Safe!
By Paul Walmsley
Do you have a website for sharing information with potential/new clients?
If so how secure is it?
In this short article I will share with you some tips I normally give to clients when I have my I.T. Consultancy hat on.
How do I know if my website is secure?
Does your website or pages within it start with the letters http or https like the example below?
If it starts with the letters http then your website is not secure. This is a risk to both you and your visitors, especially if they enter data such as their name, email address, passwords or payment details on your website, as the information can be intercepted.
If your website/pages start with https it means the page is secure. All information between the visitor’s web browser (the program used to view your website) and your website is encrypted, making it very much harder to intercept.
To make your website secure you will need to ask your website hosting provider for an SSL certificate (a digital “passport” that allows data to be transmitted securely). This will normally cost you ~$100 per year and your hosting provider may even install it for you.
Backup your website regularly
Making regular backups (copies) of your website pages as well as other data your website holds will help you, should your website be compromised or you accidentally delete a web page.
If you don’t know how to backup your website (and why should you), talk to your web hosting provider and ask them for help on running automated backups for you. There may be a cost incurred, but if you rely on your website for your business it is worth it.
Checking your website
It is always a good idea to regularly check your website for anything strange, such as content being displayed you didn’t put up. If this happens you may need to consider using the backup, suggested earlier in this article, to recover your website.
Safeguard Your Email Inbox
What’s my Email Inbox got to do with my website you may be asking yourself.
Well, if you publish your email address on your website you are asking for spam (irrelevant or unsolicited email messages). Automated programs (spambots) are used by some people to crawl around the internet looking for publicly displayed email addresses on web pages. Once they have your email address the spam emails will start.
Well how should people contact me?
My recommendation is to always use a contact form on your website. This looks professional and prevents the need to publicly share your email address. There are plenty of tools available, some free of charge, that provide contact forms for you to customise and use on your website.
Paul Walmsley is an experienced I.T Consultant, author and part time University lecturer. During his many years working in large corporate organisations in the UK and New Zealand he has coached or mentored many individuals and teams and continues to do so now he is self-employed. He is also a Director of Australia and New Zealand Coaching Alliance.