There are bad apples everywhere, even in the digital world. The internet has so many advantages for sorting and sharing information; however, the more prominent the internet is in our lives, the more vulnerable our information is to the bad apples who work to access our data through attacks and scams. In recent years, there have been many attacks on large companies like Uber and Yahoo which are frightening for the companies and all their customers.

Many small businesses may think they are safe from attacks because of the low profile nature of their business, but this is not the case. Small businesses that are naive to the idea of an attack puts them in a dangerous situation that could destroy their business and customer base. In fact, small businesses account for almost half of data breach victims. It is essential that whether you are a small business or large enterprise, you take website security seriously. Here are some website hosting security best practices to follow to protect your business and customers against potential hackers and scammers.

1. Choose the Right Web Hosting Provider

Your website hosting provider is a huge factor in the security of your website, so choosing the right one is vital. Here at New Target, we understand you have various options, but our website hosting services provide stability, reliability, and security. We have two data centers in the greater Washington DC metro area that offer 24/7 monitoring. We know how important security is to your business, so you cannot go wrong when choosing us as your website hosting provider.

2. USE A CDN

A content delivery network (CDN) helps serve your website pages to your visitors more quickly by hosting caches of your website at different servers around the world. Although CDNs offer great website speed advantages, they also strengthen the security of your website. They utilize massive server networks to offer load balancing. Meaning that when using a CDN, you are working off their server resources and are able to manage a large number of visitors. A CDN’s ability to manage a large number of requests reduces the security risk of your website. Some website hosting providers don’t work with a CDN, but lucky for you here at New Target, we do! 

3. Use SSL Certificates

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption guarantees your visitors that any information they share with your website will be encrypted and safe. SSL encryption allows users to trust a website and is especially important for eCommerce websites where credit card information could potentially be intercepted. Additionally, search engines can label your website “not secure” without an SSL certificate, which can push potential visitors away. You should definitely have an SSL certificate to ensure your users that you are a reputable, trusted website.

4. HAVE BACK-UPS

At New Target, we offer onsite and offsite data back-up services. In the event your website is compromised or crashes, it is essential that you have back-ups to avoid losing all your data.

5. HAVE STRONG PASSWORDS

It’s time to ditch yourpetsname123 as your password and implement a unique, strong password to avoid hackers quickly getting into your site. Today, hackers have entire files of commonly used passwords that they test against a website’s defense. It only takes a few hours for bots to guess a six-character password and break into your website, so you must have a complex password consisting of uppercase and lowercase characters, special characters, and digits.

6. PERFORM UPDATES REGULARLY

Updating your software regularly is essential for keeping hackers on their toes. Attackers can gain access to your website by taking advantage of known weaknesses within your software. Your software needs to be continuously updated to protect against bugs or loopholes and prevent new threats to your website. Your CMS (content management system) and all software must be updated as soon as a new update is available.

No website is fully protected from potential attacks, but there are many steps you can take to make your website the most secure it can be. Security should be at the top of the list of your concerns to avoid losing money and protect your customers and client. Contact us at New Target if you are looking for a secure and reliable web hosting provider—we can help!

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.