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What you need to do to keep your website secure

By 123 Reg - March 24, 2017

Is your website secure? If your answer to this question is “maybe” or “don’t know”, then there’s a strong chance it isn’t. And even if you answered “yes”, it’s still worth double checking to make sure, especially as many people don’t fully understand everything they need to do to keep their site safe.

According to research by PwC, there were 59.1 million detected security incidents in 2015. But in a recent 123 Reg survey, we found that 43% of online business owners think the hosting provider is responsible for website security.

Website security is a complex issue, taking in plenty of factors – that includes the kind of website you have, the passwords you use, and, of course, the reliability of your web site host.

In the end, good website security comes down to teamwork. Here at 123 Reg, we do everything we can to keep our customers’ websites safe. But we can’t do everything.

In order to ensure your website is secure, you’ll need to take some simple, but crucial security measures. In this article, we’ll explore how 123 Reg helps keep you safe, and what you need to do for maximum protection.

What you need to do to stay secure

There are many factors that make a website vulnerable to hackers, and some sites are more vulnerable than others. The below infographic highlights which website features increase the likelihood of a cyberattack.

What can you do about it? By following this advice, you’ll keep your site as secure as possible.

Employ good password practices

Passwords get talked about a lot, but that’s because they’re so important. If someone seeking to do you harm knows your password, then your website could be in big trouble. Here’s what you need to do.

1) Use long, complex passwords where possible – long passwords are harder to hack.
2) Use a different password on every service you use – if all your passwords are the same, one hack grants access to everything.
3) Only share passwords with those who need them – the more people who know a password, the lass secure it is.
4) Change passwords on a regular basis – if your password is compromised, you might not know straight away. Regular changes mean you won’t be stuck with a compromised password.

We go more in depth on what makes a good password in this guide.

Install antivirus software on your computer

If your computer has a virus, and you then use it to access your website, there’s a chance that your website will become compromised.

Hackers can use keylogging software to monitor what you type, so if an infected computer is used to log in to your business website, the hackers will see your username and password.

Even a free antivirus package such as Avast! is better than nothing, but you may want to consider the extra piece of mind that comes with a paid-for package.

Keep WordPress (and everything on it) up to date

Millions of websites are powered by WordPress, and we offer WordPress Hosting, and WordPress as a one-click install, so it makes sense to pay special attention it.

WordPress is great, but like any software package, it has vulnerabilities in it that can be exploited by hackers.

Fortunately, the team behind WordPress are on the ball and release regular updates that address these security issues.

That’s why it’s so important to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress as soon as you can.

If you don’t, you’ll be using an older version of WordPress – one that could have known security holes that hackers will be specifically targeting.

Get updated and stay updated.

The WordPress dashboard will notify you whenever an update is released. You should be able to install the update with just a click of the button. But if you need it, WordPress has an updates guide here.

You also need to ensure you keep WordPress extras you may have installed, such as plugins and themes, updated.

Plugins can be a particular headache, so make sure you keep them up dated, delete any plugins that you no longer use and only ever install plugins that you obtained via the official WordPress Plugin Directory.

Keep all software up to date

WordPress may warrant a special mention because of its popularity, but it’s still vitally important to keep all software up to date.

This includes any software you’ve installed on your web server (such as WordPress, Joomla, etc) and any software you have installed on devices you’ll use to log in to your website (especially anti-virus programmes and operating systems).

Remember: Software updates usually include crucial security fixes, so if you don’t install the latest version, you increase the chances of a security breach.

Only install trusted software on your server

If you’re using 123 Reg Apps to install software on your server, you don’t need to worry. But if you’re adding software using FTP, then make sure you’re using genuine software from a trusted company.

Install a website security product

Website security packages are like an antivirus package for your website. They can alert you to any existing problems, help remove any malware that may already be on your site and provide automatic protection against future attacks.

How 123 Reg keeps you secure

If you’re hosting a website with 123 Reg, it’ll be on one our servers located in our secure UK data centre.

What do we mean by secure? Well, as you might imagine we have measures in place to prevent hackers gaining remote access to the data stored on our servers – one of our main lines of defence is a firewall with multiple layers of protection.

The datacentre is also physically secure – that means only authorised personnel have access to the servers, protecting them from hackers and physical harm.

In short, we do everything we can to prevent unauthorised access to your website through our servers.

And remember, if you’re using Website Builder from 123 Reg, then we’ll automatically keep things updated so you’ll have fewer potential problems to worry about.

Summing up

At 123 Reg we’re always doing everything we can to make sure your website is secure. And we urge you to do the same. A security breach can undo years of hard work in a matter of minutes. So let’s work together to keep the hackers at bay.