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10 Best Ways to Improve Your Website's Security

05-09-2022

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You know very well that taking care of your website from any external threats is important. Nevertheless, these external threats are consistent and need to be continuously monitored so that you ensure the maximum level of security for your website.

Following statistics, we can ensure that cybercrime isn’t going down by any chance. So, this is important for us to take a step forward and prevent upcoming attacks. However, how can we do this?

10 Best Ways to Improve Your Website's Security

Let’s find out in this article!


1. Identify synthetic identity fraud

Identify synthetic identity fraud

Some of the most common threats to a website are synthetic identity fraud.

In short, it’s a fraudulent activity that uses synthetic ID, coming to a fake ID with real-person data to form a new ID. In order to identify synthetic identity theft, you must continually monitor these types of threats.

SEON claims that synthetic ID fraud accounts for roughly 80% of credit card fraud losses. After all, there’s no magic you can use to prevent these threats. Still, you rather need to implement a few important technologies, and here are some of them:

Device fingerprinting: If fraudsters get a hold of your site once, they’ll continuously want to attack it. Their challenge isn’t to create multiple synthetic IDs and make their prey look easy. With device fingerprinting, you can identify proxy usage, tor connections, VPN use, suspicious browser setups, and more.

Digital footprint analysis: Another effective way of stopping synthetic ID fraud is to use digital footprint analysis. Using a reverse phone number or email, you can identify the user’s digital footprint and whether it looks legit or not. Furthermore, you can also identify social networks and other online platforms that are in emerging markets.

This way, you confirm their ID with social media profiles, and identifying social media networks can help you with credit scoring.

Velocity rules: You can also refer to them as velocity rules, which analyse a wide range of data points, including timeframes. Some common questions include: “How quickly does the user complete the authentication process?” “Did users enter their social security numbers?” “How fast did the user go through the KYC process?” etc.


2. Keep your software and web design up to date

Many site owners will not pay enough attention to their website design or software. However, this is a common mistake amongst many users.

Leaving your software and web design behind can only make it easier for fraudsters to attack.

One of the favourite places for online attackers is a website with flaws in its design and software.

Therefore, it’s important you continuously keep up with security updates.

Also, poor website design will lead to longer loading times and higher abandonment rates. As we said before, this will allow online attackers to realise these flaws and set up an attack on you.


3. Incorporate SSL encryption

Above all, you want to make sure your website has an SSL certificate and that all requests to your site are redirected to HTTPS; SSL certificates encrypt all data between clients and servers. Websites sometimes have an SSL certificate but can still be accessed through unencrypted HTTP.

You must always set up a redirect to ensure your requests are secure. For instance, Google Chrome and other browsers will warn users if the website they wish to proceed to isn't safe, especially if it doesn’t have an SSL certificate! There are free SSL certificates that you can use, but if you want to be more sure, you can purchase one as well.


4. Create strong passwords

Create strong passwords

Nowadays, you can use many helpful tools to distinguish whether or not your password is strong enough. Ensuring that your password is “very strong” is important. A weak password will make it much easier for online attackers to unlock your account’s information. That’s why you should pay special attention to your password strength.

For example, some platforms recommend avoiding using consistent alphabetical orders and numbers.

Instead, you can change up the order, including a symbol, a special letter, and anything more creative you can think of. However, always make sure to write your password down in a safe area not to forget it!

Alternatively, if you can’t think of a password, try using a password generator.

Too many people fall into the trap of using easy passwords and later complain about their accounts getting hacked. This is not a good practice, especially when using passwords such as ‘1234’ and so on.

Of course, in this case, you won’t be the one creating accounts on your website, but the best thing to do is also to create a password policy.

To improve users’ safety, you can make your system refuse to accept weak passwords. Therefore, include guides such as mixing special characters with other letters and numbers or asking users to change their password every three to six months.


5. Ensure a secure host

Choosing a secure web hosting company is essential for your website’s security.

Don’t forget to check that your host is aware of potential threats to your website each time.

Ask your host to back up your data so you have a backup if an online attacker gets a hold of it.

Moreover, make sure your host is offering technical support when needed.

The more reliable your host is, the more secure your website will be.


6. Permission and validation

Before you take further steps, you must ensure your website’s data is validated.

Validation can be performed on a client’s browser using JavaScript and on the server after you submit the data.

Client validation provides better experiences with a set of warnings and validation messages that can be bypassed.

Therefore, the same level of validation must be performed on the server before you save the data.

In case your website allows file uploads, you can validate these files.

We recommend you scan files for any viruses using antivirus software.

Furthermore, don’t forget to include website permission and activate user accounts regularly.

It’s essential to plan out permissions for accomplishing specific tasks. Not every user should be able to require the same amount of access. The more people have access, the more chances of online attacks occur.

Also, let’s not forget that all inactive accounts should be deleted or deactivated once they aren’t used for an extended period of time.


7. Avoid any modifications to your cookies

Website cookies are important, and any of them you use should be secure. If you want to avoid Javascript making any changes to your cookies, you can use HTTP-only, which is a flag placed on your cookies, only allowing the webserver to view and make any necessary modifications.


8. Limit login attempts

Limit login attempts

If you see that your website is getting more than three login attempts from the same IP address, it’s best to restrict access for a certain amount of time and make them head somewhere else. Of course, online attackers might use different IP addresses, but this limitation might waste their time and make it much more difficult for them to break into your website’s security.


9. Hide directories

Hide directories

Admin directories are an easy target for those who want to hack your website.

Once an online attacker gains access to these sites, they can gain complete control of your website, so you should make it much more challenging for them to find it.

Alternatively, you can try renaming your admin folders, so it disables any public access or even limits exposure to only specific IP addresses.


10. Back up your data once a week

If you want to stay on the safe side with your website’s security, keep backing up your data regularly.

Therefore, keep maintaining backups of your website files if anything happens. Your web host provider should be able to provide backup on their own servers, but updating your files on a regular basis is essential.

Additionally, there are plenty of content management programs (CMP) that you can use to back up your data for a set time automatically (once a day, week, or month).


Wrapping it all up

We come to an end for this article. These are the top 10 ways to improve your website’s security levels. Of course, website security requires you to monitor live actions continuously, but technology has evolved to a point where you can put everything on autopilot.

From your side, it’s important to take the steps we recommend to you. Going further in time, everything will come down to how well you are backing up your data, how good your web host provider is, how much you care about your web design, and how frequently you update your software!



Article by Pankaj Shah: DCP Ilford Web Design


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