Written by Leah Behling and Allison Cooper, Interns

Website security covers a broad range of terms. It can be anything from protecting against viruses to encrypting data. Having a secure website prevents Malware from being uploaded to your site and restricts phishing emails being sent via your site. The prevention of these hacks not only keeps you safe, but your customers and clients safe as well. The visitors of your website should feel confident that their information is being kept in good hands. Lose their trust and you may lose their business. Website security not only prevents mishaps and data leaks, but allows for a better ranking in Google’s search engine results. Learn how to ensure maximum website security through these insightful tips.


Maintain Strong Passwords

I’m sure you have heard this before, but that just means it’s extremely important! Having a strong password is the first critical step to ensuring your security. It may seem like a no brainer, but some people still get lazy when creating passwords. When creating a new password make sure it contains at least one of each of the following: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numerals, and special characters. Passwords should typically be 8-10 characters long. Also, try not to reuse the same password for multiple sites or applications. This precaution ensures that if you do get hacked, it will hopefully be an isolated incident.

Check the SSL Certificate

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. An SSL Certificate enables encryption that allows for secure communications between a website and an internet browser. This guarantees that your information and your visitors information is secure. Without it, cybercriminals may easily intercept connections and gain access to your data, usernames, passwords, and practically anything else. To check and see if you currently have an SSL Certificate, look at the URL of your site. If your URL uses https instead of http and has a green padlock icon in the the left hand corner, your site is SSL Certified. Having an SSL Certificate is so crucial that Google now requires sites to be SSL Certified. If your website isn’t certified, visitors will receive a popup or page block notifying them that the site they are about to visit may not be secure. This is a huge red flag to any visitors. If you want to attract clients, get that certification!  

Does Harris & Ward provide SSL Certificates for their websites?

Yes, we always make sure your site is properly certified and secure! Feel free to contact us for any services related to SSL Certification.

Keep Your Site Clean

Hopefully your website already looks clean and uncluttered from a visitor’s point of view, but sometimes a routine update is necessary. Having a clean, organized website serves more than the primary purpose of visual aesthetics and readability. Having a clean site is another step toward having a safe site. Every plugin or application on your website is a point of entry  for hackers. With this being said, decide on necessary plugins you should keep, but avoid overcrowding your site with plugins and applications. Additionally, delete any old files that do not serve a strong purpose on your website. This can also prevent your website’s speed from slowing down. With this being known, Harris and Ward errs toward using as few plugins as possible on sites, along with strictly using the highest ranked and trusted plugins.

Run Routine Web Security Scans  

Security scans should be performed routinely on your website, especially after a change to your site has been made. While you can use certain free tools that the internet provides, hiring a professional is always the best route as they will give you an in depth review of any issues or potential problem areas that your site has. If you are in need of a provider or are curious to see if your site is fully secure, Harris & Ward offers these services freely for all members’ websites.