Updated: Nov 30, 2021
Do you know if your website is secure? Go check. Because it's hurting your small business. Here's how to know!
I talk a lot about IT security in my blogs, on my social media, to my clients, my parents and I will even talk IT security to strangers on the street if they stop and listen to me. One security topic I have yet to discuss is Website security and what it means for your business and for your online presence.
In today’s business world, you need a website. As a small business you cannot afford to not have an online presence. In March of 2020, thanks to Covid-19, businesses everywhere had to change the way consumers made purchases. Covid-19 forced the world to move to a more online-focused market in order to do business.
But there are so many bots!
Did you know that over 50% of all internet traffic is from automated sources such as bots, impersonators, hacking tools, scrapers and spammers? 30,000 websites get hacked daily. How do you make sure your business is taking the necessary precautions not only stay protected but to ensure your customers are protected as well?
How to tell if your site is not secure:
The first step is to make sure you have a secure website. How do you know if your site is secure? When you browse to a website like mine for example www.snl-techservices.com you will see the following lock next to my website name followed by https://
This lock signifies that my website has an SSL certificate. What is an SSL certificate? SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer.” To put it simply the “S” in “https” means that your connection to the website is secure and encrypted, so that you can safely enter in your data and share it with that website. You can also click on the padlock and a “Site information” box will appear telling you “connection secure.”
You and your clients' information could be being sent to hackers
Most websites now have an online form to fill out even if it is just a standard “contact” form. If you have a website that is unsecure and you fill out a form, even it if is just a contact form with your name, email and phone number this gets transmitted without being encrypted, which means it can be intercepted by a hacker who then has all the information that was on that form.
In hacker lingo this “interception” is often referred to a “man-in-the-middle attack”. You might be wondering how these attacks can even happen? A common way is that a hacker inserts an undetected listening program on the server hosting a website. The program then waits in the background until an unknowing visitor starts typing their information on the website, and then this program activates and starts to capture the information and sends it back to the hacker. This is frightening right?
What does "Secure" mean anyhow?
When you have a “secured” website that is encrypted with SSL, your browser will form a connection with the web server, look at the SSL certificate and then bind your browser and the server.
What does “bind”mean? Bind simply means that the connection is secure and ensures that no one besides you and the website can see or access the information that you type. Depending on what you offer on your website will depend on the type of SSL certificate that you need. Yes, there are several of them. I would recommend talking to a professional. For example, my website and someone in the financial industry will have to meet different requirements for security purposes.
If you already have a website that is secure and want to see how it measures up, you can go to the following website grader and enter in your website URLand email address. https://websitegrader.org/ I did my website so that you can see the results. This website provides a lot of great feedback and covers many aspects of your website and what can be improved upon. I am just showing you the results pertaining to the security of my website.
Secure sites help your SEO
SSL is also good for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). According to According to Google Webmaster Trends Analysts, SSL is part of Googles search ranking algorithm. Additionally, if two websites are similar in their content but one has SSL enabled and the other does not, the website with SSL will receive a slight rank boosting because its encrypted. Even web browsers are starting to create browsers that only search and take you to secured websites. Mozilla Firefox has introduced an HTTPS-Only Mode already.
Secure browsing is the future of websites.
If you read my blogs or follow my social media, you can tell that I am not doing my website, because it looks amazing,and I do not have the creative eye for design. I work with a small business owner whose specialty is Marketing, website and social media management for startups and small businesses, if you need help with securing your website, giving it a makeover, making sure you are properly using SEO and social media to your advantage, I recommend contacting Lindsey at Burda Marketing. I feel incredibly lucky to be working with her. You can check out her website and social media to see what I am talking about.
If you found this blog article interesting or helpful, feel free to subscribe. I will send out a monthly email with informative information as well as tips and tricks. Keep checking back to my blog for Part 2 of this Website Security for your Small Business, it will be posted in the next few weeks.