Online security is built from the ground up. In the last post we looked at ways you can make your server more secure and form the foundation of a solid web presence. But what about your website itself? As you build and develop your site, there are a number of extra steps you can take to ensure maximum protection.
Crucially, users and potential customers need to be aware of the security measures in place. Visitors are more likely to spend time browsing a site that feels reputable. When it comes to personal details, payment information and other confidential data, it’s vital to establish trust by demonstrating that your site is a safe place to do business. Here are some key pointers for building a secure website and reassuring your customers.
SSL (secure socket layer)
SSL is a technology that prevents unauthorised access to data sent from a web browser to a hosting server. Data sent from the browser is encrypted as a code that can only be decrypted using a key held exclusively by the receiving web server, ensuring the security of online transactions.
An SSL certificate is essential for any website that allows the submission of sensitive data such as payment details, personal information, usernames and passwords. Most providers offer a trust seal that can be displayed on your site to build confidence, and visitors will clearly see a reassuringly-green padlock symbol and ‘https’ in their address bar. Get an SSL certificate included free for one year with dedicated servers and selected Cluster hosting packages from Fasthosts.
Secure payment provider
When processing payments through your website, a secure and trusted payment provider is critical. Customers will be far more inclined to enter their payment details when they recognise an established, widely-known and trusted payment provider such as PayPal or Sage Pay. Maximise your chances of converting website visits into sales by selecting a payment provider with a proven track record for safe online transactions.
Virus and malware scans
You’ll find a range of third party antivirus products that can be used to protect your website from malicious attacks, perform regular scans and safely remove any malware. As with SSL, many antivirus providers offer a trust seal to be displayed to your users – ideal for highlighting your commitment to website security.
Website vulnerability testing
Prevention is better than a cure, so in addition to virus scans you should make use of tools available to check your website for existing weak spots. Some security providers will even carry out a penetration test that simulates a hacker attack. By detecting and eliminating vulnerabilities, you can deprive attackers of the unauthorised access they need to upload viruses, deface your site, redirect your traffic to another URL, or carry out various other malicious activities.
In some ways, building your site is far easier than building trust with users and customers, which is a long-term process that requires developing your brand and strengthening its reputation. However, with these points in mind you should be in a great position to create and maintain a website with a strong emphasis on security, and an online space where visitors feel safe. Visit the Fasthosts website for more information on the secure platforms we provide for web professionals.