4 Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Website Security
Boosting the safety of your site is a no-brainer. Given the concerns over Net Neutrality, phishing schemes, and hacker attacks – not to mention watching too much Mr. Robot – web security and privacy should be at top of any savvy website owner’s to-do list. Right?
And yet… you just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Besides, all that validation and verification stuff seems complicated and time-consuming, and does it really even make a difference?
The plain truth is the weakest link in many security networks is often the human element (yes, this means you). Your strongest firewalls are no match for clicking that mysterious link in a stranger’s email or choosing “password” as your password.
But here’s the good news: with some very user-friendly tools and technology at your fingertips, it’s now easier than ever to increase site security. And you can do it in less time than it takes you to read this article.
So let’s get started!
Your Whois data is the information you provide when you register a domain. This can include personal items such as your name, email, phone number, and more. While this data is required to register a legitimate domain name, it can be hidden from public view by using WhoisGuard.
With WhoisGuard protection in place, a domain lookup for information on the domain holder will return with contact information for the domain registrar (Namecheap, e.g), not your personal information.
Without WhoisGuard, your personal data can be gathered and exploited by marketers, spammers, or other entities with less-than-noble intentions.
You can easily activate WhoisGuard in the account settings or preferences of your domain provider.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is another handy bit of security that’s rapidly gaining popularity. 2FA is an extra step that involves entering a one-time confirmation code or PIN before you can fully log in.
Why the extra step? Much like CAPTCHA, 2FA provides a way for you to verify that you are who you say you are, and not an automated entity attempting to get unauthorized access to your account. It’s also a deterrent for hackers using a stolen ID.
Once you enter your regular login and password, 2FA (in its most common form) will send a code to your mobile device which you’ll then need to enter to access your account.
This level of assurance makes it harder to break into your account, since a hacker would need your phone as well as your computer to verify a login. 2FA is now in use on major sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and GMail.
And, like WhoisGuard, enabling 2FA in your account settings is as easy as flipping a switch.
Pretty simple so far, isn’t it? Even by enabling just these two features on your site, you’ve made it considerably more secure. And you’ve barely broken a sweat. Let’s continue…
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is a security add-on that provides both verification and encryption for your site data. Data encryption safely encodes sensitive information that’s sent over the Internet, while verification makes sure the senders and receivers of that information are who they say they are.
SSL-protected sites are usually identified by the “green bar”, a padlock icon, “https://”, or combination of these in the URL field. If your site handles e-commerce or private account data, SSL security is vital for your site’s safety.
There are several different types of SSL certificates that provide different degrees of security, including cheap (and sometimes free) certificates which provide basic data protection and increase your site visitors’ trust.
Additionally, while the higher-level SSLs may require more time to verify, many free SSLs have instant verification. So if you’re in a hurry, a free SSL is a great place to start!
Like we said at the beginning, human error is often our greatest vulnerability online. Strong account passwords have been shown to be quite effective in thwarting hackers and preventing unauthorized access. Sadly, this is one simple security precaution that many of us fail to take. And while it’s not always the quickest task, getting into the habit of wise password management can save you time (not to mention peace of mind) later on.
- How powerful is your password? Take a look at what makes a strong password and what doesn’t. You can even test out your password’s strength here.
- Worried about remembering passwords for multiple accounts? Try password management programs such as LastPass or Dashlane which can securely store and autofill user login data on the sites you use most often.
- Rather commit your passwords to memory? Try these tips for generating safe passwords you can keep in your head.
You devoted so much time, energy, and brainpower into building your perfect site. Why put all of that investment at risk? Make yourself a sandwich, brew some tea, and dive into some of these fast, easy, and effective web safety tips – you’ll likely be done before your drink gets cold, and you’ll feel safer too.
Namecheap is dedicated to the safety and privacy of all users online. To learn more about the security options Namecheap provides our customers, click the section headings above, or check out these tips in our Knowledgebase. As always, our Customer Service Team is here to assist you 24/7 with any questions or concerns.