Cyber security breaches are very real. In fact, small businesses are becoming a target for cyber criminals. About 74% of small businesses reported a security breach to the Government Security Breaches Survey last year. So even if you aren’t heading up a major corporation, it’s just as important to take action that protects you and your customer’s data.
Why cyber security matters:
- Symantec, the makers of Norton Antivirus, recently reported that three quarters of all websites are vulnerable to cyber attacks.
- 43% of cyber attacks (and rising) target small businesses.
- A whopping 60% of these small businesses go out of business within six months after a cyber attack.
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, mostly because they don’t have the time or the funds to invest in security. Unfortunately, this makes them a growing target for hackers and the consequences are potentially devastating.
The good news is that WordPress offers a variety of ways that automatically keep your site safe. Here are three ways you can strengthen your site without hiring a developer or buying expensive security software.
1. Manage Your Passwords Better
Sorry, but your cat’s name isn’t a great password. If you’re using a weak password (one that makes any kind of sense or is easy to remember), change it to something stronger. Now, how are you going to remember it? Use a resource like LastPass. It will help you generate a random password that includes a variety of randomized special characters and a blend uppercase/lowercase letters. In addition, you can use it to save all of your passwords and give you added security. Also, LastPass will prompt you when it’s time to change your password, to keep hackers on their toes.
2. Secure Your Login with Two-factor Authentication
If your site features a login for customers, use two-factor authentication. This adds an extra protective barrier to ensure your site’s safety. Users may be prompted to provide a mobile number or email address to prove they are not a robot. There are a number of WordPress plugins you can use to help with this. This ensures that only the user who created the password and set their backup authentication (usually a mobile phone) can sign in from a new device or change the password. You’ll earn a lot of trust from most users by enabling the added security that comes with two-factor authentication.
3. Implement SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
To secure your admin panel from hackers, consider setting up an SSL certificate. You know a website has an SSL certificate if it’s URL begins with https instead of http. SSL will encrypt sensitive information and it helps build trust for your brand. There’s an added bonus: Google ranks SSL-certified sites higher than those without added security measures.
In addition, most payment providers like PayPal and Stripe require that users have a secure SSL connection to transmit payment info, so this is an absolute necessity for any business accepting digital payments.
To set up SSL, contact your hosting company about purchasing an SSL certificate. Then, explore the free WordPress plugins to put SSL into action.
A final tip you can walk away with: stay on top of WordPress security news. You know how that laptop you bought two years ago is obsolete? Well, software tends to move even faster than hardware. Subscribe to our blog, and we’ll give you the latest news and solutions to fight cyber crime on a dime.