Keep your site secure from hacker bots
A Website Security Action Plan is essential if your small business relies on its website for new leads.
Bots online specialise in identifying weak sites and pirating their audience. Those hacked websites have all their links redirected with malicious code to dangerous online spaces. This could affect both your immediate traffic, but especially your brand reputation. Google and email platforms blacklist tens of thousands of websites every day, effectively wiping out all organic traffic to those affected sites.
The threat increases drastically when the sites are not properly maintained and can have serious consequences, especially for small businesses. Rebuilding after a breach is difficult, so we encourage you to protect your website.
Your website has a large surface area that hacking bots can attack. Squarespace, WordPress and other content management systems have plugins and themes—built by various third-party sources—easy to install but full of code that ages quickly. Outdated software is the prime target of malware.
Security patching regularly is essential, and changing plugins when they are no longer followed up by their developers is a must. The average number of plugins on a WordPress site varies. Most small businesses that come to us have about 20 to 30, which means that there are many potential security risks. No website is 100% secure, so having a plan that includes regular backups is important.
We offer a wide range of customised strategies for website security maintenance and can help you update your software and manage your site for you.
We can put in place the following good practices for you:
- Host your website on a secure managed server.
- Assess your plugins. Do you need them? Are they being regularly maintained by the developer? Are they up to date?
- Update all website software, including WordPress, plugins, and the theme. Not forgetting to update your PHP (carefully) as well.
- Remove any unused plugins and themes to reduce maintenance overheads (and speed up your website).
- Have a regular backup plan that includes storing a copy of your website files and database somewhere else, additional to storage on your web hosting server.
- Add fine-tuning website security plugins, like Wordfence.
- Ensure that your website has a valid SSL certificate, a padlock in the address bar of your browser, and your website address starts with “https” rather than “http”.
- Add Google ReCAPTCHA to your contact forms—it’s a free service that makes it difficult for bots to fill out your forms.
- Use Cloudflare to make it more resource intensive and costly for perpetrators to deploy hacking bots.