Website Security – Why Is It Important?

Many people know about the importance of having anti-virus software on a personal computer. It is common knowledge that viruses are often distributed via email. But fewer people consider that their website may also be a vulnerable area of their business. This is something that you need to be aware of, especially if your website is hosted on a shared server.

How the Security of Shared Hosting Affects Your Website

The security of a shared server is generally similar for all the websites it hosts. The hosting provider should have a basic level of anti-virus and anti-spyware installed on the server. You can then boost this by having additional security installed on your website. One of the risks on a shared server is that if one website is vulnerable and gets affected by a virus, this can easily spread to other websites on the server. You could have top-quality protection on your website but still be exposed to a level of risk because of the setup of a shared server.

Are Some Types of Websites More Vulnerable than Others?

Some websites are more attractive to hackers and fraudsters than others. E-commerce websites that take customer details and payments are at particularly high risk. This is why you see a security certificate displayed on every reputable e-commerce website. These are added measures that use encryption as a way of protecting the customer information once it has been logged in to the site. In truth, no one can accurately predict why someone will try to hack into or infect your website. Often people who create viruses select random victims or simply code the virus to wreak as much damage as possible as it infiltrates the Internet.

Who Cares About Your Website Security?

Your website security affects more than just your business. As a starting point, you need to consider your customers. How will it appear if your website is prone to attacks by viruses? It will reflect that you do not take security seriously and have not taken measures to prevent it from happening. If you have an e-commerce website, your security is of the utmost importance. If your security is compromised, it could result in lost customers. No one will want to shop on a site if their personal and credit card details are not going to be kept secure. Your website often also represents the public face of your organization. If it is compromised then it could affect your business image adversely.

What Are the Most Common Security Risks?

It used to be that a virus was your major concern. If it got into your files, it could corrupt or destroy your data. Today, hackers are getting increasingly inventive. You now need to be aware of Trojans, worms, malware, and spyware. Malware and spyware are programs that attach themselves to your system and then simply watch or record what you do. The risk is that your personal information could be exposed. Your banking and home address details could be passed on to criminals who could then target you. Criminals could use the information they gather in any number of ways to further their agenda. It could also affect the safety of friends, family, or employees.

What Types of Security Should You Have in Place?

For a start, you should choose a web hosting provider that is conscientious about server security. You can quickly establish this by asking a few basic questions regarding the security that they have in place on the server. How often do they update it? How often do they run scans? How do they maintain the server so security remains tight? As a basic protocol, they should have firewalls in place. They should also have anti-virus and anti-spyware software in place.

In addition, you can maintain a separate security center for your website where you run regular scans and updates. If you have an e-commerce website then your e-commerce software often comes with encryption technology. You will usually have a merchant account that facilitates your shopping cart and payment facility. Most merchant accounts have built-in security to ensure the integrity of the system. They use encryption methodologies among other processes to securely store and transfer customer and transaction information. You should be able to get a security certificate from your merchant services provider. This will then inform your customers that your e-commerce website maintains a high level of security.

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