One of the most important things when developing a website for a local business is ensuring visitors are safe on your site.

Safe websites, as indicated by a lock or shield icon in the search bar on most major web browsers, such as Chrome and Safari, are more likely to draw visitors to them because they rank higher on search engines.

Not to mention, people are more reluctant to go on your site if it is unsecure because they don’t want to risk getting their personal information and data stolen or tracked. Additionally, many computer or phone security and virus detection programs automatically force a website not to load if it isn’t secure.

Website security is a must if you run a small or mid-sized local business. Continue learning about what it means to secure your website by reading ahead.

Why is website security so important?

Cybersecurity is a quickly advancing field, thanks to the expanded role of the digital economy and the ever-evolving web landscape. To face threats from hackers globally, cybersecurity businesses have developed various types of software and obtained teams of expert hackers and coders to test their security programs.

An efficient hack or data breach on a website can cost a business millions upon billions of dollars. Your clients will not be happy if their personal information is stolen.

In fact, small businesses are more likely to be attacked by hacks, scams, and bots because oftentimes they work on tight budgets and are not aware of the importance of creating a secure website for consumers.

What types of information can be stolen from an unsecure website?

The types of information that can be stolen from an unsecure website ultimately depend on how the website is used. An eCommerce site will deal with different kinds of threats than a media site or blog.

5 Common Types of Information That Can Be Stolen from an Unsecure Website

  • Personal information of you and your site visitors, such as date of birth, name, home and IP address, social security number (SSN), and more.
  • Passwords
  • Credit card and banking information
  • Photos, videos, and other files on your computer
  • WiFi information and history

What types of attacks should you be prepared for?

If your local business operates a website, have security protection software and protocols for the following attacks:

Malware. This is the most common type of cyberattack, where a virus steals data from your computer through fake software.

Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack. This happens when your web servers are flooded with too much traffic, causing them to shut down or slow down.

Insider Threats. It is an attack done by an insider or a malignant employee that wants to steal or shut down your website for personal reasons.

Man-in-the-Middle. It happens when someone steals information and data by eavesdropping the user-server communication.

Phishing. It happens when someone who doesn’t work for your company sends an email to consumers under your business’s name in the hopes of obtaining personal information.

SQL Injection Attack. It happens when a hacker hacks into a database website and injects malicious code to manipulate information.

Stealing Passwords. It is done through brute force because of weak passwords, dictionary attacks, and keylogger attacks.

Watering Hole. It happens when a group targets your website specifically by uploading malware onto your systems.

Zero-Day Exploit. It occurs when a website announces a system failure to users, giving hackers room to attack before an error or bug is fixed.

More targeted attacks can lead to your site’s visitors losing control over certain aspects of their devices. Remote hacks can give unwanted people the ability to control your webcam, mouse, and more.

How can local businesses prevent cyberattacks?

Your website must have an SSL

Local businesses can protect their websites from cyberattacks by installing an SSL certificate on their server.

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol is run on a website’s server to encrypt the information shared between a website and a visitor. There are both free and paid SSL certificates.

Many of the cyber attacks listed earlier become impossible or much harder to do if you have an SSL certificate installed.

Local businesses can also choose to run a Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol installed, which is a better version of an SSL.

TLS protocols ensure that no one is tampering with, stealing from, or hacking into conversations or information sharing. TLS protocols are used in communication software (email, social media, and instant messaging) and most frequently in HTTPS sites.

How does website security affect visibility on search engines?

Websites that have frequent security breaches run the risk of getting blacklisted by Google and other search engines. Even if your website does not have frequent security breaches, it will be poorly ranked without an SSL license.

More secure websites also have a faster connection because search engines take less time to verify information on the site. This will help improve traffic from organic search as well as paid ads.

Lastly, site visitors with security programs will not be blocked from your websites if it is secured with an SSL certificate.

See also: 5 Crucial Elements of Designing a New Website

If you run a local business and are looking for a team of expert web professionals and designers to build or revamp your website, contact Klout 9 for a free consultation.

Our website development team in Lafayette, LA, will develop your website with security and search engines in mind. Web hacks can come at any time, so don’t wait and secure your website today.

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