Almost every organization, business, and government bodies currently own a website. It is the owners’ responsibility to ensure users’ security. Hackers and other cybercriminals are looking for websites that do not implement security measures to get any vulnerabilities and perform attacks like malware and ransomware. Owners also need to ensure the site’s structure and whiteSEO practice, which can help them to increase their search results ranking (SEO).
An insecure site will cost you visitors, leading to higher bounce rates that affect your website traffic. You can implement several security practices on your website to ensure it ranks higher on search engines.
Website Security Impact on SEO
There are higher cases of cybersecurity crimes recently, with hackers targeting website owners. Every owner should treat security as an important factor and give it more time it deserves. SEO processes and practices take a long time to implement, and it could cost you if hackers access your website details. In a few minutes, they will bring down everything you built over the years.
In some cases, many SEO specialists know it takes time to build links from reputable sites. After hackers realize what you gained, the links and your website have better authority. They will try to access your site and add links directing your clients to spam websites to steal more data or spread their malicious files.
If the hackers add spam links, do not add value to the users. All search engines will treat your content as invaluable, dropping you from the search engine results (SERP). Search engines will penalize you, and users will get warnings from browsers when they visit your site.
Hackers can also delete all your website links and change them to other HTTP codes like 404 status meaning there will be errors all over your website. When Google Bot and other crawling bots try to crawl your website, they will find the missing content, and if the errors persist for some time. You will lose all your positions on search engines, leading to low traffic.
You can also lose some vital information to hackers like Bing Webmasters and Google search consoles, which you use to submit your URLs to search engines, check performance, check crawling, indexing, inspection, etc. It makes you start afresh, and sometimes you may be hit, as someone else already owns your website.
Search engines can blacklist you from search engines to protect the users from being attacked by hackers. It normally happens when hackers manage to add different malicious code into your site that pushes your users to take more actions like purchasing something, being directed to phishing sites, and distributing malware and ransomware to more people.
Getting your site back to rankings is one of the hardest tasks. It takes a lot of time, and you may never have the chance you had earlier with search engines. Being secure will help you avoid all these scenarios.
SSL: An Inevitable Security
The first thing to secure your website is to ensure you use HTTPS protocols. When designing any website, be it for a service, ecommerce, or personal brand. Ensure that you get an SSL certificate from well-known SSL providers and install it on your site. SSL certificates can be either multi domain SSL, wildcard SSL or a single domain SSL. You can get a low priced or cheap SSL certificate from providers like SSL2buy.com, Comodo, AlphaSSL, DigiCert, Sectigo,and GlobalSign.
Once you have an SSL installed, it provides your site with an HTTPS connection where all requests on your website are encrypted. All the data moving between the clients and servers is safe from hackers. Once Google and other search engines notice you using an SSL, they will treat your website as secure and truthful.
Other important security steps
There are several steps to ensure your website is secure. Most of the steps are simple to follow and easier to implement. Many owners can fear that the processes are complex, but that is not the case. The steps are as follows:
1. Using updated software and plugins
Ensure the software you used to build your website is up to date. It eliminates patches and flaws that hackers can use to penetrate your website to find any vulnerabilities. For CMS users, ensure the plugins are up-to-date to avoid security concerns. You can implement auto update on your site in several ways but ensure it does not crush your site. For WordPress users, you can use security plugins like Wordfence to protect your site.
2. User Access, Privileges, and Permissions
Limit those who can access your website data like files and passwords. Limiting them prevents the chances of having a vulnerability on your site. Most employers do not think about security when using your site and it is a good practice to have limits. You can also control the permission on the server files.
3. Strong Password Policy
Have a strong password policy where your password must meet certain characters, and you change it after a certain period. A strong password should be at least more than ten characters, uppercase characters, lowercase characters, numbers, and special characters like commas and full stop. Avoid using the same password on different accounts. It gives hackers an easier time cracking your password.
4. Perform pen testing
If you have a good budget, ensure you conduct different security scans to find any vulnerabilities. You can perform these scans by creating a schedule on how to conduct them. You can hire a freelancer to do it for you or a specialist to be on your team. You can work with several pen-testing tools.
5. Backup your data
Ensure you have a backup policy for your website. Backups will help you respond to issues faster and restore your site to normalcy. You can get your website files from the backup if there are server or site issues. You can use automatic backup software like eBackupper for regular updates.
Every site owner and developer is responsible for ensuring all the websites are safe and secure. It will protect you from malicious hackers with other intentions about your site. It is good to put in proper measures to counter any cybercrime you detect. Website security plays an important role in website traffic as users would like to interact with the site in a positive way.