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How to Perform a Website Security Audit

Web Security18 April 2018
How to perform website security audits

As cyber-attacks and hacking become more and more common on the Internet, businesses have to start working harder to ensure the security of their online presence. One of the best ways to ensure the overall safety of a website is to perform a website security audit. Performing website security audits allows businesses to find any flaws in the website and fix them before potential threats can cause harm.

At FirstPage Marketing, our team of Internet marketing professionals understand how important website security audits are. That is why we offer a wide range of digital marketing services, including SSL Certificate Implementation, for creating more secure websites.

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How to Perform a Website Security Audit

While the majority of website security audits are dependent on the setup and infrastructure of a website, there are some basic steps that can be taken to make any website more secure. Some of the basic steps include:

1. Keep Software, Applications & Plugins Updated

Since hackers often look for out-of-date versions of software, applications, and plugins to take advantage of vulnerabilities on a website, it is important to ensure that everything is kept updated. This means that, as soon as you receive a notification about an update, you should make the time to install the update as soon as possible.

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2. Use Strong Passwords

While creating a strong password might seem like an obvious way to help keep websites secure, most people tend to use passwords that have meaning to them, such as the names of pets or spouses. When choosing a password for your personal account, other users’ accounts, hosting dashboards, and FTP access, consider using a password generator tool to create a complex password that is near impossible to crack.

3. Add an SSL Certificate

Indicated by the “https” at the beginning of a URL, SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates are an important part of ensuring a website’s safety. This is because SSL certificates work to encrypt any information going between a website and a user’s browser, providing users with peace of mind that the website is secure. As of July 2018, Google’s Chrome Browser will mark all websites that do not have an SSL Certificate as non-secure. Not only will an SSL Certificate help to keep your website secure, it has been rumoured to also add a boost to search engine rankings.

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4. Use Secure Shell Protocol (SSH)

When backing up a website or grabbing files manually using FTP, consider using SSH (Secure Shell Protocol) to help secure remote login when connecting from a computer to a server. The SSH protocol uses encryption and several layers of authentication to prevent anyone from getting a hold of the files as they are being publicly transferred.

5. Keep a Website Backup

Keeping a website backup is one of the most important things that any website owner can do because it allows you to recover quickly in the event of a cyber-attack, while also preventing the loss of all your work. Backing up a website is a simple task that can easily be performed by the website’s hosting company.

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6. Perform a Security Scan

Another simple step that any website owner can take is to perform regular security scans of the website. Proper security scans will check the website for any known malware, website errors, out-of-date software, etc., allowing you to keep your website up to date and as secure as possible.

While performing a website security audit can be challenging for some website owners, partnering with a digital marketing company can go a long way in ensuring the overall security of your website. At FirstPage Marketing, we offer a wide range of digital marketing services that are designed to keep websites secure. If you would like to learn more about performing website security audits, or if you are interested in one of our services (Internet marketing, print marketing, marketing strategy, and website design and development, please contact us today.

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