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How to keep your website safe

Small businesses often rely on their websites to bring them business. It’s really important to protect your website so it can’t be compromised.

Tips to protect your website

Your business website is one of your greatest assets, and if it’s compromised it can be really disruptive to business. CERT NZ has some tips on what you can do to protect your website, and keep the data it holds safe.

Protect your website (external link) — CERT NZ

Make sure your website is secure

If your website or pages within your website start with HTTP, they’re not secure. This is a risk to you and your customers, especially if your customers enter data or payment details on your website.

If a webpage starts with HTTPS, it means the page you’re on is secure, and all communications sent between the browser (the application used to access the internet) and your website are encrypted, and much harder to intercept.

You should use HTTPS on all the pages within your website, and on the pages you use to update your content too.

Benefits of using HTTPS (external link)  — CERT NZ

Set automatic software updates and domain renewal

Software needs to be updated regularly as holes in security are identified and plugged. Setting your software to update automatically removes the risk that this task could fall off your to-do list.
It’s also a good idea to set your domain to renew automatically. That way your ownership of the domain won’t expire, and no one else can buy it. Scammers have been known to buy expired domains and take advantage of the website address to set up their own scam website.

Regularly backup your site

Regular backups are really handy if anything goes wrong, like your website being compromised or being hit with ransomware (a type of malicious software that denies a user access to their website, files or system until they pay a ransom).

Make sure you backup your content pages as well as the data your website holds, like customer databases.

If you don’t know how to backup your website, contact your provider and ask for backups to be run automatically.

Back up your website (external link)  — CERT NZ

Check your website regularly

Keep an eye on your website to make sure there’s nothing out of place or odd on it.

If you notice content you didn’t put there, there’s a chance someone else might have accessed your website and is using it to host bad content.

If you notice your sales have dropped off, you might want to check your website hasn’t been modified to send payments elsewhere.

If you think your website has been compromised, or you’re just not sure…

If you are having a cyber security issue, CERT NZ can help you identify the issue and let you know the steps you can take to resolve it. Their reporting tool steps you through the issue and helps you figure out what’s going on.

Report an issue (external link)  — CERT NZ

Do you have more questions about keeping your website safe?

Do you have more questions about keeping your website safe?

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