There are many different ways to go about website security, but building your website correctly from the ground up is crucial. But how can you do this if you have zero experience and a tight budget? Using a secure website builder like Wix or HostGator is an excellent starting point.
In this article, we’ll look at the 10 most important reasons why website security is essential and why you shouldn’t leave yours to chance.
1. To Protect Your Customers’ Data
The first and most important reason to make sure your website is secure is your responsibility to protect your customers and their data.
If you have a website where visitors can make a purchase, create an account, or upload data or files, you need to make sure you’re able to keep their data secure at all times. In the case of a security breach, you risk exposing your customers’ personal and financial information, which can erode your reputation and even expose you to hefty fines.
2. To Protect Your Own Data and Assets
Maintaining a secure and up-to-date website helps you protect your data and assets, including your personal and business information, confidential data, and even hardware.
Your hardware can also take a hit if your website gets compromised. Your own computer or servers could become infected with a virus that spreads to other machines, you could become the victim of a ransomware attack, or your hardware could become unusable.
3. To Ensure Continuous Uptime
Website downtime could lead to a loss of revenue and erode confidence in your brand. If a customer wants to visit your website only to find it unreachable, they’ll immediately see this as a bad sign, even if it is resolved quickly.
Maintaining continuous uptime doesn’t only depend on website security, of course. In your operations, you’re always dependent on external providers that occasionally experience downtimes, such as your hosting provider, CMS, or even website builder platform. And as we all know, even the biggest websites like Facebook or Netflix cannot maintain 100% uptime!
But this is exactly why you need to be laser-focused on website security and do everything in your control to prevent service disruptions. You also need to be picky about choosing your hosting provider, website builder, and plugins; only work with the best ones on the market.
4. To Protect Against Malicious Redirects
It’s crucial to prevent downtimes, but it’s even more important to guard your website against security breaches that redirect visitors to another website.
Malicious redirects could either redirect users to:
- Another site that looks almost exactly like yours (i.e., a clone) with the purpose of stealing personal and financial information
- An unrelated website that could infect their computers with malware
5. To Build Trust and Credibility
Maintaining excellent security helps build trust and credibility. If your users see that you’re applying web security best practices, they’ll be much more likely to purchase from you, sign up for your newsletter, follow your social media accounts, and so on.
In other words, the security of your website helps your customers trust you and enables you to build strong relationships with them.
6. To Maintain Your Reputation and Brand Image
Do you want your business to be perceived as trustworthy, customer-oriented, and providing high-quality products or services? If so, security shouldn’t be an afterthought; it should be on the top of your priority list.
In the case of a security breach, your reputation and brand image are on the line, and if the damage is big, you might never be able to recover from it fully. The best way to safeguard your reputation and your brand? Investing in your website’s security and protecting it from hackers.
7. To Protect Against a Loss of Revenue
One of the most serious consequences of your website’s security being compromised is the resulting loss of revenue. This can happen in a few different ways:
- If your website becomes unavailable, you lose website traffic and potential customers.
- If you fail to safeguard your payments system against credit card fraud, this might result in refund requests.
- If your customers’ data becomes exposed, some of them might request a refund, even for otherwise legitimate orders.
- If your reputation is compromised, customers will simply prefer to do business with your competitors.
8. To Avoid Being Blacklisted (And Losing Traffic)
If the security of your website is compromised even temporarily, you risk getting blacklisted or quarantined by Google. Essentially, this means that visitors will receive a warning that your website is unsafe, advising them not to visit it.
Even if you resolve the issue swiftly, you don’t know exactly how long it will take for the security warning to be lifted, so your best strategy is prevention rather than remediation by:
- Using a secure website builder
- Using strong passwords
- Using HTTPS instead of HTTP
- Keep your website and all plugins up to date
- Use encryption for any sensitive data
9. To Be More Competitive
Maintaining an excellent website security track record will help you stay competitive and improve business performance.
If your competitors are sloppy with their website security, investing in yours helps you stand out and attract more customers. If everyone in your niche maintains the same high security standards, your security needs to be on par with others to help you measure up.
10. Prevention Is Cheaper Than Damage Control
This might sound obvious, but we’re often oblivious to it before we experience a major security scare. Prevention is always cheaper and more efficient than damage control.
And don't be so sure you’d be able to identify a security breach immediately. According to IBM, data breaches take an average of 287 days to identify and manage.
So, instead of running after fires to extinguish them, make sure you have a robust fire prevention system in place. In fact, website security doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, the best website builders for small businesses have solid security measures in place and cater even to budget-conscious business owners.
Website Security Should Be a Top Priority, Not an Afterthought
Implementing website security best practices gives you peace of mind. It also helps you make sure that you’ve done everything in your control to keep your and your customers’ data safe and protect your assets, revenue, and reputation. Without it, you're opening your customers and business up to unnecessary and potentially dangerous risks.