Cybersecurity Considerations When Building Your Own Website

By Zachary Amos •  Updated: 06/06/22 •  5 min read

A lot of work goes into building your own website. Doing it yourself brings many benefits, whether creating one for yourself or your client. However, you may be in danger of security risks by not using a third-party site.

What cybersecurity practices should you be thinking about when building your site? Here are a few tips on what you should be paying attention to.

Reasons to Build Your Own Website

Though it takes effort, creating a website yourself has some great positives.

Having your own site will save you money if you’re using your website to sell products or services. Facebook and Instagram charge fees when you use their platforms to sell merchandise. Additionally, you might pay for a monthly or yearly subscription to whichever design site you choose.

You’ll forgo these selling and subscription fees when you create your site. You will still have to pay an enterprise to host your website, but cutting down on the extra spending is helpful. You’ll also have much more of an artistic license. Most website-building platforms have pre-made templates with potential costs for advanced features. Crafting your own site gives you full liberty to design precisely the way you want.

The extra security you can add and customize is one of the best benefits of making your own website. In addition to the limitless style choices, boosting your site with safety precautions on top of those your host offers will benefit you in the long run. More people use the internet for business, and there is also an increase in cybercrime. Clients and customers will appreciate the extra effort you make to keep their data safe.

How to Keep Your Website Secure

Once you’ve chosen to make your website, you need to look into how to make it as safe as possible. There’s a lot of information about cybersecurity, but here are five best practices to get you started.

  1. Secure Socket Layer

The first step to creating a safe website is utilizing a secure socket layer (SSL). These work by encrypting data in two ways to protect a customer’s name, address and credit card information. Using an SSL is essential for transaction security. A verifiable digital certificate lets customers browse your website knowing their information is protected. Also, you need to have a safe way to transfer data to comply with Payment Card Industry regulations.

  1. A Safe Host

It’s also vital to find a dependable website host. Do your research about hosts and their security protocols because cybercrime can affect anyone. In January of 2022, the Red Cross discovered it had been the victim of a significant data breach the previous year. Hackers targeted its third-party data storage in Switzerland. Pay attention to who is hosting and storing if your site transmits sensitive information.

  1. Strong Passwords

It seems simple, but it bears emphasizing. Verizon found that 37% of data breaches were caused by weak or hijacked passwords in 2021. It also discovered that cyberattacks on web-based applications rose to 43% last year — and hackers used stolen credentials in 80% of these events. Whoever has access to your website needs to be using a fortified password to access it. Breaches like this occur at an alarming rate and you need to make sure you’re protected. A good password is the first step.

  1. Two-Factor Authentication

In addition to a strong password, consider using two- or multifactor authentication for your site. This will help add extra security to your passwords. Require anyone attempting access to verify their information through multiple channels. This will reduce potential hacks to your website and any customers you may have. Google offers coding instructions on how to build in SMS authentication if you’re looking to add this to your website.

  1. Safety Among Peers

Keep usernames and passwords confidential from each other if you’re working with multiple people to build and maintain a site. Ensure they are not included in emails. Phishing scams are still working at an incredibly high rate, and hackers could gain access to any credentials if you’ve shared them in writing or saved them onto the affected computer. Limit access to your login information to increase security and be readily able to identify where a potential breach came from.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are becoming increasingly popular among website developers. They can adapt to threats more efficiently than humans. ML analyzes users and their behavior to identify anomalies that may be threats. AI can make decisions on fixing vulnerabilities, saving you time on finding and repairing the problem. They act as preventive and active security measures, locating coding errors and prohibiting malicious activity.

Build Your Website Safely

Creating a website is an incredible undertaking. You have complete control over every aspect of your design and marketing, as well as security. Adding extra safeguards will protect yourself and anyone else who accesses your site. Consider these ideas for improved cybersecurity when building your site.

Zachary Amos

Zachary is a tech writer and the features editor of ReHack Magazine where he covers cybersecurity and all things technology.