As the number of Canadians shopping online and internet usage continues to grow, so do the opportunities for cybercriminals.
In fact, a recent study by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) estimated that Canadians lost a total of CAD $230million to fraud in 2021, and that number is only expected to grow.
Want more stats?
- Over 40% of Canadians experienced a cyber security incident at the start of the pandemic
- Only 39% of Canadian organizations have been hit by ransomware
- 65% anticipate being hit with a ransomware attack
- More than 1 in 10 companies paid the ransom to attackers
…and it gets more depressing as you keep digging into the data😥.
With so much at stake, it is crucial now more than ever to make sure your website is as secure as possible.
In this guide, we will take you through some of the best practices you can implement now to keep you and your website safe.
The importance of website security in Canada
From the statistics we’ve sampled above, it is evident the number of cyber-attacks has increased dramatically in recent years.
Websites in Canada are now a prime target for hackers. This is because websites contain a vast amount of personal and financial information.
Hackers can use this information to steal identities, commit fraud, and even launch attacks on other systems.
Website security in Canada is therefore more important than ever.
a). Helps protects your customers’ information
As a website/business owner, it’s essential to keep your customers’ information safe. Website security is one way to do this.
By ensuring that your website is secure, you can protect your customers from identity theft and other online threats.
b). Helps keep your website from being hacked
Your website is vulnerable to attacks from hackers. They may exploit vulnerabilities in your website code or use phishing techniques to steal sensitive information. Website security measures can help protect your website and visitors from these threats.
For example, by ensuring your website code is up to date and free of vulnerabilities.
c). Prevents malware and viruses from infecting your website
Your website is vulnerable to attack from malware and viruses if you don’t take steps to secure it. Malware is malicious software that can infect your website and harm your visitors.
Viruses are similar to malware, but they can also spread from one website to another.
Once your site is infected, it can be easily taken down, which means lost business for you. Or worse, you lose sensitive data!
d). Comply with PCI DSS standards
If you own a website, you need to keep it secure to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). PCI DSS is a set of security standards that were created by major credit card companies in order to protect cardholders’ data.
There are 12 requirements that all merchants must meet in order to be compliant with PCI DSS. Some of these requirements include building and maintaining a secure network, protecting cardholder data, and maintaining a vulnerability management program.
If your website is not secure, you could be subject to fines, or even lose your ability to process credit card payments. In addition, your customers could lose trust in your business if their personal information is compromised.
Talking of trust, see the next reason why you should take website security seriously.
e). It Helps protects your reputation
If your website is hacked or compromised, it can damage your reputation and cost you customers. A secure website shows that you take security seriously and are committed to protecting your visitors’ information.
f). Website security in Canada saves you money
Don’t forget this: your website is like a digital storefront for your business. It is how you showcase your products and services to the world, and it is how you connect with your customers and build relationships.
And that is why website security is so important.
Investing in website security can save you a lot of money in the long run. Hackers are always looking for new ways to exploit vulnerabilities, and if they succeed in breaking into your website, it could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs, not to mention the damage to your reputation (see previous point).
Now, website security in Canada is an ongoing process, but there are some simple steps you can take to make your site more secure. Here are some of them.
Proven ways to keep your site safe
Keep your site updated
If you want to keep your website safe in Canada, start by keeping up with updates.
You see, outdated software can be exploited by hackers, so it’s crucial to keep everything up-to-date. This includes your content management system, plugins, themes, and anything else you might be using.
And that’s not all.
Turns out, keeping your site updated is also good for search engine optimization (SEO). Google and other search engines tend to favor sites that are well-maintained and frequently updated.
So if you want your site to rank well, make sure you are keeping everything fresh.
Use a strong password
When it comes to website security in Canada, a strong password can be the difference between keeping your site safe and leaving it vulnerable to attack.
I don’t know if you’ve figured this out yet: your password is the first line of defense against hackers and other cyber threats. A strong password is one that is difficult to guess or crack, and that means using a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Creating a strong password is the best way to protect your website from being hacked. Hackers are always looking for weak passwords that they can easily guess or crack, so it’s important to make yours as strong as possible. Here are some tips for creating a strong password:
- Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters.
- Avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your name.
- Make sure your password is at least 8 characters long.
Follow these tips to create a strong password that will be difficult for hackers to guess or crack.
Don’t use the same password for everything
I understand you have accounts everywhere. And who can remember all those passwords, right?
Well, using the same password for everything is a huge security risk. If one of your accounts is hacked, the hacker will have access to all of your other accounts.
And that’s why you should use a different password for each of your accounts.
To keep track of all your passwords, you can use a password manager. A password manager is a program that stores all your passwords in one place. All you need to remember is the master password for the password manager.
Personally, my favorite is LastPass.
Simple and comes with both a Chrome extension and a mobile app. This means as long as I have it installed, I don’t have to worry about remembering every password I have ever created.
If you use the same password for everything, change it now! It’s not too late to improve your security.
Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2-FA, is an extra layer of security that can be added to your website.
It works by requiring two different pieces of information in order to log in: something you know (like a password) and something you have (like a code sent to your phone).
How does it help keep your website safe?
Well, adding 2-FA to your website helps to protect it against unauthorized access, even if someone knows your password.
Even if a hacker has your password, they won’t be able to log in to your site without also having the code that is sent to your phone. This makes it much harder for someone to gain access to your website without permission.
And it is simple to implement. Install WordFence Security Plugin if you are using WordPress. And then activate 2-FA. Here, you can pair it with the Google Authenticator app.
Keep an eye on your site’s activity
Any website owner should keep a close eye on their site’s activity, both in terms of traffic and content. Too much or too little activity could be a sign that something is wrong.
For example, if you suddenly start getting a lot more traffic than usual, it could be a sign that your site has been hacked and is being used to redirect users to malware or phishing sites.
On the other hand, if your traffic drops precipitously, it could be an indication that your site has been blacklisted by Google or another major search engine.
In either case, you should investigate the situation as soon as possible to determine what’s going on and take steps to remedy the situation.
Regularly backing up your site’s data is also a good idea in case you need to restore it from scratch.
To do this, use tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to track your site’s traffic and look for any unusual activity. You can also use a tool like Sucuri SiteCheck to scan your site for malware and other security issues.
Back up your site regularly
Your website is like a car. It needs regular tune-ups to keep it running properly. Just like you wouldn’t drive your car for years without an oil change, you shouldn’t neglect your website.
But why should you back up your site regularly? And how can you do it?
Backing up your site regularly is crucial because it protects your content and helps you avoid losing valuable data. If something were to happen to your site, such as a hacker attack or a server crash, having a backup would allow you to restore your site quickly and easily.
Lucky for you, there are many ways to back up your site, but one of the simplest is to use a WordPress plugin like UpdraftPlus.
With just a few clicks, you can set up automatic backups and rest easy knowing that your site is safe.
Limit access to your website
There are a few good reasons to limit access to your website.
For one, it can help keep your site safe from malicious attacks. Secondly, it can help you control who has access to your site’s content. And lastly, it can help you manage your site’s bandwidth usage.
When it comes to safety, limiting access to your website can be a good way to protect it from being hacked. If only certain people have access to your site, then it’s less likely that someone will be able to exploit a security vulnerability.
You can achieve this by blocking specific countries from accessing your website (especially those who aren’t in your target market profile.)
As for content control, limiting access to your website can help you make sure that only the people who should see certain information have access to it.
For example, if you have sensitive customer data on your site, you might want to limit access to only those employees who need to see it.
Use a security plugin or service
There are many security plugins and services available. Some examples include Wordfence, Sucuri, and Cloudflare.
These plugins and services can help to protect your website from attacks by scanning for malware and blocking malicious traffic.
Using a security plugin or service is the best way to protect your website from online security threats. Choose a plugin or service that offers the features you need to keep your website safe.
Don’t click on links in email messages unless you are absolutely sure they are safe
Email messages are a common way for hackers to try to access your website.
They will send you an email that looks like it’s from a trusted source, with a link to click on. If you click on the link, it will take you to a malicious website that can infect your computer with malware or steal your personal information.
To protect your website, don’t click on links in email messages unless you are absolutely sure they are safe. If you’re not sure, you can hover over the link to see where it will take you before you click on it. You can also type the address into a new browser window to be sure you’re going to the right place.
If you do accidentally click on a malicious link, don’t panic. Close the browser window immediately and run a security scan on your computer.
As the number of cyber-attacks increases, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is secure. There are a few simple steps you can take to protect your site from hackers.
First, make sure your website is running the latest version of software and plugins. Outdated software is one of the most common ways hackers gain access to a website.
Second, use a strong password for your website and change it regularly. Third, don’t forget to back up your website regularly. This way if your site is hacked, you’ll be able to restore it quickly.
Finally, consider investing in security software like an SSL certificate or a Web Application Firewall.