A Factor You Can’t Ignore in Web Design Anymore
With the astronomical number of websites being built every minute (over 1.5 million when millforbusiness.com reported on it in January 2019), there are more opportunities for hackers than ever before.
How does it impact you?
Whether you’re an employee in a large corporation or an online business owner, you have a responsibility to your website visitors to do whatever you can to protect them from cyberattacks while on your site.If you aren’t a “techy” person, the thought of having to know the backend workings of your site in order to protect your customers and yourself, can be overwhelming and intimidating.
That’s why it can be helpful to hire a web designer to help you cover all your bases.
But if you want to be more in-the-know before seeking help, then this blog post is for you.
Protecting your clients and prospective clients
One of the most concerning aspects is the potential of putting your client’s data at risk. When you have to collect their data in order to compete with other companies and offer better, more personalized service to consumers — it makes for a difficult situation — one that business owners, marketers and consumers have a vested interest in solving.
As you may already know, personal website visitor data can be collected through cookies, consent forms and scripts.
With that, we saw the first piece of legislation being established in the EU to protect that data. The goal was to strengthen data privacy through stricter rules and tougher enforcement measures. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enforced effective May of 2018.
Although this applies to the EU only at this point (and those collecting, processing, storing and using data from people residing in the EU), it prompted many in the U.S. to take similar precautions as it’s likely to become a requirement here as well. Plus, it’s a responsible way to do business.
A few more ways to incorporate protection measures include:
• Providing clear user notices
• Stating why information is being requested and how it will be used
• Collecting only necessary data
• Providing a secure website (Does your site have “https” in the URL? If not, visitors will see “Not Secure,” which isn’t the message you want to send)
• A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, especially for any website collecting payment
• Giving website visitors the option to accept, refuse, or opt-out of data usage (can come in the form of pop-ups when they arrive on your site or just-in-time notices right before they fill out a form)
• Updating your admin password regularly and putting stringent password requirements in place for people logging in to your site
• Automatically ending expired sessions
• Regularly scanning devices for malware
Smaller companies could be at even greater risk
Some have the misconception that hackers only “go after” the large companies who’ve collected a lot of data, but that’s not the case. Small businesses can be the most vulnerable to cyberattacks. Quick Sprout reported that 50,000 websites get hacked every day and 43% of cybercrimes are against small businesses. Small business owners may be creating their own websites and likely don’t have their own IT departments to monitor website security. Those are just two ways that make them wide open targets for cybercriminals.
So, what are your responsibilities?
One of the best actions you can take is to work with a reputable web designer. They can help you make sure your website is maintained, anti-malware is installed, regular backups are performed, customer info is encrypted and website applications, plugins, themes and other software are updated regularly.
Fighting hackers right and left
Bigdropinc.com reported in 2018 that about 200 cyberattacks happen every hour. Not only can you lose sales because of this, but you could be completely put out of business. This is not something you want to mess around with — it’s your livelihood we’re talking about.
According to SiteLock, “Your website is 1.5 times more likely to be compromised if —
• It’s powered by WordPress
• Links to Facebook and Twitter
• Links to Twitter and you have 100-500 followers
• It has 1 to 5 plugins
Make sure your website design helps protect your visitor’s data that they’ve entrusted to you.
Concerned customers are your reality
There’s no getting around it, your prospective customers are wary of cyber threats — and with good reason.
According to this article, since 2018, 23% of Americans have been victims of cybercrimes.
Other shocking stats from the article include:
• As of July 2019, 26.6 million websites have been hacked.
• 41% of companies don’t have protection of over 1,000 of their sensitive files
If you’re going to be in business and have a website (pretty sure that’s you), it’s critical that you weigh the costs of adding security measures with the weight on your conscious. Cost is a huge concern, as this article points out — “companies will suffer a loss of about $2 trillion in 2019 due to data breaches.”
In today’s digital world, you have the reach and the power to change many people’s lives by offering your products and services online. But with great power, comes great responsibility.
We can’t take down hackers as frequently as we wish we could, but did you know that 95% of cybersecurity attacks are the result of human error? It could be forgetting to update something on your site, or not understanding how to request your website visitor’s permission to collect their data, or simply failing to back up your website.
Don’t let this be you. Reach out to us here at DWebware and we’ll help make sure you can protect and serve your clients.