Cyber Attack. For many of us, these two little words is just something that happens to big corporations, but the inconvenient truth is that anyone with a website is at risk of being attacked. As hackers and malware bots get more and more advanced, the need for cybersecurity becomes additionally more important. Keep reading to learn why you should be updating your website security, and how.

  1. It gives your customers peace of mind

Computer viruses work just like human ones: they spread from one computer or website to the next, and once the virus takes charge there’s really no stopping it. By adding additional security measures to your website, like a SSL certificate, your customers will feel more confident in giving you their information – like their name and credit card information – over the web than they would with a less secure site.

2. You protect your brand reputation

There’s nothing worse than having to send out an email or press release telling your customers you’ve been hacked, and we hope you never have to do it. And data breaches are becoming more and more common with larger companies, they also have a highly trained public relations team to mitigate any negative damage. For the average small business owner, who typically wears many hats, having negative publicity could be detrimental to any existing or potential business.

3. Prevents any monetary loss

We’re not just talking about hackers stealing your bank or credit card information, although that is certainly a risk you take by not updating your cybersecurity. We’re also talking about all of the costs associated with removing the malware, viruses, or even paying the hacker’s ransom fees. According to Forbes, in 2020 the average cost associated with a ransomware attack was $1.85 million – which makes paying for website security sound much more affordable.

4. You prevent your website from getting Blacklisted

Ever heard of Google Blacklist? As the world’s number-one search engine, Google takes extra care in making sure the results they show are safe and relevant. That’s why Google also has an internal database where they ‘blacklist’ sites that they have deemed unsafe: like when one of Google’s bots detects malicious code, or finds hidden links that go to malicious sites.

Sure, there’s other search engines that may not have blacklisted your website, but for many websites, being blacklisted means they lost a large amount of the organic (unpaid) traffic to their site, along with and revenue that was associated with that traffic. Can you afford to take that risk?

If you’re curious on whether Google has already blacklisted your site, check out the Google Transparency Report and enter your web address into the Check Site Status search field. If you find out you were blacklisted, follow the steps here.

5. It gives YOU peace of mind

There’s a reason we love set-and-forget tools: while things are working silently in the background, we are able to focus on the things that matter: like running your business! Your busy enough managing everything else, that a constant worry about a cyber attack should not be also taking up a to-do action item. With proper cybersecurity tactics in place, you can keep working with peace of mind.

Steps you should take to secure your website

One of the easiest ways to secure your website is to make sure that you’re always downloading the latest version of software your website provider has to offer. Most times, the website provider pushes the update out automatically, so there’s nothing to do on your end. However, for WordPress users, stats show that 39% of websites used an outdated WordPress version!

Another easy way to make your site more secure is by purchasing a SSL certificate, which will switch your URL from http:// to https://. There are all sorts of SSL certificate providers, and they range in cost based on what tier you’re looking to achieve (for example, the basic SSL certification requires only an email authentication on your end). Google has an in-depth checklist to securing your site with HTTPS here.

Finally, make sure you install a firewall for your site. As a whole, a firewall won’t impact any regular visits your customers make to your site. Rather, the firewall will work 24/7 to scall the incoming traffic to determine what level of risk the visitor is: whether they’re a customer, or a spam bot.

Regardless of the ‘how’ you secure your website, the important thing to remember is that you are taking steps to keep your – and your customers – information safe. For more information on cybersecurity and how you can take to secure your website, check out GoDaddy’s security recommendations here.