19 Website Security Checklist to Secure Your Website from Hackers

Published On: December 1, 2015
Last Updated: March 15, 2023
19 Website Security Checklist to Secure Your Website from Hackers

Having an online presence through a website is highly essential in this digital era. With a website, businesses have a deal with the risk of hacking attempts, data miners, etc.

According to the Google Transparency Report, the total number of phishing websites has increased to 130.5% over the last three years. Every day, a vast number of websites are hacked over the internet. Due to this, businesses are searching for things like how to secure websites.

We have conducted thorough research and then compiled a website security checklist that you can follow to enhance the website’s security.

Here is the checklist of security measures to ensure the safety of your website with best practices.

Let’s look at the list in detail:

Choose Hosting from Trusted Source

The security of the site can be more reliable when it is hosted by a very trusted source. It is essential to have your website hosted by a trusted hosting service provider because they have the right mechanism to control or restrict any malicious intruders from entering the site and damaging it or accessing data stored in the site.

But, before you purchase any hosting from a popular firm such as hostinger, siteground, etc., you should check its review in google by entering a particular company name and then review.

Enable Firewall

Enabling the firewall would prevent unauthorized access to the website from a private computer network connected via the intranet.

The firewall can be implemented as software or hardware that can selectively identify and block any incoming information as per the filters in it. Thus, blocking any malware or malicious software that can harm the website.

Install SSL

Having an SSL on your website is yet another essential tip included in the website security checklist.

Here, SSL certificate does not make the website secure, but it secures the information that flows through the website.

This is mostly applicable to the website that has user sensitive data like financial data or identifies specific data like social security numbers.

The SSL certificate will encrypt any information that is fed into the website. In case the website is hacked, the information remains safe as the data cannot be decrypted without the encryption key.

However, every SSL certificate secures the website with strong encryption but each certificate does not match with website requirements. Lets understand this with a simple example: If the website has unlimited subdomains and main domain then, a discounted price or cheap wildcard SSL certificate can be enough. On the contrary, if the website has a single domain then, a site holder can choose any reputed single domain SSL from certificate authority or reseller.

File Permissions

This is one of the most popular website security tips that can help make a website more secure. It is crucial to ascertain the type of access that is permissible to a user, whether it is read and write access whereby the user can make changes to the website’s contents or read-only access whereby the user cannot add any data other than reading it.

File permission is a crucial aspect that makes a website secure. Defining permissions on file extensions on the site helps secure the content available on the site to a certain extent.

Always Keep a Backup

Backup data storage is a highly useful tip that you shouldn’t forget in the website security checklist. It is vital to overcoming any instances where the website may crash and lead to the loss of important information. Sometimes, due to a virus entering the website, it crashes, and all the information is lost.

Keeping a backup of the information will help in retrieving the data quickly. Files can also be configured using .nginx files or .config files where specific policies can be added that help improve the website’s overall security.

Separate Database for the File Server

Professionals suggest keeping different databases for web servers and database servers for enhanced security.

Seperate Database for the File Server

Even though the price of multiple servers might be more for small organizations, it will be beneficial in managing customer credentials and various other things.

Usage of Parameterized Query

There are attacks that occur on sites because of SQL injection when an attacker uses a URL to manipulate a place. This can be prevented by always using Parameterized queries, which are easy to implement in most languages.

Cross-check the Shared Information

While giving error information to users, you need to make sure that accidentally you are not sharing the secret information. It is always advisable not to provide exception details so that SQL injection can catch them and decipher what it means.

Also, proper validation is required, which should be done on the browser as well as the server-side to make the website secure as these can be bypassed, which could lead to malicious script affecting the website.

Connect the Server Properly

One needs to connect the server properly while setting up a website and always use SFTP or SSH. The majority of businesses also prefer SFTP over the classic FTP because it comes with many website security features.

Customize Your Site

Customizing your site is one of the most essential things in website security checklists. In order to make your website more secure, a customized admin page must be created so that the intruder is unable to access the website admin page because that is where most of the critical information is there.

XSS Cross-site Scripting Attacks

XSS vulnerabilities work just like the injection flaws because it enables attackers to inject malicious code.

Here for XSS, we are specially considering JavaScript injection. Moreover, JavaScript inserted by an attacker modifies content, inserts links to malicious websites, and sends originally hidden data back to the hacker, leading to a sensitive data leak.

Safeguard from DDoS Attacks

Protecting a website from DDoS Attacks is highly essential in a website security checklist.

Safeguard from DDoS Attacks

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack doesn’t require the internet. The primary purpose of DDoS is to take over the potential website or make it slow by increasing fake traffic.

Due to this traffic, servers get stopped, taking the entire website offline and offering security vulnerabilities for hackers to insert malicious code. As soon as your website gets down for a specific time, it adversely impacts reputation.

DDoS attacks are one of its kinds of danger, which every website owner should understand in detail. Any time a DDoS attack reaches a resource-intensive endpoint; still, minimal traffic can be responsible for a successful attack.

To protect your website from DDoS attacks, you need to utilize the best hosting provider. A reputable hosting provider conducts pen testing, which is an effective way to test vulnerabilities and continuous network monitoring.

Choice of Passwords

One of the website security best practices is the protection of a password. The password that is chosen for a website should be strong enough so that nobody can decipher it.

Security algorithms help a great deal in securing your passwords and making it a hard nut to crack. If you have a website, it should have built-in website security and ready-made login credentials for password settings and reset extra carefully.

Also, one needs to make sure that during file uploads, it is seen that specific permissions have been incorporated in the file so that an unknown person cannot decipher it.

Avoid Multiple Users

Another critical factor to investigate in a web security checklist is whether your website has numerous user logins? If it does, one needs to make sure that the admin knows each user and that every user is assigned specific permissions to access a website.

Usage of HTTP/2

In HTTP, the information flows in one direction, while in HTTP/2, the information flows in two directions. Due to this, the time required to send data from server and client and vice versa are less.

HTTP/2 helps in quick data exchange, and also https is instantly enabled. Moreover, Google provides websites an organic boost in the SEO to the sites that are using HTTP/2.

SQL Injections

Structured Query Language (SQL) injection is a well-known method of hacking websites. In this method, the attacker injects a misleading code in a SQL query. Due to this attack, the database query would be changed and display the information needed by the hacker, rather than information a website anticipated.

Moreover, attackers also obtain usernames and passwords present in the database if a person hasn’t focused on this external website security in the first place.

Always Update CMS

Many web applications are easy to install like Joomla, WordPress, Magento, etc. These applications are very user-friendly and would automatically remind the user about the next update it is coming. The process to keep it updated is relatively easy.

One of the useful website security measures is updating your application to the latest version to avoid hacking through the previous version’s loopholes.

Block Brute Force Attacks

Some primary ways to attack websites are getting access to the admin area, control panel, or SFTP server.

Block Brute Force Attacks

The process of brute force attacks is highly focused in which the attackers mainly program a script to use various combinations to find the login credentials that work.

Integrate a Reliable Payment System

If you accept payments online, then integrate the best payment service providers available in the market like PayPal or Stripe. By combining these reliable payment systems, your customers will feel more secure at the time of checkout.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you have got an answer to the question, how to secure my website. By following the website security checklist, you can increase the protection of your website.

If you want to integrate any of these security tips into your website, don’t hesitate to share your details with us. At GuruTechnoLabs, a custom website development company, we will understand all the concerns of your website and enhance your site’s security by using different methods.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.