When you’re building an author website, the tech experts at Web Design Relief know many writers would rather think about choosing color schemes and fonts than about installing security plugins and anti-malware software. But web safety should be a top priority for any website! You wouldn’t want to visit a website that leaves itself open to malware or exposes your personal information—and neither would the visitors to your author website. Keep yourself and your fans safe and avoid these security mistakes on your author website.
Security Mistakes To Avoid On Your Author Website
Choosing a weak password
Are you using the same password for everything from your email address to online shopping? While it may be easy to remember this well-used password, it can be a major security risk for your author website and make you vulnerable to hackers. A strong password includes numbers, symbols, capital letters, lowercase letters, and is at least twelve characters in length. Our security pros recommend using two-factor authentication on your author website.
Allowing every comment
There is a reason why most content management systems like WordPress include the option to moderate comments: The comment section on your blog or other web pages can be a hot spot for phishing attempts. Rather than publishing every comment in hopes of boosting your overall comment count, you should send sketchy comments to spam.
What does a suspicious comment look like? Comments that include suspicious hyperlinks, make no reference to your content, attempt to sell something, or have been posted by someone with a randomly generated username or email address are all red flags.
Skipping an SSL certificate
There may not seem to be a big difference between having HTTPS or HTTP in front of your domain name. However, that one simple letter is the difference between having a secure author website and an insecure website. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate keeps your website visitors’ information encrypted, which prevents Internet criminals from accessing it. Learn how to install an SSL certificate here.
Postponing updates to WordPress (or other content manager)
Software updates can be annoying and time-consuming, but they are incredibly important for any website—and ignoring updates is one of the biggest security mistakes. WordPress regularly rolls out security updates to better protect against hackers, phishers, and data thieves. If your WordPress account isn’t up to date on the latest version of their software, your author website may be vulnerable to attacks.
Using an insecure web host
Cheaper web hosting companies skimp on a lot of necessary features, like fast loading speeds and top-notch customer service. But even worse—they often don’t prioritize security. This leaves your personal information, and the privacy of your website visitors, susceptible to hackers. We recommend choosing a hosting company that puts security first!
At Web Design Relief, our hosting care package is web-safe and includes regular site backups for restore points in case of emergencies; installation of updates (for WordPress, theme, and/or plugins); follow-up maintenance; and much more.
Leaving your contact form unprotected
A contact form is a must-have for any author website so readers, followers, and industry insiders can get in touch with you. But your contact form can also be a gateway for spambot abuse. Without proper protection, bots can make automated attacks against your website by using your contact form as a direct pipeline to your email address. This will be especially problematic if you use the same email address for banking, online shopping, or social media.
Thankfully, CAPTCHA-protection is highly effective against spam and separates real people from bots. We’re all familiar with CAPTCHA security that makes users complete various tasks, such as solving a simple math problem or identifying the subject of an image—which is easy for a human, but not so much for a robot.
Put Safety First When Building Your Author Website
In all of the excitement of creating your author website, it’s easy to overlook the importance of web safety. But without proper website security measures—or making the wrong choices during the design phase—your sensitive information may end up in the hands of cybercriminals.
If you’d like professional help with creating a safe, secure author website (that’s also attractively designed with a nice color scheme and fonts), schedule a free consultation with Web Design Relief today!
Question: Which security mistake do you think is most dangerous?