In this post, we’ll explain what website security is and why it’s important. We’ll also provide some actionable tips that you can use to improve your site security and protect your website with cPanel. Ready? Let’s get started!
Why Protecting Your Website Is Important
It takes time and money to create a high-quality website for your business. However, without the right level of security, you could be putting your site at risk.
Although protecting against cybercrime is one of the main benefits of maintaining good site security protocols, there are also some other benefits, including:
- It helps to keep your employees safe. In the same way that your website can be at risk of malware attacks, your workers can be too. Viruses can pass from device to device. Therefore, if your site becomes infected, the devices your team members use to access the site may become compromised too.
- It can prevent your website from going down. Site owners should aim for as little website downtime as possible. Good cybersecurity measures can help you achieve this. By putting protective measures in place before attacks happen, you can prevent malware from causing issues that make you take your site offline to fix them.
- It can inspire confidence in your customers. For online businesses, reputation is everything, even when it comes to your website. By following good cybersecurity protocols and sharing this with your customers, you can help them feel safe and secure when using your site.
Next, we’ll take a look at cPanel, a commonly used control panel for WordPress sites. You can use it to make your website more secure without investing in any expensive plugins.
How to Protect Your Website With cPanel
1. Choose Strong Passwords and Regularly Update ThemIt’s imperative to ensure that all of your site entry points are protected by strong passwords. Without secure passwords in place, seasoned cybercriminals can easily infiltrate your site and install malware.
Thankfully, with cPanel, it’s easy for you to reset your password. It even comes with a password generator in online to help you protect your site using strong credentials. To keep your site as safe as possible, it’s recommended that you change all passwords on a regular basis. Configuring them around once a month is usually sufficient. Email account passwords are also important to change regularly.
2. Password Protect Your Vulnerable DirectoriesIn addition to having a strong password for your cPanel account, it’s equally important to password protect your vulnerable directories. Doing this in cPanel enables you to limit access to certain content for specific users.
Once you’ve added password protection to a directory, your site will prompt visitors to enter a username and password in their web browsers before they can access it. This helps to keep sensitive content secure from unauthorized access.
To add password protection to a directory, start by logging into cPanel. Next, scroll down to the Files section and click on Directory Privacy:
Here, you should be able to see a list of all your directories. Click on Edit next to the name of the folder you want to protect. On the next page, tick the box next to the text that says Password protect this directory. Then, type in a name for the protected directory below and click on Save:
Once you’ve done that, you should see a brief ‘success’ message. Click on Go Back, then enter a Username and Password in the appropriate text boxes, and then click on Save.
Note: You can also automatically generate a strong password by clicking on the Password Generator button:
If you ever want to remove the password protection, repeat the steps above to navigate to the directory again. Then, clear the Password and protect this directory checkbox.
3. Protect Against HotlinkingHotlinking (sometimes called ‘direct linking’) refers to when another website links out directly to content hosted on your website, such as image files. When visitors to their website load the page, your site serves the image files they see. This allows the other website to effectively ‘steal’ your bandwidth and use it to show pictures to their visitors.
Naturally, this is something you’ll probably want to avoid. Fortunately, you can do so easily. All you have to do is configure hotlink protection using cPanel. Here’s how to go about it.
First, log in to cPanel and scroll down to the Security section. Then, click on the Hotlink Protection icon:
On the next page, you can toggle Hotlink protection ON or OFF. You can also change your configuration settings. For example, you might want to specify certain URLs that are allowed to access your files (cPanel will automatically populate this box with suggested local URLs):
Next, you can also specify the specific file extensions you want to block direct access to by adding them to the Block direct access for the following extensions box (make sure you separate each file extension by a comma):
Again, the above box should be automatically pre-populated with commonly hotlinked file extensions. However, you might want to add extra file extensions that aren’t already included.
You can also add a URL to the Redirect requests to the following URL text box:
This will serve users from blocked sites with the specified URL page instead of the hotlinked file. Once you’re done making changes to the settings, just click on Submit.
ConclusionKeeping your site safe from malicious activity and malware is extremely important. Fortunately, cPanel offers you several ways to ensure that your site is secure and protected.
Here’s a quick recap of how to protect your website using cPanel:
- Choose strong passwords and update them regularly.
- Password protects your vulnerable directories.
- Protect against hotlinking.