Website hacking has become an increasingly prevalent threat in today’s digital world, posing significant risks to the security and integrity of your therapy website. For example, did you know that there are more than 30,000 cyber attacks on websites every day and 43% of those are on small businesses’ websites? As a therapy-based business owner, we can imagine that being hacked is one of your worst nightmares. Not only is a website breach extremely scary when it comes to your patients’ information, but your job is to provide care and attention to your clients, not fix your website constantly. Nowadays, you’ve got to prioritize website security and implement robust measures to protect against potential breaches. In this blog post, we talk about a few effective strategies and best practices to strengthen your therapy website against cyber threats, ensuring the safety of your users’ information and maintaining their trust while keeping your job just as it should be– caring for your patients.
Tip #1: Use Strong Passwords
The very first step in ensuring website security lies in using strong, unique passwords. I’m sure you’ve seen the suggestions for passwords that websites give you like A8iK4rt-7&4tH. They can be a little chaotic– but with good reason! While you do not need to adopt passwords like this necessarily, avoid the temptation to rely on common phrases or predictable combinations such as “Password123.” Instead, opt for complex passwords that incorporate a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Regularly update your passwords to minimize the risk of a breach. Here is a website that has some really great tips for choosing a secure password!
Tip #2: Keep Software Updated
Maintaining up-to-date software is a major step in safeguarding your therapy website. Ensure that your website platform, plugins, and scripts receive regular updates containing security patches and bug fixes. Often, software updates are created because of breaches that occur and the providers want you to update so that you can avoid those attacks. Create some sort of system so that you update on a regular basis.
Tip #3: Use HTTPS Encryption
Using HTTPS encryption on your therapy website is crucial for keeping sensitive information secure. So what exactly is HTTPS encryption (sometimes referred to as SSL)? Think of it as a shield that protects valuable data from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. It ensures that when information, such as usernames or personal details, is sent between your website and users’ devices, it becomes encoded and unreadable to anyone trying to intercept it. By implementing HTTPS, you create a secure connection that keeps your visitors’ private information safe from potential hackers or other unwanted visitors.
Tip #4: Install a Security Plugin
This one is quite simple and there are so many options. For WordPress websites, Wordfence and Sucuri are reputable choices, providing great protection. These plugins scan your site for vulnerabilities, detect suspicious activities, and offer real-time alerts regarding potential threats.
Tip #5: Regularly Backup Your Website
This step is in preparation for the worst-case scenario. By consistently backing up your therapy website’s data and files and storing these backups in secure offsite locations, such as cloud storage or external devices, you can be sure to have a swift restoration in the event of a security breach. Not only this, but there are a number of other ways that websites can become corrupted and having a backup is the best way to prepare for that.
Tip #6: Implement Two-Factor Authentication
Elevate your website’s security measures by implementing two-factor authentication. This additional layer of protection requires users to provide an extra verification method, such as a unique code sent to their mobile devices. By enabling two-factor authentication for your website’s admin accounts and encouraging users to do the same, you significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
Tip #7: Choose Your Admins Wisely
Exercise discretion when granting permissions to individuals who have access to your therapy website. Limit their privileges to only what is necessary for their specific roles and responsibilities. Most content management systems offer different levels of permission, allowing you to define user roles and access levels. Make sure you check these permissions regularly as employees can come and go without you remembering to revoke their permissions.
Tip #8: Stay Educated
Keeping yourself informed about the latest security threats and best practices for website security is crucial. Educate yourself and your team on recognizing and preventing attacks, ensuring a proactive approach to maintaining the security of your therapy website. A simple email or zoom call with your team every once in a while is really all it takes to protect your website.
Tip #9: Hire Out
If this has brought on a wave of anxiety or brought up higher level concerns, just know that there are many companies who are ready and willing to provide these services to you. We even offer website management services. Maybe this seems really important, but you don’t quite feel ready to take it on yourself, that’s ok! There are lots of professionals who are ready to help you.
Keep On Top of It All
In a nutshell, while implementing those security measures for your therapy website is vital, there’s one thing that takes the cake: staying in the know! The cybersecurity world is wild with new threats popping up left and right. Stay up to date with the latest security practices and trends. Educate yourself and your team and remember, being in the know is your secret weapon to keeping your therapy website and its precious data safe. Stay informed, stay secure!