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Internet Security for your online portfolio So you have decided to start up a portfolio website. Increasing amounts of people are making this decision for lots of reasons with the most common start-ups being:
  • Creating a business page to sell either goods or services
  • Making a blog to interact with potential client and buyers
  • Sharing work and ideas through articles 
  • Opening a forum for discussion in you field of expertise
All of these require different platforms and user skills but all will suffer from security risks, whether from spammers using your contact page to post spam comments or full hacks where individuals access the root of your hosting server. This article highlights some of the possible ways on the internet to help prevent security breaches and spam from happening.

To understand the options open to you it is firstly important to understand the type of website you want to own and run.
  • eCommerce 
  • CMS
  • HTML/CSS – Flat Design
Each of the options listed gives you the ability to own and run a site but they are tailored to suit different needs.

eCommerce

eCommerce is the term given to a type of website that offers products or services to consumers over the internet. Platforms that enable users to achieve an online shop can be free with many open source platforms available like -  Prestashop, Magento, Zen Cart and Shopify.

CMS – Content Management System

Content Management systems offer the user a user-friendly interface that can be logged into. This allows middle ground between the site and the code, giving the ability to easily adjust posts, add media and change the style, layout and feel of a website through either customisation or a new layout. Word Press is one of the most well-known CMS platforms offering a wide and diverse range of plugins and options to suite nearly everybody’s requirements.

HTML/CSS Flat design

Some people like to get down to the code and built a custom one off site by writing the code from scratch. This way allows the developer the most flexibility and power to create the desired look feel and flow to the site. This way is the most customisable but requires high levels of coding and developing skills.

Security 

All internet sites require security to protect the site and its users from spam, phishing and malware. These types of attacks can leave your site untrusted by users and in some cases the server can become infected requiring a lot of work to rebuild your site and trust.

Ways to increase security

Ecommerce platforms and CMS often come with built in protection. This protection is often basic and requires extra plugins developed for different parts of platform security, from user logging into card payments. CMS and Ecommerce developers often turn to an SSL certificate to secure its connections to users

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a protocol that was designed to keep communication over the internet safe. Data sent via an SSL connection is protected by a mechanism called encryption that prevents eavesdropping and tampering. SSL Certificates can be installed on CMS, Ecommerce, and HTML/CSS sites ensuring the basic SSL needs are met.

SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites to protect of online transactions with customers. Anyone who visits a website knows if the site has a valid SSL certificate by looking for a gold padlock icon on the web browser. Some SSL certificates can even turn the address bar of the browser green to even more visually increase customer's confidence. Also, the URL of any website using SSL, starts with https:// instead of http://.

SSL certificates can only be used on registered domains and require the website to fall into the following conditions

- A Dedicated IP address (can be ordered at your web host).
- A Certificate Signing Request generated on your web server with the correct domain name.
- Correct contact information on WHOIS record for the domain.
- Business validation documents (not necessary for domain validated certificates).

If you have all of the listed, you can apply for an SSL.

Security Plugins are also a good way to increase protection on your site, WordPress currently is the most widely used CMS.  I am going to motion some of the best plugins available to help you secure your site from different types of security breaches.

WP Login Security 2

This plugin allows greater control and security over the login page to the user friendly interface that comes with Word Press. The plug in is configured to recognise when a user is trying to access the backend from a location/ip address it is not familiar with. WP Login Security 2 will then send you, the administrator and email asking if permission for the login should be granted to the user trying to gain access. This helps ensure only you are editing the site!

Block Bad Queries

This simple plugin looks for known address and users that can potentially cause harm or disrupt your site and its user experience to other by blocking entry to known black listed addresses. Block Bad Queries is a simple and effective firewall add-on.

Semi-secure Login Reimagined

If you are unable to obtain an SSL certificate this plug in allows you to encrypt your login information this will make it more difficult for an outsider to steal your credentials. This is not as good as an SSL but will provide you more cover than not having anything.

Don’t let security off put you when you are deciding to dive into the world of being a website owner, but do remember that protecting you and your visitors is important and there are plenty of resources online to help you achieve a spam and malware free site.

Author Bio
This post was written by John Philips from Cheap SSLs. Cheap SLLs are a reseller of SSL certificates from the likes of Comodo, GeoTrust and VeriSign.

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