3 Tips to Improve Your Website Security
June is National Safety Month, so it’s a great time to think about making your law firm’s website secure. Recent events with ransomware hackers taking advantage of major corporations should show you that digital pirates are constantly roaming the internet ocean, in search of personal information they can leverage into a crime. Of course, the last thing you want is for your law firm to accidentally assist in this crime. But there’s an additional reason why website security should matter to your law firm, and that’s because website security directly affects SEO for attorneys.
Here are three ways you can increase your law firm website security
Obtain an SSL Certificate
An SSL Certificate is proof that your law firm website provides an encrypted connection to browsers. Having an SSL Certificate changes the beginning of your website from HTTP to HTTPS, which is an established factor in how Google displays the organic results of a web search. Sites that have an HTTPS domain distinction take precedence in the SERPs (search engine results pages), and in most browsers will also display a closed padlock graphic next to the domain name.
Potential clients surfing the web for legal advice are more and more aware that a domain name boasting this graphic is secure, and law firm websites without it are less secure—and likely to be taken less seriously. In addition to the security factor, potential clients seeing a padlock know that the domain owners (your law firm) have taken time and spent money on securing their website, which boosts your professional credibility.
Update your Plugins
Thankfully there are a number of incredible plugins your law firm can put in your website, everything from apps that schedule consultation calls to payment processors that facilitate settling the bill to social media plugins that help you showcase reviews from previous clients. Unfortunately, plugins are also a great way for hackers to find a backdoor to your website and access sensitive customer information.
The solution is to make sure your plugins are all running the latest version—something that the plugin software will usually prompt you about from the plugin dashboard. You will want to periodically check on each and every plugin to make sure you are running the most secure, up-to-date version. In many cases, you can also allow the plugin to send you email alerts about software updates.
Make your passwords strong.
You don’t want to become like that particular campaign manager whose email password was literally password, allowing the contents of their email exchanges to be Wikileaked. A password manager can help you keep track of your passwords, as can two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication involves using your login and password along with inputting a security code to access the behind-the-scenes dashboard of your legal websites or their plugins.
While you can have a security code sent to your email, it’s better to have it sent to your phone, since it’s unlikely that a hacker would have access to that hardware. As for your passwords, you will want to use passwords with uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. While it’s understandable to use something personal, try not to make it too obvious because hackers are fairly good at finding enough puzzle pieces to crack the code of a password (like one made from your name and birthday).
Why does website security matter?
In addition to trying to steal personal information (client emails to sell or send phishing attempts to, or perhaps credit card numbers), another insidious thing that hackers will do is pepper your website with links to pages where they can collect personal information. They’ll also use emails for the same purpose. You don’t want to damage your reputation and upset your clients by having to tell them their personal information was compromised on your site.
Moreover, as mentioned, Google is very open about the fact that they reward more secure sites with better search engine rankings. Some of the security measures you need to take on your website may involve some technical details that can be time-consuming. At Law Firm Sites, we can help secure your website and assist in other ways to dramatically boost its SEO for lawyers rankings, putting your law firm in front of more clients.