September 8, 2017 | Robert Campbell
Should You Be Concerned about Security?
Security is important for the obvious reasons. But it’s also important for SEO.
Google gives higher rankings to very secure, safe sites.
So the answer to “should you be concerned about security?” is safely YES!
There are all kinds of security issues that might be affecting your website. Below are a few of the most common and what you need to know about them – and questions you can ask your IT department/person to help you get a handle on your security concerns.
HTTP vs HTTPS
If your site is still using http instead of https, Google will rank https sites higher than yours, simply because https sites are more secure. Http is fine as long as you are not collecting any information from customers, but that in and of itself is a mistake. You should always be collecting info from visitors (where relevant), or you should be planning a time when you will be. So using https just makes sense – and will get you better ranking for SEO regardless of whether you gather info or not. This is generally not a huge expense (typically $200-500) so it’s certainly worthwhile switching over if it’s in your budget.
Another common issue that we see often is older versions of PHP. At a minimum, you should be using version 5.6 (higher is better). Older versions are no longer being supported. This means that security patches, which come regularly for the supported versions, are no longer being supplied – leaving any website using an older version vulnerable to new security issues.
Who to Ask
It’s a good idea to check in with your security person (IT person or digital agency) to make sure your website is up to date with security patches, PHP version and PCI compliance (if you are collecting or storing credit card information).
Questions for IT
It’s a good idea to regularly ask these questions to your head IT person or digital agency.
How secure is our website?
What are you doing to make sure the site is secure?
What more could you be doing to make sure the site is secure?
Do we have the latest version of PHP?
Do we need to be PCI compliant? And if so, are we?
Are there any security issues that you know of coming up in the near future (6-to-12 months) that I need to know about, that I need to have budget for?
Keep Security Top of Mind
In everything you do, from new web pages, any large or small changes, make sure “security” is a box that you check off for each project. It may not be an issue, but it will never hurt to ask – and it certainly might if you don’t.
Ask the question and make sure Google is not penalizing you and impeding your SEO and digital goals.
If you don’t know who to ask about security, ask us. We offer a free analysis of your website that includes looking at all security issues.