Did you know that cybercriminals can execute malicious codes on your website landing page?
Here is how it works;
The attacker intercepts your pixel’s delivery path, so it only forwards responses with malicious codes to your web visitor’s browser. When this code is executed, it can do any of these things;
- Force redirect your website visitors to compromised or malicious websites.
- Display frustrating ads, popups, or malicious content on the browser’s screen.
- Force install adware or malware on the user’s computer while on your landing page. The primary cause of this is usually website vulnerabilities.
Now, defending against these forms of attacks can be an uphill task considering that over 200, 000 malware are manufactured each day, and your antimalware software may not recognize the new malware strains instantly.
Surprisingly enough, the criminals who are usually behind these dealings don’t target just corporate businesses. They also target startups because they know that the owners have weaker financial muscles to implement robust security measures on their websites.
According to data from Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), over 40 percent of all data breaches are targeted towards SMBs. That means that when launching an online business, the primary focus should be your website security and that of your clients.
Read on to discover the proven tips to strengthen your lead generating landing pages’ security.
- Use HTTPS on the Landing Page
To use HTTPS on the landing pages that generate leads, you will have to get an SSL Certificate for the website. It will cost you around $9 to $1650 that depends upon provider and types of SSL certificate but ensure that the site is fully secure.
There are also free SSL Certificates for websites, and you may need to check with your web hosting company to find out if they offer them in the hosting packages. Otherwise, you can also apply for a cheap SSL Certificate from SSL reseller like SSL2BUY, then install it on your server or let your hosting provider do it for you. It is better to go with paid certificate as you will enjoy many benefits along with 24/7 support.
After installation, check to ensure that all pages run on HTTPS. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, there are lots of free plugins like Really Simple SSL that you can use to check this. Simply install, activate it, and follow all the prompts.
- Utilize Website Security Plugins and Vulnerability Scanner Software
Some of these security risks are not easy to spot thus, you’ll need a sophisticated tool to detect them. This is made easy by the availability of lots of website security extensions, plugins, and the Vulnerability Scanning software that will help you spot the risk profiles on your landing pages and patch them immediately.
Some of the popular security plugins and extensions for CMS include; fail2ban, Sucuri and iThemes security for WordPress. Magefence, Amasty and Wtchlog Pro for Magento and Antivirus Website Protection, jomDefender and JHackGuard extensions for Joomla
For the vulnerability scanning software, you may go with these free reputable ones for a start then upgrade as you go; SecurityHeaders.io, Netsparker and OpenVAS.
- Ensure the Software You Use are Updated
It goes without mentioning that our websites run mostly on a plethora of tools. These tools increase their efficiency, make our work simple, but they may let you down at some point.
Here’s why; outdated software and plugins, etc. have lots of security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by these crooks. Always check to ensure they’re all up to date.
Besides, if you use CMS like WordPress, Wix, or Magento, etc., be sure to upgrade to the latest versions of the software. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for website security vulnerabilities to exploit.
If you don’t update your CMS when updates are released, it will only be a matter of time before they catch up with you.
- Avoid File Uploads on Your Landing Pages
Hackers can upload malicious files to deliver scripts that if successfully executed on your website server, opens it up for many vulnerabilities. It’s not easy to discern the types of data that may contain such scripts, especially images, because most formats permit adding a comment section that may have PHP codes that hackers can execute on your server.
Usually, the web servers do not execute files that come with image extensions. You should, however, not just rely on the image extensions because there are a few that still pass through.
Here are a few tips to help you counter this risk.
- Rename all the files that are uploaded on your website, so you’re sure of the right file extensions.
- Modify the file permissions to make them non-executable.
If you use *NIX, be sure to create your .htaccess file like this
deny from all
<Files ~ “^\w+\.(gif|jpe?g|png)$”>
allow from all
This will help you to only permit access to specific data to safeguard you against attacks like double extension attacks.
You may also bar direct access to uploaded files such that any file uploaded to your site is initially stored in an external folder where you manually review them away from your Webroot.
You may also store the data in your database.
To access these files, you’ll create a unique script for fetching them from the private folders. If you’re using .NET, you’ll need an HTTP handler for this.
After fetching the files, you can then forward them to the browser. You will also need to set the right content type in your HTTP header to make sure that the src attribute that you use points to the right file delivery scripts. For example, below code snippet can give you an idea about src attribute.
- Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDNs are designed to make accessing your website hassle-free for all users worldwide. If you sign up for the Content Delivery Network, you get access to all servers worldwide.
It doesn’t end there, though. It also comes packed with lots of edge servers that help block potential Denial of Service (DoS) attacks on your landing pages.
Bonus Point-Watch Your Error Messages
There are lots of reasons why users on your website can get error message warnings on your landing page. From incorrect file formats to too large size files, especially if you permit them to upload files on your site etc., attackers may also intentionally upload wrong files to get error messages on their browsers.
When these errors occur, it’s essential that the error message that comes with them is precise and to the point. Don’t disclose too many details regarding the errors as this may open some risk profiles that hackers can manipulate to open your site.
Website security is work in progress, and there’s no single day you’ll be 100 percent safe from cyber-attacks. However, implementing these security tips will make your site hard to break and more costly to open, something that will give you and your audience some peace of mind in the online world.