If your art gallery’s website is insecure, you could soon lose traffic and business. While creating and maintaining a website is easier than ever, the fact is that security maintenance is even more critical and increasingly complicated. In this article, let’s go over some preventive steps you can easily take to ensure you have a secure gallery website.
Today the threat hackers pose can put you out of business. Security is obviously vital for gallery websites with eCommerce capabilities. Whether you sell directly off your website or use a third-party marketplace, you must be informed of the security tools and best practices available.
Preventative Security Measures for your Gallery Website
Here are a few steps you should take as part of your art gallery’s operational policy for maintaining a secure website. These will help you protect the business and your website visitors.
Keep Software Updated
Your software is often the first defense and fundamental to security. Hackers find weaknesses in different aspects of software and use them to their advantage. It’s best to set up auto updates if possible. If you use third-party gallery software to create your website, find out their practice for staying updated. Is that task on you to maintain, or does it happen automatically?
Set Smart Passwords
We all have too many passwords to remember these days. Setting up intelligent passwords unrelated to the gallery will make it more difficult for hackers to crack. For example, don’t have your gallery name as part of the password. Passwords that use a combination of characters are also best, i.e., lower and uppercase, special characters, and numbers. It is also wise for each person who has access to your website’s backend system to have their own unique password. Try not to share them with multiple people. This way, you can see who is doing what, and you can easily revoke access if needed.
Installing an SSL certificate
Your websites will be penalized in search rankings for not having an SSL certificate. If you think this only pertains to sites that accept credit cards, think again. An SSL certificate will create a secure link between your web server and a web browser. This helps protect any data going between the two, including personal information and payment details.
Someone with the right web savvy can help you with the required steps.
- Help determine the best type of certificate for your needs.
- Install the certificate on your website
- Update all the configurations, so your new HTTPS website points to your gallery’s domain and web forms, and e-commerce purchases are correctly submitted.
- Submit new ownership verification and site maps to Google and other browsers, so their web crawlers know your site is secure and can list it in search results.
- Test that the SSL certificate installation and conversion are successful.
Once this is done, you will see your website address listed as https vs. http.
Regularly Scan and Back up your Gallery Website
Several tools are available to scan your website for any threats or malware. Make it part of your weekly or monthly routine to scan your site, especially if you notice any changes in how it functions, such as changes in speed.
How quickly can you recover from a cyber-attack or loss due to a natural disaster? It is essential to get in the habit of regularly backing up your website and contact database. A backup should include invoices, COAs, PDFs, website content such as blogs and artist bios, media images and videos, and databases for contacts. Should you need to restore a version of your website, you can do so quickly. If your backups are set to be done automatically, be sure you and your staff know how to recover the site.
Manually Approve Comments on your Website
Site visitors may be able to comment on your site about a work of art or artist. That’s great and should be encouraged. However, make sure your settings are for manually approving them to appear on your site for others to read.
There is always a possibility that bots or fake accounts can pose a security risk to you and your visitors. Malicious links might be included in a comment, and your gallery’s site visitors could click on that link. The risks include exposing personal data or installing malware.
Train gallery staff and contractors
Mistakes happen especially or more frequently with young staff without much experience in a work environment. Understandably, cyber security is not always in mind when corresponding with a potential art collector. Still, phishing attacks can cause well-meaning staff to accidentally give unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Train your gallery staff to be cognizant of risks and to look out for suspicious activity. Think before clicking on links or emails from unknown senders.
To the Point
Your art gallery’s website security starts with you. You cannot merely set up the gallery website and forget it.
You may have a site created through a gallery-specific software package. It’s up to you to be informed about what these companies do and don’t do to keep their clients safe. Ask about built-in or other plugins that can be integrated to automate backups. Find out if updates are automated and if regular anti-malware scanning is happening.
Choosing a reliable provider and making smart choices about managing your gallery website will help you maintain a secure site for your business and visitors. Be proactive when it comes to cyber security for your gallery. If you don’t, it could cost you dearly.
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