10 points to understand secure referencing practices

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What are secure referencing practices?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a set of techniques designed to improve the position of a website in search engine results, such as Googlewhile guaranteeing its safety and that of its users.

Let's take a look at the main methods for optimising natural referencing, while ensuring that you are well protected against online threats.

Secure referencing practices

1. Using the HTTPS protocol

Adoption of the protocol HTTPS (HTTP Secure) is now a requirement for sites wishing to offer their visitors a secure and reassuring environment. This protocol establishes an encrypted connection between the server and the Internet user's browser, guaranteeing the integrity, confidentiality and authenticity of the data exchanged. Many search engines, including Google, now favour HTTPS-secured sites in their results.

SSL certificate

To switch from HTTP to HTTPS, you need to obtain an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer). This file, issued by a recognised certification authority, attests to the identity of the site owner and enables the HTTPS protocol to be activated on the web server. There are different types of SSL certificate depending on the level of security required and the number of domains or sub-domains to be supported.

2. Securing access to the site and server

enhanced security of access to the site and server data helps to protect the site against any illicit intrusion. To achieve this, it is advisable to implement strong authentication mechanisms (such as strong passwords and a two-step verification system), as well as restricted access rights for users who do not need all of the site's functionalities.

3. Regular software and plug-in updates

Security flaws are often exploited to damage a site or gain access to confidential information. Software and plugin developers are constantly updating their products to correct these vulnerabilities. It is therefore essential to keep the content management platform (CMS) and any plugins or extensions installed on your site, to reduce the risk of intrusion and preserve the integrity of your data.

4. Protection against brute force attacks

Brute force attacks are a type of cyberattack designed to guess a user's login and password by testing a large number of combinations until the one that works is found. There are several ways to protect against this type of attack: limiting the number of failed login attempts, temporarily or permanently blocking suspect IP addresses, using a CAPTCHA to distinguish a real user from a robot, etc.

5. Filtering incoming and outgoing data

To prevent malicious data from being injected into the website or transmitted to visitors, it is important to set up systems for filtering incoming data (sent by users) and outgoing data (displayed on the site). This may involve validating the form and content of data received (for example, checking that an e-mail address is properly structured), or escaping any character strings that could be interpreted as executable code.

6. Use of robots.txt and .htaccess files

The files robots.txt and .htaccess are used respectively to give instructions to search engines about indexing the site and to define various configuration rules for the web server. They must be configured carefully to avoid unwanted indexing (of sensitive or useless pages, for example), but also to offer better protection against certain attacks (particularly denial of service attacks).

7. Deleting sensitive information and broken links

Sensitive information that is no longer useful should be deleted regularly, as well as broken links that may link to non-secure resources. This practice of 'cleaning up' helps to improve site security and provides a better user experience, which is also beneficial for SEO.

8. Confidentiality settings

Respecting the privacy of Internet users is an important element in guaranteeing the security of a website and complying with current regulations (such as the RGPD). This means putting in place a clear and transparent privacy policy, as well as setting the appropriate parameters for cookies and other visitor tracking tools.

9. Training and awareness-raising for employees and subcontractors

The security of a website depends to a large extent on the level of skill and vigilance of the people who administer it and have access to it. It is therefore essential to train employees and external service providers in good IT security practice, so that they can detect and react quickly to any potential threats.

10. Log monitoring and analysis

The log files generated by the web server are a valuable source of information about access attempts and suspicious activity. Regular monitoring and analysis of the logs can pinpoint any attacks in progress or identify vulnerabilities that need to be corrected.

By adopting these 10 secure referencing practicesIf you take advantage of this service, you will be helping to strengthen the security of your website, while optimising its visibility on search engines. Don't forget that security is an ongoing process, and that you need to remain vigilant in the face of new threats and changes in natural referencing techniques.

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