How to Protect Your Website from Getting Hacked

By protecting your website, you also protect your business. Most CMS platforms available today are versatile and can be easily updated. However, there are incidences that arise from time to time when hackers try to modify a website’s content. Security is a major concern for most webmasters, meaning that they need to keep their websites secure so that they can function at their best.

Maintaining your site is more important today than ever before. A few years back, it was okay to create a website and leave it unmodified for long periods of time. That is no longer practical as search engines tend to penalize websites that take long to update content. Updating your website becomes easy when all maintenance tasks are completed regularly. You must update your site to ensure that all functions are working properly. If your website has any glitch, then you are increasing the chances that your visitors will opt for your competitors.

At times, you may experience problems as you try to install new plugins or uninstalling outdated ones. Most CMS platforms often add new features to increase the user-friendliness of the site. There is a chance that some features may stop working as they should after an update, especially if you don’t install the right plugins. If you are updating your entire site, it would be advisable to seek professional help to prevent you from forgetting to update even a single component.

One of the things most webmasters forget to update is the sitemap, and this can have serious ramifications. Search engines crawl sites from time to time, and they can identify issues that make the website less user-friendly. Sites without updated sitemaps are usually ranked lower and this has serious effects on the bottom lines of the businesses.

It appears that hackers aren’t creating new methods to penetrate sites. Rather, they are taking advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities, poor passwords and weak permission settings in the file system. Small to medium sized businesses are the most targeted. Don’t let your site be the victim of a cyber attack. Instead, be proactive to ensure that such threats never occur.

Security issues have a negative effect on your site’s performance.

Every website owner needs to be concerned about their site’s security. Even with the many reliable content management systems, security concerns still come up. Hackers can easily exploit vulnerabilities, and this can at best destroy a site’s reputation and at worst, damage the site. Most CMS developers work with webmasters who use their platforms to ensure that updates are available and can be quickly installed to reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access.

Please note that even with the best security measures in place, it is still possible to compromise a website. This can result in data loss or corruption of the site. You are encouraged to frequently backup your website so that you can easily restore it in case catastrophe hits. If your site is hacked and content is destroyed, you should have professionals help you in its recovery and restoration. They also need to put in place measures that ensure that such incidents never happen in future.

Protecting your website starts at the design stage. Most web users use one password for different accounts because it is easy to remember. They normally have one password for financial service websites and another one for nonfinancial services websites. A website with a poorly implemented security framework puts your visitors at risk because when hackers gain access to your database, they can use your users’ credentials to gain access to other accounts and wreak havoc. You would not want your site to be the reason why your users get robbed or other e-commerce businesses get a bad reputation. In the spirit of good faith, make sure that after discovering that your site has been hacked and your users might be in danger, communicate with them as soon as possible and ask them to alter their passwords for other accounts. Despite the fact that they might feel bad and may never trust your website again, they will appreciate the fact that you were proactive by telling them immediately that their other accounts might be compromised.

If you are running an e-commerce site, you should also be aware that some hackers may use SQL injections to compromise its integrity. SQL injections take advantage of the way the SQL language is designed making the database to return results in a manner that it isn’t designed to. If you are having experts design your site from scratch, then make sure to inquire how they plan to deal with such issues. If you use an open source CMS platform, then your best defense is to always install the latest security patches.

Security and maintenance personnel should be part of your team. Remember that security and maintenance are crucial to the proper functioning of a website. Another benefit of having professionals help you is that it gives you more time to run your business.

Effective Ways to Hack-Proof your Website

It has long been assumed that large businesses are hackers’ main targets. In reality, small corporate websites face the highest risk of being hacked because of failing to invest in strengthening their websites like the big businesses do. It is unfortunate that most webmasters notice that their sites have been hacked when their visitors are getting warning signs from their browsers and search engines. At this point, it is usually too late as such sites are already blacklisted.

To correct this mess, webmasters have to clean all the links on the site, rebuild the server and update the CMS. The sad thing is that even after all these measures; there is no guarantee that search engines will remove the site from the blacklist. The best way to deal with security problems is to prevent them but not to wait until there is a mess. You need to do everything to ensure that your website is properly secured. The following five ways can go a long way in preventing your site from getting hacked.

Use Strong Password and Keep them Safe

Most webmasters understand the importance of creating strong passwords and keeping them secure. However, some don’t take this point seriously. Expert hackers know the common and default passwords used in different CMS platforms. Do not use passwords containing details such as your phone number, name or business address. You should also consider installing an antivirus plugin to protect the site from virus attacks. Doing so prevents hackers from installing malware.

Make Sure Your CMS is the Latest Version

Every new release of a CMS platform has, among other things, security updates. Older versions of the CMS are usually prone to very dangerous attacks. As a webmaster, you are advised to update your CMS as soon as a new version is released. You should also remove the code that displays the specific version of your CMS because hackers usually have exploits for particular versions. Hiding this information will give them a harder time.

Register for Google’s Webmaster Tools

When Google identifies a site as malicious and subsequently blacklists it, its daily traffic flow reduces. By registering with Google’s Webmaster Tools, you are guaranteed to receive a notification if your site has a malware. You will, thus, have enough time to eliminate the malware before getting blacklisted.

Protect AdSense by Installing Ad-Management Plugins

Adverts are a great way to generate revenue from your site. They are, nonetheless, prone to hacks. Click bombing is an example of a hack that overloads and shuts down your AdSense account. The real ads are then swapped for something else. Please do some research to identify the best plugins to control your ad displays.

Encrypt Your Data

In order to prevent data interception during a transmission, make sure that you have an encryption technique such as the Security Socket Layer. If you are unsure, ask your webmasters what they consider an ideal encryption for your site. You can also ask them to help you setup the appropriate encryption.

Only use reputable security service providers because they do daily checks, and remove malware from websites. Take security issues seriously because hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit.

Firewalls

You need to always remove the existing threats from your site. It is even more important that you prevent such attacks from coming back again. Malwares are always being created and your website faces the risk of getting infected by a new virus every day. A firewall can help you protect your site from cyber criminals by acting as a filter that only allows legitimate traffic and stopping malicious software.

Comply with PCI Standards

Online businesses should comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard if they deal with online transactions. Complying with these standards ensures that your customers are protected from any frauds. Businesses that do not comply with PCI standards suffer from government fines, financial damage and destroyed reputations.

Teach Your Users to Protect Themselves Online

There are attacks specifically meant for your visitors and customers. As a responsible businessperson who cares for his/her clients, you need to at least encourage them to protect themselves online. An example of a hack that targets the user is tracking the user’s computer to think that a hacker is a server hence channeling requests meant for the server through the hacker. Unsuspecting clients input their personal details and the hacker acquires them and uses them maliciously. If you discover that hackers have cloned your site, let your visitors know and give them the signs to look out for, showing that they are in the right website. Hackers will do anything to compromise your website. If they fail, they will at least try to exploit your visitors. Give your visitors these tips and they will appreciate it and trust you more.

Conclusion

Protecting your website is a priority because of the millions of malware created every day. Hackers are always coming up with new ways to collect personal information and credit card details from online transactions. It is in every webmaster’s interest to adopt security best practices. You need to install the proper site protection to stop attackers. This article has highlighted several ways that you can use to prevent unauthorized access and data breach to your site, and hence its effects on your bottom line.