How to Protect Your Website from Being Hacked

As the owner of a website, one of your biggest fears is likely the thought that your work gets altered or removed because of a hacker. You worked hard to create your brand and website, so you must protect it from hackers who want to steal it, change it, or mimic it. It’s also essential to make sure the websites you visit are safe and ensure that your site is safe from hackers.

Of course, you should always back up your files to have something to go back to if a hacker does steal, remove, or alter information. Backing up your files can also be helpful for other reasons. You can find many other ways to protect yourself, as well.

Security Plugins

Once you have updated your website and run virus scans and malware scans frequently, you can also use plugins to enhance your website’s security. These plugins are designed to actively prevent hacking attempts.

While you can find plugins for a variety of site hosts, consider WordPress as an example. It offers a variety of free plugins to boost security, including Bulletproof Security and iThemes Security. The products focus on finding security vulnerabilities in your platform and foil additional hacking attempts that threaten your site.

Alternatively, you can use SiteLock, which is suitable whether you run HTML pages or have a CMS-managed site. SiteLock doesn’t just close your website’s security loopholes. It also monitors the site daily and looks for everything, including vulnerability identification, malware detection, and active virus scanning, among others. If your company relies on its website, you may want to consider a subscription-based product.

HTTPS

Consumers have long been taught to look for that green ‘https’ in the browser bar before they provide any sensitive information, including credit card numbers, social security numbers, and even contact information. Those five letters are critical shorthand that screams hacker security because they signal that it is okay to provide sensitive information on that webpage.

July 2018, Google Chrome released a new security update that alerts visitors to your website that your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed or updated. The SSL certificate is essential because it helps secure information transfers, such as personal data, credit cards, and contact information between the server and your website.

Search engines now focus on website security more now because they want their users to have a safe and positive experience while browsing the web. Along with such, a search engine has the right and ability to rank your site lower in the SERPS if an SSL certificate isn’t available.

That means if you have an online store or your site requires visitors to provide sensitive information, you must purchase an SSL certificate. The cost is minimal, but you get more encryption and an extra level of security; customers automatically feel more trustworthy about such a website and the company behind it.

Updated Platforms and Software

The easiest way to protect your site from getting hacked is to ensure that all aspects of your website are updated frequently, including installed scripts, plugins and apps, and your entire content management system. Most of these tools use open-source software, so the codes are easily accessible to developers and malicious hackers. Hackers can look for any security vulnerabilities and take control of your website by exploiting the script or platform weakness.

For example, if you’re using WordPress to build your site, the WordPress installation and all third-party plug-ins that were installed can have vulnerabilities and be more open to cyber attack. You should always ensure that you have the newest platform and script versions installed to minimize your risks, and it doesn’t take much time to complete.

Secure Passwords

It’s tempting to choose a password that is easy to remember, and the most common password is the numbers from one to six. Some websites and hosts require you to have special characters, capital letters, and more, but ‘1!2@3#’ is still pretty easy to guess. Make sure that you choose a truly secure password. You can download a password generator to help you. Plus, the passwords can be stored in a password storage location, which requires you to remember one password and have access to them all.

It’s also essential that anyone else with admin capabilities to your site has a strong password. Make sure that there are requirements in terms of characters and length people must incorporate so that they become creative and have a stronger password.

Parameterized Queries

A common website hack includes SQL injections. An SQL injection happens if your URL or web form parameter allows outside users to input information. If the field parameters are too open, someone can insert codes into them that give access to your database. You can take many steps to protect your site from SQL injection hacks, such as using parameterized queries, which ensures the code has specific parameters so that hackers can’t mess with it.