Launching your website can be compared to leaving your wallet at the bus station with all your savings. People who pass by will know what is in your purse by looking at it, and some might reap big from your ‘generosity.’ Similar, you might be tempted to think that since you have a long password that is difficult to comprehend, no one can get access to your site or blog. Wrong!
More often than not, there are people with malicious intentions to steal your data. Therefore, you should take security measures with your website, the same way you place high-end locks on your safes.
Do not be tempted to think that since you have quality MSQL backups, you cannot lose your data forever. Hackers are highly technology experts you need to look out for.
But, why would someone hack my website?
People believe that cybercriminals hack websites so that they can still beautiful designs or mess with data. However, most of them attempt to use your site to develop a temporary server that they can use to serve illegal files or use your server to create emails they can use to send spam.
Advanced criminals can hack your website so that they can use your server to mine Bitcoin, or test a malware on it.
You don’t want to invest your time and resources and then have someone benefit from it.
Here are some security tips that will help keep your site free from hackers.
1. Stay updated
This might seem pretty obvious to you, but it is something that most website owners forget. Always ensure that your operating system, web server, CMS, and any other software on your site is up to date. When realizing that there are some gaps in the security of your site, they will take swift action and hack it.
In case you have hosted your website with a managed hosting service, then you should worry about updating your operating system because the hosting company should do this on your behalf.
If you opt for a third party software such as Forum, WordPress, Umbraco or CMS, make sure you apply updates as soon as you get them.
2. Strengthen access control
Surprisingly, most hackers can gain access to websites using the admin level. Therefore, you should make sure you use strong usernames and passwords, and update them from time to time. Additionally, make sure you change the default database prefix, which is “wp_admin” to something that will give a hacker a hard time to guess.
Also, limit the number of login attempts even when the password has been reset. Never send login information via email, because emails are easy targets for hackers.
3. Make sure the network security is tight
The computer you use might provide unauthorized access to your web servers. Therefore, make sure that;
- You change your passwords regularly.
- You scan all devices you connect to the computer for viruses.
- Have strong passwords that should never be written or saved in a file.
- You have logins with an expiring period.
4. Install security applications
Security applications are the best tools that you can use to ensure maximum security for your website. Software such as the Acunetix WP Security hides your website’s CMS identity, making it almost impossible for automatic hacking tools to find it.
5. Conceal admin pages
Never allow your admin pages to be indexed by search engines. If you do, hackers might use their high-tech hacking tools to get your login information and manipulate your site. Use the robots text file, which is used to discourage search engines from listing particular pages within a website.
6. Limit the number of files that can be uploaded to your site
Files can introduce bugs to a website; thus giving hackers unlimited access to its data. To avoid this, limit the number of files that can be uploaded. Make sure you save them outside the root directory and use a script for access. If you do not know how to do this, you can ask your web host for some help.
7. Eliminate form auto-fill
When you enable auto-fill on forms on your website, you will make it highly vulnerable to unauthorized users in case you lose your computer or smartphone.
You might think that auto fill will save you time, but remember, somebody else will be waiting for an opportunity to benefit from your laziness.
Keeping your website secure is not a choice. It should be a full-time job. Remember, electronic thieves, are fast, opportunistic, and invisible. When you see any security breaches, raise an alarm with security agents, but also ensure you have put the above tips into practice.