If you’ve got a website, you’re at risk of being hacked – it’s as simple as that. Many people don’t even consider how to keep a website safe from hackers when creating it from the start.
Individuals with top tech knowledge have a habit of infiltrating innocent sites and carrying out all kinds of malicious activities from infecting visitors with malware to directing them to dodgy/unlawful sites. Many hackers also break into servers in a bid to steal confidential information and business secrets. I even found that one of my sites was selling dodgy cigarettes without my knowledge (the hackers had cleverly hidden the issue from me and the site appeared normal whenever I checked it!).
So, with this in mind, here’s a checklist of security tips to ensure you are doing enough to keep your site safe.
Find a secure web host
Secure web hosting is of paramount importance in the current business world, so be sure to find a company that not only has adequate firewalls in place but also strict policies and client screening procedures. Website hosting at uk2.net is one reliable option or clook.net is another that we really like, but whatever company you choose make sure they focus on safety and security to ensure your site is not at risk. In my experience, some huge hosting companies like 1&1 are so large that help and assistance is not up to standard (my sites were hacked a few times and I found help was very thin on the ground), so make sure you balance cost with service when picking.
Keep software up to date
These days, most computers will alert you if a software update is needed. While it can be tempting to ignore these pop-ups, it’s crucial to act on them as hackers are quick to identify holes in your security and use them to their advantage. If your computer is not adequately protected, you are essentially giving hackers easy access to your systems which could have catastrophic consequences.
Change your passwords regularly
Thinking up challenging, complicated passwords may seem like a chore, but it will help protect your computer systems from being hacked. Obvious passwords can be easily cracked, so try to use a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols and don’t write anything too easy to decode such as your name, pet’s name, place of birth or address.
Similarly, always insist on good password practices for your users. Enforcing password requirements such as including uppercase and lowercase letters of using a minimum of eight characters will help protect their information and give the hackers a more difficult job.
Make the most of website security tools
If you want to find out how safe your website really is, there are many website security tools you can use such as Netsparker or OpenVAS. Web application vulnerability scanners will detect security weaknesses and let you know if your site is easily penetrable or not.
What’s more, you should also sign up to Google Search Console which can monitor and resolve malware or spam issues so your site stays clean. If your site gets hacked, Search Console will even alert you to issue before you get blacklisted, potentially saving a lot of disruption down the line.
Hacking is a very real problem and one that can potentially ruin businesses – particularly start-ups who often don’t have the money to rectify security breaches. It can also put confidentiality at risk and potentially exposes all your users to malware and viruses, so it’s essential to make ongoing efforts to keep hackers out for good. The above tips will certainly help, but also remember to follow key internet safety rules such as not opening emails, images or files from an unknown sender.