Hackers have democratized the internet and its lack of security at every possible level. If you are wondering what this has to do with your website, the answer is, everything! Every passing day brings with it news of a brand new leak of personal or important information over the internet. Needless to say, your website should be well protected at all times. However, firewalls alone don’t get the job done. Here are ten easy ways to prevent your site from getting hacked:
1. Use a Strong Username and Passwords
While this may sound like an obvious thing to do, it should not be taken for granted. Hackers often take advantage of weak usernames and passwords to get access to an account. You may need a password that is easy to remember, but this puts your security at risk.
As such, you should avoid using names or dates as passwords. In case your password is your father’s birthday, don’t be surprised if your account gets hacked. It is also important to remember that hackers have special tools for brute—force attacks which easily gets your password.
Alternatively, use passwords that comprise of letters, numbers and a total of eight symbols. There are also special password generation programs that will come in handy.
2. Constantly Update Your Site
When your site is regularly updated, your plugins will be also be updated automatically. This will prevent any security attacks. If hackers find a vulnerability in any site running the system, they will access it easily. You do not want to fall victim to this. Webmasters advise on the importance of updating your website without fearing for over breaking functionality. Do not go for months or years without conducting an update on your website.
3. Relocate and Secure your Admin Login
Let’s take an example of a website running on a WordPress, Magento or Drupal installation. Chances are that your admin login is reachable by a simple link that can be easily subjected to a brute-force attack.
In order to be safe, access to this section of the site should be limited. In addition to this, the login should be relocated to an uncommon place where hackers cannot easily find it. This will reduce the risk of an attack.
4. Use Trusted Plugins
Granted, reliable plugins can improve security on any website, but when poorly coded, they are not trustworthy. Before and during installation, check whether your plugins are well-rated by others. Ensure that they come from the most reliable sources. For instance, WordPress plugins should only come from the WordPress plugins directory. Even industry trusted plugins like WordPress SEO are prone to attacks. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your plugin of choice is thoroughly checked.
5. Check Link Locations
Surfing a mysterious website comes with many consequences. For instance, you could fall prey to a phishing scam, get hacked or be infected by malware. You should be certain of where any link that you are clicking on is taking you. It is best to open foreign links from new tabs in order to find out their real destination before clicking on them. There are also a number of tools that identify the destination of shortened links. Sites with a HTTPS in their URL or a lock icon are the safest to visit.
6. Only Open Trusted Attachments
Never open attachments unless you are certain of where they came from. The easiest to download a malicious code onto your computer is by opening untrustworthy attachments. Always pay attention to your word files, PDFs, and EXEs. The majority of them are usually from hackers.
7. Build the Right Layers of Security for Your Site
A reliable website security system serves as the first defense against hacking attacks. A firewall is usually the first in line. This is a solution that is solely designed to automatically weed out malicious requests and inspect incoming site traffic.
Firewalls are available as hardware appliances and cloud technology alike. You do not need to hire a security expert to install them, they are simply plug-and-play services. As a website owner, you no longer have to commit to expensive security applications. Firewalls get the job done.
With current technological trends, cloud-based Web Application Firewalls are taking the lead in the provision of security.
8. Use Two-Factor Authentication
A hacker takes his time to identify the accounts they can access with the data they hack. Two-factor authentication requires users to enter a password and confirm it with a coded text to a phone. Many professional websites have adopted this method of security against hacker attacks. Even if hackers steal your data, they will not be able to get into your account unless they have your phone, which is impossible. This is one of the best security options.
9. Be Wary of Cloud Storage
If you do not want people to access your sensitive information, do not use cloud storage. While the platform is said to be highly secure, privacy experts still maintain that anything put online can be published online. This does not mean that you should not store anything in the cloud. However, it is helpful to know everything about your cloud storage online provider.
10. Do Not Open Emails Carelessly
How harmful can an email really be? Well, if you choose to open emails from untrusted sources, they can be very harmful. Many cyber-attacks are launched with the help of malicious emails. This poses a high-security risk. Do not open malicious emails asking you to update your personal information. To confirm authenticity, always check the email address and ensure that it matches with the website that you are asked to visit. You can also check the IP address of the sender.
Don’t go through life thinking that a hacking attack can never come your way. In the world of online security, anything goes. If you do not want to compromise your sensitive information, put these tips to good use. Implement at least three of these basic steps right away and your online security will change for the better.