Websites are no longer safe from being hacked or immune to cyber-attacks.
Unprotected or not properly maintained websites provide a breeding ground for hackers. There is no 100% guarantee or solution to ensure a website is completely safe from outside attackers. However, there are steps one can take to help reduce the threat of your website being hacked.
Surprisingly, there is more of an interest and attempts to use your server as an email relay for spam1, using servers as part of a botnet2 or you could also be hit by ransomware3 to mention a few. Shared servers are the most vulnerable: if one person’s website is hacked, the entire hosting service can be made vulnerable.
As you can see, bad things can happen when your website becomes compromised! With recent Internet security issues many more companies are choosing to host on a dedicated server. We, The Port Web Design, host only on dedicated servers – only our clients are hosted on our servers. We know all of them and their websites. But that will be for another post.
Listed below are tips to help keep your website safe online:
Keep software up to date
Make sure you keep all WordPress web design, themes and plugins up-to-date; it’s critical in keeping your site secure. When website security holes are found in software, hackers are quick to respond in attempting to exploit them.
If you are using third-party software on your website such as a contact plugin or any other type of plugin, it is important you apply updates and security patches immediately. WordPress and other Content Management Systems will inform you of such available updates when you log in. Please check our WordPress Care Plans.
Security plugins are a must on any kind of website Sucuri maintain a free WordPress security plugin and guide to cleaning hacked WordPress sites. We install the free Sucuri plugin on all our websites. Sucuri premium option for website security offers advanced scanning and the non-stop monitoring of all files on your website.
Applying the use of using complex passwords to your website is vital to help limit access to hackers. It is wise to use strong passwords and implement good password practices discussed below for both server and website admin areas.
Good password practices include using a combination of alphanumeric characters, upper and lower case characters, and symbols. Passwords should be at least 12 to 14 characters long to prevent unwanted attacks.
HTTPS is a code of conduct (the norm) used to provide security over the Internet. HTTPS is oftentimes used for credit card payments and login pages. It is also essential for all online transactions and sensitive information.
Pay attention to Google’s announcement that HTTPS will improve search rankings and soon becoming the standard. It’s just another reason to consider adding it to your website as soon as possible. Should you need assistance, it is suggested you contact your web designer to implement this change as soon as possible.
Toughen up admin access to your computer
The administrative (admin) level of your website is an easy way into everything you do. It is also a way hackers can get into your website. Enforce user names and passwords using the good password practice discussed earlier. It is also advised to limit the number of login attempts within a certain time to help prevent hackers from disrupting your website.
Installing security applications
There are some free and paid WordPress security applications to help secure your website. Security applications can be installed in your website to help and will make it a bit more difficult for hackers.
A web designer would be a good source to contact in seeking advice or help install current security applications for your website.
Remove form auto-fill
Beware that when you leave auto-fill enabled for forms on your website, you leave your site open to attack from any user’s computer or phone that has been hi-jacked.
Back-up your website daily. Should your website get hacked or crash, you will be protected from losing all your data and hard work; it is well worth your time and effort. Backing up your website once a day means that you only lose that day’s data.
If you have a doubt about the quality, security, speed of your website please contact us so we can scan and give a FREE analysis of your website and see how we can help.
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