Tips to protect your website from getting hacked

Tips to protect your website from getting hacked

Are you precious about your website security? Uncertain about what preventative measures you can take to impede hackers from taking down your website or accessing your online supposedly secure files and data?

Avoid being hacked – Official Google News concerning online security.

Below are some useful tips that will reduce the risk of your sensitive data getting hacked or personal data stolen!

1. Password Security

It is apparent that many people and business owners use passwords that are memorable to them, we have seen scenarios whereby:

  • people will use their first name as the username and their last name as the password
  • they will use their first and last name as the username and their date of birth as their password
  • most commonly people will use their email address as their username and a simple one-word tag as their password.

How to create a strong, secure password that will give you peace of mind :-

Firstly you need to create a password that is made up from a variety of different characters. Including UPPERCASE LETTERS, lowercase letters, num83r5 (numbers), symb@}s (symbols) and punct,at1on (punctuation).

Why? Because hackers or code breakers use a variety of various automated tools that will scan all the different variations of combinations usually of standard lowercase letters. By making your password with all of the available characters you are ensuring that hackers will not be able to find your password. Imagine how many different combinations there are with all of these libraries and their variables!

Secondly, you should choose a password that is at least 15 characters in length. If you find it difficult to conjure up a password like this, then there are strong password generator tools online which can help make a strong password for you. If you are a Mac user, then you can install apples' simple dashboard widget that will generate a password for you at the click of a button, which comes in useful quite often.

Read tips about strong passwords

2. Software Updates

Whether you are a PC user, use a server for stored files or have a website it is imperative that all your software is up to date. Outdated software is very vulnerable to hackers, in layman's terms you are quite simply opening your front door to them and inviting them in for a cup of tea.

Outdated software is insecure, all of the latest updates released by software companies will have all the latest patches and software companies will have spent a considerable amount of time and investment in eradicating vulnerabilities.

If you have add-ons on your website or plugins installed, and these are not up to date, then they either need to be removed or updated. They are an easy way in for hackers to embed their tracking codes into corrupt files that can lead to stealing your private data.

3. Be alert of suspect email addresses

Hackers are becoming very sneaky with all of the phishing emails of late. You need to be very careful what emails you open and what links you click on in those emails.

Hackers usually attempt to hack your email address first – this is why it is so important to create a strong password. Once they do steal your email information, they then send out malicious links to all of your contacts.

Whatever you do never click on any link that looks suspicious. If you do, then you will be the target of a hack and a file will attach itself to your computer. These hacks come in the form of many guises. One of the most used hacks will remember all of your keyword strokes, and you will never know it is even there. While quietly in the background it will be sending all of the data to a hackers terminal, and they will try and steal any sensitive data that they can from your PC including bank details and sensitive data.

My advice would always be to check to see where the email came from in the sender field. Not just the text that appears in the header of the email. Delve deeper to see the actual email address, it will usually be much gibberish, or it will be a strange name @gmail.com or @hotmail.com. Hackers use these free email accounts as anyone can set them up to be totally untraceable.

4. Use Google tools to stay informed of potentially hacked content on your website

It is important to have tools that can help you proactively monitor your site. The sooner you can find out about a compromise, the sooner you can work on fixing your site.

I recommend you sign up for Search Console if you have not already. Search Console is Google's way of communicating with you about issues on your site including if we have detected hacked content. You can also set up Google Alerts for your site to notify you if there are any questionable results for your site. For example, if you run a site selling pet accessories called www.example.com, you can set up an alert for [site:example.com cheap software] to alert you. If any hacked content about cheap software suddenly starts appearing on your site. You can set up multiple alerts for your site for different spammy terms. If you are unsure what spammy words to use, you can use Google to search for ‘common spammy names'.

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Posted by Duncan Maund

An image of the Managing Director of Mediatopia
Duncan Maund is the Managing Director of Mediatopia. He has been educating business owners on Social Media & Digital Marketing for over ten years. Having been involved with over 1500 website projects, Duncan has the knowledge and expertise to coach and advise businesses how to succeed in all digital technologies.