A hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds in the U.S., affecting one in three Americans yearly.
Don’t leave the front door of your website wide open! You need to secure your website by taking safeguards to keep out hackers, bugs, and other online pests. Otherwise, your data could be in danger, your website can crash, or you can also shed cash.
Here’s how to make a site safe
- Mount SSL – buying an easy Secure Sockets Layer certification is an essential primary step.
- Usage anti-malware software to scan for and prevent malicious attacks.
- Make your passwords unbreakable – 123456 is not enough!
- Keep your website updated – using outdated software is like leaving your backdoor open.
- Don’t help the hackers; look for phishing e-mails and other scams.
- Accept on-site comments manually – keep control over potentially questionable comments.
- Perform regular backups – to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Security is essential to everyone, and research confirms it. We spoke to 425 users, some of whom chose their first web host and others who switched providers, about the features they value most. 25% of all respondents cited security as their top priority.
Aside from the financial loss, a hacker attack can lead to significant losses in traffic, the blocking or crashing of your website, and even identity theft. Your data and that of your visitors could be at risk.
How should you fend off hackers?
That’s another common concern, but luckily you don’t need scary technical knowledge to secure your website. These steps are easy to implement, and we’ll walk you through every part of the process.
How do websites get hacked?
Before we get into the details of protecting your website from hacking, let’s talk about what a hacked website looks like.
While there is no particular way a hacked website looks, there are patterns. And we should tell you now that if your website has been hacked, you will not doubt it because something will be very wrong. Here are some standard methods hacking presents itself:
- Ransomware. The hacker threatens to release your data and block access to your website unless a ransom is paid.
- Gibberish hack. You will discover many automatically created pages with keywords and gibberish to make them appear on Google for keywords. When people click on them, they will be redirected to a questionable website.
- Disguised keywords as a hack. As above, but a bit more sophisticated – at first glance, these pages look like the ones on your website, as only the written content has been changed.
- Japanese keywords hack. Creates random pages in Japanese that are full of affiliate links to stores selling fake goods.
- Malicious code/viruses. If a malicious code or a virus is infiltrated into your website, it may stop your website from working or prevent you from accessing it. It is also possible that all of your hardware will be affected.
- Denial of Service (DoS). Hackers utilize bots to overload a website with requests and crash the server on which it resides.
- Phishing. Scammers contact your customers by pretending to belong to your company and using your branding, hoping to find personal information.
One of the most straightforward points you can make to safeguard your website, yourself, and your individuals are to set up a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. You might not know it, yet you run into SSL browsing the Internet. It’s the reason for the “s” in “HTTPS” and the padlock in the address bar.
Good to know
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. You install an SSL certification on your site that secures the data (such as login credentials) between your website and site visitors. There are different levels of SSL – e-commerce sites that process payment data, for example, should use a more advanced version.
SSL encrypts the information that is exchanged between your site and your visitors. Google now warns visitors when they visit a site without SSL and even “discriminates” against those sites in its search results.
SSL security is paramount when accepting payments through your website, asking for login credentials, or transferring files. Without it, the information is unprotected as well as prone to cyberpunks.
The importance of SSL for website safety and security – specifically in online shops
“An SSL certification is a must if you run an eCommerce shop or collect visitor information such as e-mails on your internet site. SSL certificates improve search engine optimization and prove that all the data visitors send to your site is transmitted over an encrypted channel, so hackers can’t view it during transmission.”
You don’t need to know the technical details of SSL security, so don’t worry if you don’t know how it works. The most important thing is knowing your website needs SSL and how to get it.
There are several ways to install SSL. We recommend the following three ways in particular:
- Choose a high-quality website builder that includes SSL for free.
- Choose a hosting provider (HostGator, for example) that offers a free SSL in all packages (if you build your site with a content management system like WordPress.org)
- Install a simple Let’s Encrypt SSL yourself for free.
Unless you run a large online store or handle large amounts of sensitive data, the accessible version of SSL is probably sufficient. If you wish for a much higher level of security, you’ll have to pay for an advanced SSL certificate. These differ in price and can be purchased from hosting providers or domain registrars.
Did you know?
Hacker attacks are the most common cause of data breaches on the Internet, accounting for 61.9% of lost data. Greater than 8 billion records have been lost due to hacker attacks.
Use anti-malware software
“Anti-malware software” may sound like a lot of jargon, but the good news is that anti-malware software does the hard work for you – so you don’t have to worry about the technical stuff.
SiteLock is utilized by over 12 million websites and offers different packages with different levels of protection. That means you can customize your security to suit your website’s needs and budget. The security services offered include:
- Web scanning
- Malware detection and removal
- Firewall for web applications
- Vulnerability patching
- DDoS protection
- PCI compliance
If you don’t know what this means, that’s not a problem – that’s what anti-malware software is for!
A good website builder or hosting provider should take care of your website security for you. Hosting providers often offer anti-malware software as part of their offerings – some even offer free services like SiteLock!
Other providers offer a range of integrated tools – InMotion, for example, has a security package included in its cheapest offer. That consists of:
- Free SSL
- Protection against hacker attacks
- Automatic backups
- DDoS protection
These are the security basics for your website and the features you should look for when choosing a hosting provider. Whether your provider has built-in tools or offers additional free tools like SiteLock, anti-malware software will provide you with additional protection.
Excellent internet site safety and security begin with a good web host, as mentioned
“Web hosts are the backbone of your site. They assist you to obtain online and often provide added tools for your website to develop an internet site with the appearance you want. Quality website hosting providers have protocols to protect WordPress and other content management systems they host, such as automatic security patches and updates. The hosting provider is responsible for maintaining their servers and performing the necessary security monitoring.”
Make your passwords unbreakable
Passwords. They are so familiar to us that we sometimes forget how important they are. It’s easy to overlook that your password is often all that stands between a hacker and your personal information.
Passwords are not only a significant step but additionally among the most convenient things you can alter to enhance the protection of your website. Take just 20 minutes today to improve your passwords, and you’ll be well on your way to a more secure website.
Did you know?
40% of small businesses surveyed reported that their company had been the victim of an attack where employee passwords were misused. The ordinary expense of each attack was just over $380 thousand!
The U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center analyzes the most common account passwords. Then, a list of the ten most frequently created hacked passwords. If you use any of the following passwords, it’s time to change them (and change them right now)!
Instead of using easy-to-guess phrases, do a few things instead
- Combine three random, unrelated, but memorable phrases
- Use a randomly generated sequence of characters
- Don’t use recurring passwords – use a password manager to manage all passwords.
- Make your password long.
- Never utilize personal information in your password – that’s the first thing hackers will try!
There is a seemingly endless list of password tips; you should combine some of these tactics to create uncrackable passwords. Once you have your new bulletproof passwords, be careful with them – don’t share them, even with friends, and change them regularly (about once a quarter).
Keep your website up to date
That isn’t about posting the latest gossip or keeping your visitors up to date on your newest product. That is about the importance of keeping your website software up to date.
If you’re using a website builder, you don’t have to worry about this as much because most builders handle software updates and security issues for you. However, if you’re using a platform like WordPress, you need to be on top of everything and make updates as needed.
You need to make updates to your core WordPress software as well as any plugins you have installed. If you don’t, everything can become outdated and vulnerable to bugs, glitches, and hackers with malicious code.
If your website is outdated, it can have fatal security consequences. So it can’t hurt to keep an eye on updates. The great news is that you can automatically set these updates in your dashboard – but it’s still worth watching it and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
Good to know
When choosing plugins for your WordPress website, pay attention to the quality. Anyone can create plugins; low-quality plugins can contain bugs or harmful code. Check testimonials, seek relied-on programmers, and thoroughly inspect the plugin before clicking Install.
Don’t assist the hackers
We know this seems like a total “duh” moment. Well, I’m not going to give away my data and allow my website to be hacked – that’s why I’m reading this article! The problem is that people still fall victim to scammers – through no fault – and unknowingly give away important information about themselves.
Did you know that 92.4% of all malware is spread via e-mail? That makes it the essential method of attack and means that you must always watch for anything unusual in your inbox.
You can always use more technology to protect your website, but you must remember that 95% of cybersecurity breaches are because of human mistakes. Safeguard your website by being on guard and dubious of messages, e-mails, or calls asking for personal info.
It seems simple, yet the rip-offs are getting a lot more advanced. Right here are five things you can do to make sure your site does not open the door to unwanted visitors:
Beware of public or open Internet connections when working in a common area like a coffee shop – they’re not safe!
Never click on web links in e-mails that seem suspicious – delete the e-mail immediately! That is important even if you use a professional e-mail linked to your website rather than a private one.
Be careful that admit access to your website – check if the administrators are people you can trust and ensure they are security conscious.
Change your website’s default setups, passwords, and usernames as soon as you establish your account – this is especially essential for WordPress sites.
Count on just confirmed specialists to access your site. For example, scammers sometimes intend to take control of your screen under the pretense of taking care of technological concerns.
You guessed it. We know this sounds like sound judgment, but phishing e-mails are coming to be an increasing number of sensible – so remain alert!
Manually accepting comments on the website
Exists a much better sensation than striking “Publish” on your website and then seeing the comments roll in? That’s proof that visitors have visited your site and liked it.
Remarks are the perfect method to determine involvement, offer social evidence to various other visitors, get in touch with others in your particular niche, and even accept positive comments. We enjoy getting remarks, therefore need to you!
Bots, phony accounts, and trolls are ready and waiting with a ridiculous comment or spam web link. At ideal, this is bothersome; at worst, it can present a security risk to you and your users. Nevertheless, there are always remarks that are not quite as funny.
If users can publish comments directly to your site, there’s a chance that malicious links can creep right into the comments area. That is especially harmful to your website visitors who click on the web link and risk revealing individual info or accidentally setting up malware.
To neutralize this, you can alter your site’s setups to require you to accept remarks by hand before they show up on your site, allowing you to remove any spam. Other ways to lower these destructive web links include:
- Use an anti-spam software program or a plugin (such as Akismet for WordPress individuals).
- Ask site visitors to register prior before they can comment.
- Switch off talk about blog posts after a month or more.
With these measures in place, your comment section should remain safe, fun, and enjoyable for you and your visitors while keeping hackers and their malicious links out.
Perform regular backups
If you follow the steps described, you can stop hackers in their tracks. But don’t take your website’s security for granted – just as a safety net underneath you is a good idea when you’re walking a tightrope, it makes sense to make regular backups of your website.
Creating backups of your website guarantees that if something occurs, you’ll still have an up-to-date variation of your site that’s risk-free, audio, and ready to be relaunched.
A backup replicates your website’s data – such as data, web content, media, and data sources. If you have a vast or challenging site, you will need substantial backup storage space to store all your data.
Why backups are a good idea
“If your business website gets hacked, you need a way to get it back up and running so you don’t miss out on customers. With an automated backup service like CodeGuard, you can quickly restore the last undamaged version of your site if something goes wrong. Make sure the service you choose performs daily backups, so you don’t have to revert to an outdated website version in the event of a crash.”
So how can you back up your website to keep everything running smoothly? Well, there are several ways to back up your website, including:
Utilize a web host with backups in its strategies, like A2 Hosting. Some hosts have backup software built-in or readily available as an add-on. However, these might have restricted storage rooms, so we do not usually suggest relying upon this software for all your backup requirements.
Utilizing a backup service is usually the best and most trustworthy approach. Nevertheless, regardless of which backup approach you select, there are some crucial points you need always to be aware of:
- Offsite backups – This way, your data is stored far away from hackers in a secure, offsite location rather than on a regular server. That also protects your backups from hardware failures.
- Automated backups – Remember that 95% of security breaches are due to human error? Don’t forget to develop backups and pay the price – if you automate this process, you can sit back and relax.
- Redundant backups – Your website data is stored in multiple server locations, not just one. Think of it as having backups or your backups!
- Regular backups – It’s no good if you only do backups once a year. In case of a cyberpunk attack, you will undoubtedly be left with a dated version of your site. It would certainly be best if you aimed for at least weekly backups.
The much more often you update your internet site, the more often you ought to execute backups. Nevertheless, we advise playing it safe – if you are stuck, you will never regret supporting your website frequently!
You can also secure your website with free tools. Below we present some of the most critical security tools available for free and as premium tools.
Sucuri is a cybersecurity company. It can help you protect a website from critical security issues such as malware, spyware, Trojans, denial of service attacks, and hackers.
Qualys is a cybersecurity company that provides security for cloud-based applications and servers. It can help you identify a variety of security risks and help you protect your web applications and I.T. servers.
UpGuard is another network security company that specializes in protecting sensitive enterprise data. UpGuard offers third-party risk management, attack surface management, and managed security services. UpGuard monitors data from your vendor or another party to prevent data leaks.
Detectify offers similar services to UpGuard, but Detectify provides an A.I. risk monitor that scans your website for over two thousand vulnerabilities to malicious attacks.
ImmuniWeb is a Swiss-based security company. It has machine learning and A.I. technology to detect malicious activity or vulnerabilities for SaaS-based applications. ImmuniWeb checks a website against numerous standards, including PCI, DSS, GDPR compliance, HTTP headers, vulnerabilities in front-end libraries, and a CMS-specific test for WordPress and Drupal sites.
How to secure a website: Summary
Good website security starts with you – selecting a dependable website builder or holding provider, making sensible decisions regarding just how you run your website, and placing the added initiative to keep passwords safeguarded.
And also, we’re right here to assist you along the way!
With any luck, you’ve learned how to safeguard a website and discovered that it’s not as tough as you first assumed. You don’t need technical knowledge or a big budget to make your website secure – as our list has shown!
We’ve listed the steps you can take to secure your website. However, this list is by no means exhaustive – there are many more tips, tricks, and tools you can utilize to protect your website .
For even more protection, check out Fix Hacked Site. This website security checker scans your site for malware, removing it automatically and protecting your site from attack.