If you own a website, then there is a chance that your website can be attacked by hackers. It is easy to develop a professional looking blog and even easier to hack CMS websites.
You might be tension-free because there is nothing to steal from your platform. However, most hackers tend to use your server for malicious activities such as a temporary server, email spamming and serving illegal files. While may you think that there is no sensitive user data, IDs or passwords to be compromised, your website can prove to be a perfect destination for a hacker to use for financial gain. Possibly the hacker can cause some serious legal problems if they use your website to participate in illegal activity.
A website is like your home. If you do not have a home security system, the thief might barge in and steal your valuables. In case of a website, the data or space on the server is what the thief wants.
As an owner of a website, it becomes your moral responsibility to secure user data and save your website from illegal use. Running a blog or a website safely is not an easy task, but with some smart moves along with security awareness can save you from a potential security breach. The following are seven points that will help deter most aspiring hackers:
1. Default Passwords
We know it is convenient to use a default password and username, which is the admin for most websites. It is too simple to guess. Most hackers try to attack websites by using the default or commonly used usernames and passwords.
When you are selecting a password for your admin panel, it is too predictable to go for something like 123456 or abcd1234. These password combinations are the easiest to guess. There is a reason your admin panel has a username and password. It is the first security lock applied to your website. By choosing a simple password, you are virtually making it effortless for a hacker to break the lock.
Think carefully and choose a password with numbers, special characters and capitals and make it longer than eight characters. I prefer to use unique 15 character passwords that does spell any commonly used words. Don’t make it a cake walk for your hacker.
2. Updated Platform
A lot of website owners make this mistake and don’t update their platform and scripts on a regular basis. The updates remove security glitches and by not updating you are exposing the website to a security attack.
Whether your website is developed bit by bit from the scrape or a ready-made template, it is essential to update your platform and scripts regularly. A CMS platform code is open-sourced, therefore a hacker can easily discover any weakness and exploit it. That is why communities for and contributors to a CMS keep updating their platform to remove security loopholes. Not only should you update the CMS, you should also make sure that there is an active community contributing to updating the CMS.
3. Use HTTPS
Most of us already check for that small green signal in the URL while providing sensitive information. HTTPS confirms that your website is secure for a sensitive transaction. It simply means you are adding an extra security layer and encryption to your website.
If you have an e-commerce platform, then SSL certification becomes necessary for debit and credit card transactions.
Moreover, according to a recent announcement by Google, websites which are not using HTTPS will be labeled as Not Secured in their browser.
4. Strong Security
Your security is not complete until you ensure that your in-house team computers are fully secured. Inactivity should lead to expired login, passwords should frequently be changed and every computer should be checked for malware at regular intervals.
A web application firewall also adds to the security layer of your website. WAF scans every data that is exchanged and extensively checks every bit of information being passed between data connection and web server. It protects your website from SPAM, cross-website scripting, SQL injection, brute force attacks and other such security breaches.
Every month hackers attack hundreds of websites. One thing is evident, hosting providers cannot fully save your website from being hacked. This security weakness can be strengthened by a web application firewall.
5. Limit File Uploads
Many times the dilemma arises during file upload. You cannot avoid a file upload and even if you fully check a file multiple times, bugs find their way in.
One option that you have in this case is to not save files in the root folder. It is suggested to cut off direct access to any files that are being uploaded. Prevent saving files in the root directory and you can avoid the attack to a great extent.
6. Avoid auto-fill forms
The form auto-fill, that is a nice convenience, helps your hacker recover information from a stolen laptop or phone. A few seconds of laziness can cause serious harm to your website. Don’t use the form auto-fill and get in the habit of typing in usernames and other information (passwords should never auto-fill) every time you want to access your website and any website for that matter. Agreeably, this scenario is unlikely, but it happens. And it won’t hurt you to take extra caution.
7. Back-up Regularly
Always be prepared for the worst. I even back-up our smartphones regularly just in case it gets broken or lost. So why not do the same for your website. Backup your entire data at frequent intervals.
We know it is too much of a hassle to backup multiple times a day, but this will help you recover if the website is hacked. Every time a file is saved or uploaded, it should be copied at multiple locations automatically.
Remember if your website is hacked, you potentially will lose all the data. Just think about what if your website is attacked and take measures to overcome it.
Though most of us are optimistic, there is nothing worse than realizing that your website is at risk. Sometimes it takes only one attack to get to your website and everything is shattered right in front of your eyes.
Website security breaches are hard to detect. How can you possibly find an invisible person sitting behind a computer screen trying to get into your system? In most of the cases, you can’t. The only option left is to take some security measures before it’s too late. You can be the next victim of an unseen hacker.
Please comment below if you have any questions.