Making sure your website is safe should be one of the highest priorities for any domain owner. Having no preventative measures put in place could mean disaster for your web hosting and website, and sadly is something that happens far too often. Luckily, it is entirely possible to defend against this and any website hacking that could take place by following a few simple guidelines.
Here are some tips you can use to make sure you aren’t another victim of a security breach:
- Use a VPN: Virtual Private Networks are often used to shield your IP address from the rest of the world, and are great for hiding any information that may be shown on your website. They are also great for browsing anonymously and preventing data leaks which could include payment or personal information which are commonly sought after in website hacking.
- Update Everything: This could range from email account passwords, File Manager software, account dashboard passwords and software versions such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. Coding for websites also need to be updated to the most current version of their scripts such as PHP and ASP.NET, since newer versions will have security patches in place.
- Change Default Settings: Often, when a system such as WordPress, for example, is set up, you will automatically be given a filled in area that can be optionally changed. You always will want to make sure you change this, otherwise it makes it easier for hackers to social engineer their way into your account.
- Need to Know Basis: It may be tempting to go the easy route and give all your information to parties you work with. Don’t be fooled though, since this should be limited to those that absolutely need it to function in their job duties. One example would be to only give a web developer access to a restricted area of website directory, just where they need to input new website files, but to not allow them access to your billing area.
- Keep Backups: If your website does ultimately become subject to hacking, it’s good to keep local, consistent backups of your files as a countermeasure. That way you can simply restore your website while plugging in any holes that could have potentially let the website hacker in. Bear in mind that it should never be assumed that backups are just stored on a hosting provider’s end since sometimes they don’t go back far enough, or there is a large fee to recover from them.
- Use a SSL: Secure Socket Layers help in providing encrypted communication between the website server and browser. This is essential for websites that use payment details or Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and need to prevent anyone from breaching that data. It also comes in handy to have this since it also aids in making your domain PCI compliant if you are handling financial information.
- Secure Yourself: The best tool against website hacking is you and how you keep important information safe. Never give your password or case sensitive information away without checking the source and verifying them first. Usually hackers will be deterred with some simple resistance/preventative measures in place, so make sure you’re doing your part to keep yourself and others safe security wise.