This article is for cPanel Accounts. Determine where your account is with this guide.
Our websites are very important, plain and simple. Unfortunately, there are hackers who have a goal to destroy everything we’ve created, killing our search engine rankings and leaving us with nothing but a compromised site.
Many people don’t know how to protect themselves from this problem, so in order to help, here is a list of things that you should do to protect yourself, your website, and your information.
The number one way that hackers compromise websites is through out-dated software and scripts. If you have WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or any other software that hasn’t been updated for a few months or more, it’s time to check for an update! Most software providers offer auto-updates allowing you to upgrade to the newest version without any technical knowledge. Nearly all software updates released contain security patches that cover up a known security vulnerability. It’s usually not the server that is exploited; it’s your software and scripts.
Only very trusted people should have the password to your hosting account and/or content management system. Make sure passwords won’t be easy to guess, and that they combine a variety of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and even symbols.
The Web is full of viruses including Trojan horses, spyware, and even Keyloggers. These programs can be discreetly installed on your home PC without you even knowing, and will keep track of everything you do. Keyloggers can record all the keys you press, even while typing passwords! Make sure that you have a good anti-virus on your PC that actively monitors your activity while you are surfing the Web, as well as downloading files. There are many good free anti-virus programs out there such as Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows and ClamXav for Macs, that keep updated with new virus definitions, and do a great job of protecting you and your computer.
If you have a copy of all the content on your site and your site is hacked, you can re-upload your content to its original form without a problem. Make sure to backup databases as well, especially if you are using a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal; all of your pages and posts will be saved within the database that it’s tied to! There is a tool called “Backups” within the cPanel that allows you to backup your entire home account, or just certain databases.
If you keep these 4 key things in mind, you will not have much need for worry, and with backups taken, you’ll never have to start from scratch if something does go wrong!