Much like we need a security system for our homes, the websites we build also need for security measures to be put into place, especially when we are protecting our customers’ sensitive information. While hackers continue to learn of more sophisticated ways to break into our websites, there are basic measures we can put into place in order to make it more difficult for hackers to achieve their nasty goals!
Tips to Keep Website Safe From Hackers
Firewall- Your computer must be behind a firewall, helping to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your private network. This is certainly not a foolproof methodology, but it is a critical part of deterring would-be hackers.
Passwords are key- It’s tempting to use the same password for everything we do so that we can remember it, but that leaves us incredibly vulnerable to hacking- not only should you change the passwords associated with your site and email with frequency, but you should also be sure to use a mix of numbers, symbols, and letters for optimal hacker confusability.
Be sure to back up your files regularly- If someone hacks into your website, make you can immediately update your files with the most recent version. The more frequently you do this, the more up-to-date your files will be in the event of an emergency.
Operating system updates- Take advantage of these! They typically introduce updated security features, among other benefits.
Upgrade your anti-virus software- Ensure that this software is always up-to-date and that you are taking advantage of important upgrades that are offered. New upgrades are critical, as hackers are always finding new ways to invade your privacy!
Have your site audited for vulnerability- Sites like Acutinex.com and WebsiteDefender.com can audit your site and find points of vulnerability.
Beware of suspicious emails and attachments- We’ve all heard of or had this experience once, where an attachment was opened in an email from someone we don’t know or someone pretending to be of service to us, and then the computer crashed and chaos ensued. Steer clear of even opening emails from suspicious parties. If you do open the email, check the email address- it might, for example, appear to be from your bank at first glance, but the email address might not use the bank’s domain. Warning sign!
Keep a positive online reputation- When building your brand and maintaining your website, be careful to keep your website’s reputation positive and polished. Hackers come in all forms, and if someone is insulted by something you say, or even thinks you are coming across as a bit too big for your britches, that might be all it takes to incite a bit of a hackfest.
Outside protection- Sites like StoptheHacker.com can constantly monitor your site from a far and alert you when there is activity on your site that appears suspicious that you might otherwise not notice. This is an especially important tool to leverage when you have customer information to protect. Services like these can help you with things like blacklist and reputation monitoring, as well, and can also help with cleanup if your site is in the unfortunate position of being hacked.
It is important to note that none of these steps are foolproof, and each on its own is not enough to protect you from hacking. But ensuring that you have the combo-pack of all of these most basic steps covered will ensure a far lower likelihood that your website is hacked.