Data breaches are becoming an increasing concern for all types of organizations today and no matter how big or small you are, there is always a looming threat of losing your precious data. There are millions of users across the Internet who share some of their vital personal information including credit card information or email address which can be easily manipulated by expert hackers. They can use malicious links to destroy your valuable content or hijack servers that may be used in DDoS attacks.
Most website owners are of the assumption that their website may never be targeted at all but hacking attempts may not always be done for stealing information. Instead, they may use your server to introduce spam content and serve malicious content which may be illegal in nature. Moreover, there are automated scripts which may be written to search the Internet to exploit some of the security loopholes in the website. In this article, we have described tips to protect your website against hacking your website.
Top 8 tips to protect your website against hackers
1. Update your software
Software updates can cost you a lot of money which is why most companies avoid doing that often. However, if your website is vulnerable to attacks and if you are delaying taking the appropriate security measures, then you could you exposing your website with possible threats. Even if your website was created by a team of developers or built from scratch using DIY, it’s always important to ensure that you have software programs updated from time to time.
If your website runs on a CMS platform or uses any of the third-party plugins, then you need to update them as well.
2. Use strong and secure passwords
The best way to prevent brute force attempts and security threats is by using a combination of usernames and passwords which may be difficult to guess by hackers. It’s always recommended to use passwords that contain alphanumeric characters with upper and lowercase characters and symbols comprising of at least 12 characters. Always change your passwords regularly and store them in encrypted form. Thus, in the event of any security breach, the hackers may not be able to have access to the actual passwords.
3. Switch over to HTTPS
HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure or HTTPS helps to transfer sensitive information securely across networks or between the web server and website. By using the HTTPS protocol, you are adding an encryption layer of Transport Layer Security (TLS) to provide an additional layer of security for protection against hacking attempts. Google also considers HTTPS as a key ranking factor which can also help you to boost your website search rankings.
A Cheap Wildcard SSL certificate can also be a great option for website owners who want to provide robust encryption solutions with greater security assurance to their customers. They help in keeping your information secure in a quick and cost-effective way while allowing you to conduct transactions online and protect against growing cybercrimes.
4. Be careful while accepting file uploads
If you offer privileges and rights to your customers, then make sure they do not misuse it by overwriting your existing files or uploading malicious content. This could possibly harm your website so it’s better to restrict access to users in such cases. But if it becomes crucial and you need to grant access then it’s best to scan files for malware and make a list of file extensions that may be allowed. Make sure to keep the upload folder away from the webroot.
5. Safeguard your website against CSS
The best way to protect your web application against XSS attacks is by using the security development lifecycle.
6. Track your email transmission ports
Hackers may try to target your email to access information than the website itself. Make sure to find out if your email transmission is secure by checking your email settings. For example-if your communication is through IMAP Port 143, POP3 Port 110, SMTP Port 25, then you can conclude that your email transmission is not secure.
7. Check your file and directory permissions
The files and folders stored on your web hosting account contain scripts and data required for making your website work. They are assigned specific permissions to read, write and execute files or folders allotted based on the users or groups. Thus, a file having a permission code that allows users across the web to write and execute is far less secure than the one where only the owner has all the privileges.
Thus, it may be safe to set your file permissions as 644 for files and 755 for folders and directories to avoid security risk to your website.
8. Use website vulnerability scanners
Website vulnerability scanners can help in spotting out technical deficiencies in your website which may be prone to SQL injection and XSS attacks. It’s important to choose the right type of scanner which can assess vulnerabilities beyond cross-site scripting and must cover failure to secure directories.
Online security may be crucial for protecting your website from hacking attempts which may otherwise result in a compromise of data and information. Most hackers are aware of advanced and sophisticated methods for accessing your online data. This makes it crucial for all kinds of enterprises to take the right steps and implement security measures to safeguard their website from cyber-attacks.
The first step towards ensuring the online security of your website is to identify the loopholes in your system and work towards making the necessary improvements to avoid being targeted by hackers. SSL may be a key step in ensuring that your information stays secure and data is transmitted safely to the intended recipients.