5 Website Security Tips to Secure Your Website from Hackers
Seeking out website security tips is a solid move on your part. A surprising number of websites are compromised daily. And it even happens to those who don’t think they have anything to lose, let alone protect from hackers.
TechJury says, globally, 30,000 websites are hacked daily.
Your desire to secure your website from hackers is valid. Hackers aren’t always interested in your data or defaming you by plastering a malicious message on your homepage.
It could be much worse. Hackers could set up a temporary server to host illegal files or use it as an email relay for spam. And that could easily ripple out into other unwanted ramifications like loss of customer trust or revenue.
So, let’s look at the steps to prevent the website from hacking.
1. Keep Plugins & Software Up to Date
Whether it’s your Content Management System (CMS), plugins running on your website, forum, or otherwise, keeping your software up-to-date is one of your first lines of defense.
Are you regularly checking-in to perform website patches and updates? If not, do you have automated processes in place to protect your website from hackers?
Hackers exploit and abuse the security holes in your software. If your website is running on a managed hosting solution, updates should be automatic. But if you’re using third-party software, the responsibility falls on your lap.
Take advantage of RSS feeds or mailing lists issued by WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or otherwise to stay abreast of changes.
(WordPress regularly covers security topics on their blog.)
2. Use The HTTPS Protocol
Does your website run on the HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) protocol?
HTTPS offers security to your users and prevents interception from outside connections, as well as changes to the content they’re seeing on your site.
If you’re collecting personal information from your users (e.g., payment details from your customers), HTTPS isn’t just recommended. It’s a practical necessity to protect your website from hackers.
These days, reliable vendors like Entrust along with Indusface, allow you to enable HTTPS with SSL Certificates. But no matter what website builder you might be using, there are HTTPS modules ready to be deployed.
3. Secure Your Passwords
If you’re asking, “how to secure my website from hackers,” then it would be good to know that security often begins with your passwords.
Replace simplistic, easy-to-guess passwords (especially default manufacturer passwords). As a security mandate, all users have to create a password featuring at least one uppercase letter, number, special character and make it at least eight characters long.
Taking advantage of hashing algorithms like SHA makes decryption impossible and will minimize potential damages, if not eliminate them.
4. Ban File Uploads
Did you know that letting users upload files to your server or website could pose a major security risk? That includes simple, mundane actions like uploading an avatar for their user profile.
When uploaded to your unprotected server, even innocent-looking scripts can pose a cybersecurity threat. All uploaded files need to be monitored and vetted, even if trusted employees upload them.
The trick to protecting your website from hackers here is to disallow the ability for users to execute files they’ve uploaded. If possible, prevent direct access to all uploaded files and store them outside the webroot or database.
5. Take Advantage of Website Security Tools
This is typically the last step to actioning website security tips. After you’ve done everything, you can secure your website from hackers, the next step is to check up on your site’s overall security using penetration testing tools.
There are both free and paid security tools available, and while there is often a difference in the level of security offered, some protection is better than none.
Competent free tools include:
- Xenotix XSS Exploit Framework
Some popular paid solutions include:
Additional Website Security Tips
The above is just a starting point. For complete security, action these steps:
- Keep tabs on SQL injection attacks
- Protect against cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks
- Ensure that your website error messages don’t give away too much information (this makes you more vulnerable to hackers)
- Implement validation on the browser and server-sides
Website security tips are essential to prevent hackers from getting the best of your data, content, or your server. Use the above as a starting point and stay updated with the latest best practices and cybersecurity solutions.