Tips for Protecting Your Website from Hackers

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Having your site hacked could very well kill your business. Web users entrust sensitive data such as addresses, phone numbers, emails, credit card information, and social security numbers, among others, to websites every day. It’s the responsibility of the website owner or the developer to keep this information secure. Failure to do so could result in legal action from those affected. If you are concerned about the rising number of cybercrime, as you should be, follow the below tips to secure your website:

Use HTTPS Protocol

HTTPS is a security protocol that offers a significant level of protection for data on your website. The HTTPS protocol can guarantee that the data sent through a website goes to the intended server without getting tampered with during the journey. HTTPS basically makes sure hackers cannot steal data while in transit to a server. Websites, especially commercial ones, are strongly encouraged to invest in HTTPS protocol rather than the regular HTTP. At least, you can make parts of your website HTTPS, such as login pages or purchase pages. Over the years, HTTPS has become less expensive so even the smallest businesses can afford it.

Buy SSL Protocol and Certificate

An SSL certificate works similarly to HTTPS, but it’s more powerful. In simple terms, SSL encrypts the data transmitted between a browser and client (like a server). The advantage of encryption is that, even if a hacker gets hands on your data, the hacker won’t be able to “read” it. This is the best way to secure transmission of sensitive data like credit card information. You can buy one of these certificates from a trusted provider. Unlike in the past, these certificates have become quite affordable as well.

Don’t Allow Users to Upload Files to Your Website

Don’t allow users to upload files to your site. For example, something simple as adding a new profile pictures to their avatar should be prevented. Any file uploaded to your site can contain malicious scripts that infect the whole site. That’s why file uploads should be done carefully following an antivirus check. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to do this currently for commercial sites. So, rather than allowing users to upload files, try something new. Instead of uploading avatars, the user can choose from a list of existing avatars. File upload is simply too risky.

Adopt a Strong Password Policy

Most hackers are not that skilled. Some just spend hours guessing passwords to get access to sites, such as the infamous ‘Guccifer’. So it’s very important to use complex and hard to guess passwords on your website. Use an online tool like random number and letter generator to get randomized passwords to your site. Passwords should be renewed at least every three months or so as well. If your website is used by multiple developers, make sure there’s a strong password policy in place to protect everyone.

Avoid Using Vulnerable Plugins

If there’s a plugin that is known to be vulnerable to hacking, avoid using it. A great example is Shockwave Flash. You will have to find creative ways around this problem. Use alternative software to ensure security. For example, HTML5 is the preferred solution to Flash for using multimedia on your site. Get answers for all your SSL Certificate related questions, go to https://www.hostingaustralia.com.au/faq/ssl-certificates/

Take the above suggestions to mind. Going through with at least one will protect your website from cyber attacks in the future.

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