Every day, thousands of pages of fall victim to hackers. Encouragingly, however, the number of cybercrimes which got detected in the past year increased by about a half. This does not change the fact that cyberattacks are more and more difficult to avoid, especially if we operate on WordPress or Joomla, the most popular and also the most commonly infected blog platforms. However, there are ways we can increase the security of our website. So how can you protect your site against hackers?
How do hackers work?
Hackers or the software created by them manipulate the computer or the systems connected to it in order to steal or change content. Whether a certain computer, account or server can be hacked depends on the security system. Loopholes in security systems that enable virus-ridden scripts or programs to infect your computer or application, by, for example, uploading malicious code, can be responsible. Such infected software (known as malware) can modify the main files and make further changes in the code, to then download even more malicious infected software or completely deprive the owner of access to his website, which can only be regained by paying ransom (so-called ransomware).
What can you never forget when wanting to secure your site?
1. A secure password and backups are key
A good password should consist of both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It would be best that these characters not make up any word. It is also important that the password be changed from time to time. A difficult to crack, unique and long password is the first barrier for cybercriminals. For this reason, more and more websites are deciding to set user password requirements. Also, do not forget about regular website data backups – if the need arises, they will protect you from data loss.
2. Do not neglect software updates and add-ons
Regardless if it is a large-scale WordPress update or perhaps only a small add-on to the blogging platform that is available, do not ignore messages about updates. Besides eliminating errors and making corrections, updates' purpose is to eliminate loopholes in security systems. Therefore, you should install them on a regular basis, especially because hackers keep track of all the changes and thus can more easily look for loopholes in websites that have not yet been upgraded. As for add-ons, you should remember that they can also be a source of infections, so download them only from reliable sources.
3. Assign roles, take care of security
It is worth it to assign roles to your users – an ordinary editor should not have access to the entire control panel. Everyone, however, should use antivirus software on their computers. Keep in mind though that an antivirus alone is not enough – anyone with access to the site, regardless of role, should also care about password and system security, by, for example, not opening suspicious e-mail attachments. If needed, educate your employees in this regard.
4. Purchase an SSL certificate for your website
SSL is a network protocol used to secure internet connections. It is now standard encryption for websites. In practice, an SSL certificate guarantees the users of your website the confidentiality of the data transmitted. SSL is a universal, highly efficient protocol, so it is primarily used for securing e-banking transactions, online auctions or online payment systems. SSL certificates are registered for a specific domain name. Purchasing an SSL certificate for the site will cost from one hundred to one thousand PLN per year.
5. Use dedicated software
There are applications available on the market that scan your site for malware and, if found, immediately react, removing them. The owner can therefore be confident about the security of his website. One such software is Webanti. What sets Webanti apart from the competition is its intelligent system engine that detects new virus strains. The price of the software is also worth mentioning, as the basic system package is completely free, and Maxi Package, providing comprehensive real-time protection, costs 19.99 zł per month.
Why protect your system against hacker activities?
One of the worse case scenarios is when – as a result of hacker activities, such as mass spam mailing from the server of the website broken into – the website is identified by Google as a spam website. This may even cause it to be blocked. This in turn causes traffic to the website to decrease, which leads to the worsening of its position in the search engine, and above all, to a decrease in the number of orders placed by customers. This is a vicious circle.
To ensure the safety of your website on the internet, you do not need to have any special competences. It may be enough to simply not neglect updating software, change your passwords, and use an antivirus, which protects both the computer and the website security systems. Protecting your work from hacker attacks will be made much easier by using tools such as antivirus web applications.