Hackers have made the internet substantially unsafe, and it is important for website owners to ensure their website security is top notch. You could be harboring the views that your site has nothing of worth to attract the attention of hackers. However, it is important to note that not all hackers are after your data or defacing your website. There is a breed of hackers who can hack into your website for the sole purpose of using your site’s server as a relay for email spam or create a temporary server to send files of a criminal or illegal nature. There are others who could use your site’s servers as a botnet or for mining bitcoins. If you do not enhance your web security, you might find yourself hit by ransomware.
How to secure your website from hackers
(i) Keep Your Software Up to Date
From the look of it, this tip might seem too obvious as people try their best to keep their software up to date. However, it is an important measure when looking to secure your web security:
- Ensure that you have properly updated your server operating system as well as any form of software that you could be running on your sites like forum or CMS (WordPress). Whenever site security holes are detected in your version of software, hackers might descend on it and attempt to abuse it.
- If your website uses a controlled hosting solution, you can rest easy as the company hosting your site will take care of the software update process.
- However, if you rely on third-party software like Blogger or WordPress, you should be quick enough to apply all the available security patches.
(ii) Fortify Your Access Control
Your admin level on your site offers an easy path to all the details that you would not want a hacker to get access. To boost your website security:
- Impose usernames as well as passwords that are difficult to guess.
- Change the default record prefix from the usual “wp6_” into something random making it harder to guess.
- Control the sequence of login attempts within a particular time even though you would be using password resets as hackers could also hack your email accounts.
- Take care not to send login details via email when an unauthorized user gains access to your account.
(iii) Tighten Your Network Security
It is possible for the computer users based in your office to offer easy access to your website servers inadvertently. To curb any threats to your web security;
- Ensure that all logins expire after any inactivity period despite it being too short.
- Change your passwords frequently as a measure to counter hackers gaining access to your servers courtesy of your computer users. Remember, your password is like your toothbrush, you should change it every 3 months.
- Use strong passwords that should never be written down as such information can easily fall into the hands of the wrong people.
- Scan all the devices that will be plugged into your network to ensure that they do not contain any form of malware every time they are attached. It would be wise to keep watch over your network security by the minute.
(iv) Hiding Admin Pages
Another great way of ensuring your web security is by hiding your website’s admin pages from being indexed by the search engines. You can utilize the robots_txt file to discourage the search engines from indexing your admin pages. When the admin pages are not indexed, hackers find it hard to trace them.
(v) Using SSL
You should rely on an encrypted SSL procedure when transferring the personal information of your users from the website to your database. SSL prevents any third-parties from reading this information while it is in transit. It also limits any party without the right authority from accessing this sensitive data.
(vi) Install Security Applications
You can install some premium security applications that will be capable of making it hard for hackers to gain access to your website. There are also some free plugins e.g. from the Acunetix WP Security that increase the web security level of your site by concealing the identity of the CMS in your site. These security applications have been developed to ensure that your website remains resilient against the automated hacking tools that are used by hackers to scout the web for WordPress sites of a certain version and build.
Hacking is often executed via automated scripts that are written and released on the internet to try and exploit common website security problems in their software. This is the reason why it is imperative to ensure that you take the appropriate steps to ensure your website security is working 24/7.