Did you know that if you have a website, someone has probably tried to hack into it? Yep, large, popular websites aren’t the only target of website hackers. We’ve seen websites both large and small get attacked and even taken down. They have inserted links to porn and gambling sites. They’ve deleted files so that all is left is a blank screen. We’ve even seen a woman’s website hijacked, the home page taken down and replaced with a large “Death to (a country)” message.
While there is no way to prevent 100% of hack attacks, there are some great steps that you can follow to minimize your risk.
- Make sure that your website’s software is upgraded. Although we love using WordPress to develop our clients’ websites, the software does need to be updated on a regular basis after the site is finished. WordPress frequently puts out updates that plug security holes that they have found. Other tools/plugins in your site must also be updated to the latest version. Contact your website developer or website host if you aren’t sure about updates.
- Do NOT use “password123” as the password for your website or website host! If your site has a Content Management System, like a good portion of sites these days, one of the easiest ways to hack into your site is to just… log in! Hackers have software that will go through a huge number of combinations to try and guess your password. Others will do it manually, trying commonly used passwords. Don’t make it easy. Change your username to something other than “admin” and your password to something random.
- Apply security programs to your website. If your site is built with WordPress, there are several plugins that can be installed to monitor hack attempts and block hackers. You can also purchase security software for your website through your website host. Many security programs also allow you to run malware scans, which will alert you if any known malware has been inserted into your site
- Back up your site regularly. This won’t prevent your site from being hacked, but it will make your life easier if you do get hacked. A backup has saved many small business owners, because a backup can be used to recreate your website fairly quickly. If you make a lot of changes to your site, you’ll need to have regular backups made. You can talk to your website developer about scheduling backups. Most hosting companies also offer backup services.
If you have questions about protecting your website, contact us. We have advised many businesses about website security.