How To Improve Your Website Securityby Marc Lucien
Most people may think that their site is not worth being hacked for, but in reality, a lot of websites are being exploited, hacked, and compromised all the time. These security breaches are not always about defacing your website or stealing your data, but instead, they would attempt to set-up a temporary web server, or even use your current server as an email relay for spam. Ultimately, your website can be used for illegal or inappropriate matters, which can certainly damage your brand and business.
Hacking is performed on a regular basis by a lot of automated scripts made to search the Internet in an effort to exploit common security issues in most websites. In this post, we want to share with you some of the many things that could potentially risk your website and how you can improve its security.
Always update your site:
This is something most professional website creators can’t stress enough. Countless websites are being compromised every day due to the insecure and outdated software they use. It is highly important to update your site as soon as a new CMS version or plugin is available.
These days, most hackings are entirely automated. Bots are continuously scanning every site they can for exploitation purposes. It is not even good enough to update once a week, what more if you only choose to update once a month? Unless you’re running a website firewall, you need to constantly update your site as soon as new updates are released.
Create strong and unique passwords:
Numerous website creators and Web Design London agencies say that when working on client sites, they’re often disturbed by how low and insecure their root passwords are. It’s scary to think that a lot of website owners still uses “admin/admin” or something quite similar to that as their admin log-ins.
Here are some key elements you should remember when choosing a proper password:
IT SHOULD BE UNIQUE- Reusing passwords is not safe. Every single password you have should always be unique. This simple step dramatically limits the possibility of having your password compromised.
IT SHOULD BE LONG- To make your passwords as secure as it can be, you should always aim for about 12+ characters long. The longer the password, the better.
IT SHOULD BE COMPLEX- Passwords should be of random nature. Don’t let someone hack your website just because they could find out when your birth date is. Remember, password-cracking programs can instantly guess over a million of potential passwords in a matter of minutes.
Having one container for everything:
The temptation is understandable when you have an ‘unlimited’ web hosting plan and figure why not host all your sites in a single server. But then again, this is one of the worst security practices you could ever do to your sites. Hosting numerous sites in the same location allows a very large attack surface.
This can result to having all your sites hacked at the same time, it also makes the clean-up process much more difficult and time consuming. Remember, the infected sites can continue to spread the virus to another one in an endless loop.
Remember to change the default settings:
Although today’s CMS applications are very easy to use, they’re also quite horrible from a security perspective. Bots are now completely automated, and a lot of these attacks rely on the default settings being used by most websites. This means that you can easily avoid a large number of attacks by simply modifying the default settings upon installing your CMS of choice.
Be mindful of your error messages:
Always be cautious with how much information you present in your error messages. Be sure to keep it at a minimum to ensure they don't leak any important details that could potentially harm your site.
Selecting your extensions:
One good thing about today’s CMS applications is its extensibility. However, that advantage could also be a risk. There are massive amount of add-ons, plugins, and extensions allowing almost any functionality you can imagine. Then again, those extensions can be a double-edged sword.
Here are some things you should first look into before installing any extension.
- When the extension was last updated. If the last update was more than a year ago, you should probably not go for it. Again, constant update is always important.
- The number of installs and the age of the extension. If the extension was developed by an established author that has numerous installs, it’s most likely more trustworthy than one that has been released by a first-time developer.
It is incredibly essential that you download all your themes and extensions from legitimate sources only.
Backup your website:
Like anything else in the digital world, all your posts and account details can all be lost in one single catastrophic event. If you don’t have enough back up, you’ll likely to be at risk.
Creating backups of your website is vital, but storing these backups on your web server is also a major security risk. These backups may contain un-patched versions of your extensions and CMS, thus, giving hackers an easy access to your web server.
So there you have it! These simple steps can greatly increase the security of your website. While these steps alone will not entirely guarantee that your site will never be hacked, you can avoid the vast majority of automated attacks.