Prevent your site from being hacked Print

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Recently the number of sites being hacked or infiltrated has risen rapidly. We see a lot of site owners who have had their sites damaged, experienced a loss of rankings, or had data stolen.

Use Protection
Although most good hosting companies will protect their servers (and usually your site to some degree) it’s important to understand that you are responsible for your own site.

1. Keeping Software Up to Date
If you are running old versions of software chances are it’s insecure, make sure you upgrade to the latest release. Most updates to software are security or functionality related, which means if you aren’t running the latest version you are likely to have missed a few security fixes.

2. 3rd Party Scripts and Code
Plugins, widgets or any other code (including free templates and themes) you install are written by other people under unknown circumstances. Some may be great, some may be full of holes. Be sure to research any code you want to use that you didn’t write yourself. Even a few Google searches should help you find out how secure the code you are using is.

3. Your Own Fault
One of the biggest causes of Identity theft and an easy way for someone to get details to your site(s). Your own computer is likely to be a weak link in the chain. Whether it be from poisoned powerpoint files or someone phishing your account details, the vulnerabilities are limitless. No matter how secure your site is, if the machine you access it from (including logging in and editing etc.) is not secure you stand a good risk of being compromised and it may affect more than just your site.

Use virus scans, clear histories, secure your passwords and be aware of general security issues (try not to let your shiny new MacBook air be stolen). Open and Public wifi spots are an obvious security risk. If you give everyone access to your PIN number for your bank account, expect to be robbed.

4. Secure Passwords
A secure password goes a long way to slowing down a potential infiltrator (real ‘hackers’ do not tend to be people that destroy sites, but ethically search for security holes in technology). Put simply passwords should always be a combination of letters and numbers, uppercase and lowercase. The longer the password, the better (though conversely the longer it is the harder it is to remember).

No dictionary words, no family names and no easily guess-able information either.

You can also generate a random password which is even more secure.


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