Forget what you’ve heard, hacks don’t just happen to the big businesses alone. Research has found that small businesses are victims of 43% of all data breaches. Whether you are running a big or small business, it is essential to prevent your website from being hacked. This saves you from terrifying situations like getting your works altered or worse still, placing yourself and customers at a serious risk of identity theft or fraud.
Here are a few things you can do to save your website from being hacked.
1. Make sure your passwords are secure
It’s tempting to go with a password you know will always be easy for you to remember (like 123456). Make the effort to figure out a truly secure password (or use Host Gator’s password generator). Make it long. Use a mix of special characters, numbers, and letters. You also need to make sure everyone who has access to your website has similarly strong passwords. One weak password within your team can make your website susceptible to a data leak, so set expectations with everyone who has access.
2. Install an SSL Certificate
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. In simple terms, an SSL certificate keeps the data transferred between your website and its users safe. For example, when a customer shares credit card information and personal contact data, SSL will encrypt the data so hackers cannot read it even if they get their hands on such sensitive information.
3. Keep your website platform and software up-to-date
To protect your website from being hacked, always make sure your content management system, plugins, apps, and any scripts you’ve installed are up-to-date.
If you’re running a website built on Word Press, you can check whether you’re up to date quickly when logging into your Word Press dashboard. Look for the update icon in the top left corner next to your site name. Click the number to access your Word Press Updates.
4. Install security plugins.
If you built your website with a content management system (CMS), you can enhance your website with security plugins that actively prevent website hacking attempts. Each of the main CMS options have security plugins available.
You could also install a security plugin like MalCare. It will proactively block any malicious IP address or bad bots. Once you install it, you can access it from your dashboard or log in through the official MalCare website. Apart from being able to scan the site when you want, it will automatically scan your entire website every day on its own. It alerts you if it finds any suspicious activity or malware on your site. In the rare case, a hacker manages to get through; you can clean up your site using the same plugin.
5. Invest in automatic backups.
Just in case the worst happens anyway, keep everything backed-up. Back up on-site, back up off-site, back up everything multiple times a day. Every time a user saves a file it should automatically back up in multiple locations. Backing up once a day means that you lose that day’s data when your hard drive fails. Remember every hard drive will fail. The best way to protect yourself is to always have a recent backup.
Izuehien Mary Ngozi
Social Media Manager