Top tips to keep your website safe from hackers

website safe from hackers

Why would somebody want to hack my site?

No matter the size of your website, you are always at risk of being hacked. Hackers don’t just target large websites with thousands of users and private data, they also target website for other reasons. These can include using your server to host their own illegal web content, using your site as a way of sending spam emails and using your site to hack other websites.

Hacking is usually done through automated scripts, or singular users that look for an easy way into your site. Anybody can be at risk, as proven in the mass WordPress hack of 2013.

There is no need to worry though, most hacks occur through simple mistakes by either the site owner or developer, and can be easily avoided. To keep your website safe from hackers, take the following steps:

Things your web developer can do:

Keep all software up to date

Most websites use third party software within their code to enhance various aspects of the site. These pieces of software when not up to date provide great security risks for your site. Make sure all your software patches and plugins are up to date so that these security risks are non-existent.

Add extra security

Content Management Systems such as WordPress, allow you to install various plugins to give your site extra security. Wordfence is an excellent addition to any WordPress site. It scans your files, lets you know when somebody logs in or attempts to log in, and as a bonus – speeds your site up.

There are also other similar plugins you can install, including iThemes Security and BulletProof Security.

Things you can do:

Have a strong password

If your site uses a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla then a strong password is essential. The reason the 30 million websites in the above article were targeted was because they had the username ‘admin’ with an easy to guess password such as ‘qwerty’ or ‘12345’. Make sure you have a password which is almost impossible to guess, we recommend using sites like strongpasswordgenerator.com, which will generate these for you.

Keep checking back

In many cases it is easy to have your website created and leave it alone, to only check on it once a month. Many websites that have been hacked don’t actually realise they have been hacked. Sites such as Uptime Robot can help you monitor your website for said attacks.

No matter if you are a developer, or just the site owner, you must find a way to keep regular backups of your site. Should it be the victim of a hack, you then have the ability to restore your precious data quickly. Sites such as CodeGuard can do this for you.