Are you in danger of being hacked?
Alarming but true, hacked websites are on the rise. According to a recent report released by Google, the number of websites hacked in 2016 increased by 32 percent. The harsh reality is that this trend will continue as hackers are becoming more aggressive and are targeting small businesses that don’t have the resources or expertise to secure their websites.
What are the ramifications to your business if your website becomes hacked?
Hackers can expose confidential information about your business and customers, which will ultimately cost you, your company reputation. The cost in settlement fees alone from lawsuits brought on by the hack could cause your company to close its doors.
The type of hack that takes place could negatively impact your marketing efforts. For example, if your website contains malicious code (unbeknownst to you), search engines will drop your ranking.
Cross-site scripting will redirect your traffic to a site of the hacker’s choosing, causing your visitors to lose trust in your business and turn elsewhere for purchases.
What can you do to prevent your website from becoming hacked?
Here are several steps you need to take to protect your website:
1. Keep your site updated
Ensure that you’re using the latest versions of software and plugins as this will make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your website.
2. Strengthen access control
Don’t choose usernames and passwords that are easy to guess. Periodically update your password to make it more challenging for a hacker to crack it.
3. Tighten network security
Consider all computers and workstations (printers, copiers, scanners, and fax machines) that provide access to your network and require strong passwords. Change these passwords frequently and never write them down where a malicious character could gain access to them.
4. Hide admin pages
You never want to index admin pages as they will make it easier for hackers to gain access to your website. You can hide admin pages by using the robots_txt file.
5. Use SSL encryption
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption creates a secure link between a web server and a browser and minimizes the risk of data from becoming compromised. Google now gives preference to websites that use SSL encryption in search results.
Your website is a vital asset to your business, and you can’t afford for it to become hacked. The steps outlined above provide you with a few ways to prevent your website from becoming compromised by a third-party.