Website hacks have become so common, that it seems every week my team is dealing with a client website that has been infected with malware or has been recently hacked. Why do hackers do this? Some hackers do it just to cause trouble, or for political reasons. Some hackers inject code and links onto your site for SEO purposes – to boost their site, while others are looking to steel data or financial info from your server.
There are a few things you can do to make your site less vulnerable, but please know that nothing is 100% secure – there is a way around every protective measure.
1. Change your passwords periodically. This includes the passwords to your hosting control panel, FTP access,Wordpress login (if any), and web database (if any). Always use difficult passwords which contain at least one upper case letter, number, and symbol, and make the password different for each.
2. Update WordPress and plugins. If you use WordPress, always update to the most recent version, and update all plugins as well. I’ve seen many sites get hacked because of outdated WordPress installs or plugins.
3. Use a website scanning service. Standard hosting usually doesn’t include website scanning, but it can be added for a nominal fee. This will scan your site every few hours and alert you if it is infected so you can take appropriate action. It doesn’t prevent hacks, but without continual scans, it could take days or weeks to find out you’ve been hacked. Not all hacks render the site inoperable and the infection can remain for long periods of time without you ever knowing.
4. Add a cloud proxy service. For a serious preventative measure to prevent hacks and attacks, a cloud proxy service provides the ultimate protection. Simply put, this service adds a virtual firewall to your website and intercepts any spam, hackers, bots, injections, and attacks and allows only legitimate visitors to access your site.
Besides these measures, make sure you always have a recent complete backup of your site, so in the event something happens, you can always have it back up in no time.