Whether you’re a website developer, small business with an ecommerce website, or even running a Web hosting company there always exists the possibility that your website will be hacked.
The specific issue that I am addressing is the unfortunate reality that there are malicious and exploitive hackers out in the world who amuse themselves by taking control of your precious website.
When it happens you may be left saying, I’VE BEEN HACKED!!! Me – I mean, MY WEBSITE. CRAP! How to fix, now what?!?!
Here are the things that I recommend you think about as a Web hosting customer with regard to malicious activity:
- Make sure you have local backups. Locally backup your data to a disk and keep it up to date. When you make any significant changes to your website, update the backup file.
- Make sure your Web host has a backup option and use it often. Check your control panel and make a backup at least once per month, more often is better.
- Keep up to date with software versions and patches. This is how most sites are hacked, especially WordPress plugins and themes. Don’t make this mistake, take a few minutes to update your applications when available by your software vendor.
- Use robust usernames and passwords. Examine your logins and make certain that they contain non-standard characters – like these: $, @, ! and that you have enough characters to make them hard to break. Guess what the most popular password is? PASSWORD. Duh. Don’t do that.
- Select a Web hosting company that has proven security in place. This means both physical security and virtual security. A truly aware web hosting company can often prevent malicious activity before it happens – saving you valuable time and money.
There are many more safeguards that one can undertake. The more, the better. However, these steps are a great start to get your awareness up. The best defense against an easy and obvious exploit is simply to arm yourself with awareness and knowledge. Keep your website updated and safe.