What’s the worst nightmare of a website owner? You know it – having your website hacked!
All your hard work and original thought from months and years of research vanish into thin air.
Not only do hackers steal your and your customer’s personal data, but they also put maligned messages on display. And worse – big search engines like Google penalize any website that is prone to be hacked and or contains malware. Your SEO ranking will drop in just a matter of days.
Luckily, there are many ways by which you can put some safety measures in place without knowing a single line of code. We have prepared a list of three simple and actionable tips that can lessen the chances of your website being hacked. The guide is easy to understand and free of technical jargon. Read on and keep your website safe!
Tip #1: Install Security Plugins
If your website is running with a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, it can be made more secure with small pieces of software called security plugins. Most of them are available for free and can be installed with just a few clicks.
Security Plugins For WordPress:
- Sucuri (our personal favourite)
- iThemes Security Pro
- Jetpack Security
- BulletProof Security
- All In One WP Security & Firewall
- Google Authenticator
Security Plugins for Magento:
- Watchlog Pro
Security Plugins for Joomla:
- Admin exile
Tip #2: Install an SSL Certificate
Have you ever seen a website that has HTTP in front of their URL or address, while others have HTTPS? Both are acronyms and HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. The key differentiator being the “Secure” part. Websites with an SSL Certificate installed, transport data securely and encrypted.
To install an SSL certificate, just drop an e-mail to the customer care team of your website hosting provider and they will do it in minutes. Some hosting providers may charge to install SSL certificates, and the cost varies. If you are hosting your website with 3C and your domain is registered with us, SSL is included and automatically setup for you FREE OF CHARGE.
One of the most common attacks a website may experience is when a hacker places a small, undetected listening program on the server hosting a website. That program waits secretly in the background for a visitor to start typing information on a Form. The program will then activate to start capturing the information and then send it back to the hacker. However, if you have an SSL certificate installed on your website, the hacker can’t intercept any data because the connective between your website and the server has been set as “private” through the SSL Certificate and the data is encrypted.
An additional benefit of having an SSL Certificate is better ranking in Google’s search engine. According to Google Webmaster Trends Analysts, SSL is part of Google’s search ranking algorithm and may provide a little boost to websites that are secure and encrypted.
Tip #3: Keep Your Website Up-to-date
As simple as it may sound, but merely updating the platform on which your website runs will significantly lessen the chances of your website getting hacked. One of the major causes of why websites running on CMSs are hacked is old scripts or plugins.
Hackers are always looking for vulnerable plugins to exploit and the developers of the plugins often will update the scripts to remove the loopholes and bugs they find. However, if you don’t apply the updates, your website is vulnerable, so it’s a good idea to set a weekly reminder and update all the plugins and PHP versions of your website. If you are not sure how to do this or doing so breaks your website, 3C offers Website Maintenance Service on a subscription basis.
There is an amount of truth in every cliché, but when it comes to protecting your website from getting hacked, this one cliché is something you can’t ignore — ‘ an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’