Most webmasters understand the importance of protecting their personal computer from viruses, as a compromised operating system is the first security flaw that often leads to stolen hosting credentials and hijacked domains. However, many people aren’t aware of the fact that web servers that are responsible for hosting sites can also be infected with malicious scripts rather easily. Although web hosting providers take all the necessary precautions to ensure that this does not happen on a regular basis, it remains rather common, especially for webmasters that utilize cheap shared hosting services. When a website is infected with a malicious script or virus it can be impossible for visitors to access pages, as their antivirus software, or the integrated protection included within some search engines such as Google, may automatically notify them that the page is high-risk. To prevent loss of traffic due to such an occurrence it is important to follow the tips below to keep your website free of malicious scripts.
Create Routine Backups
The first step in protecting your website’s data from being affected by malicious scripts is to create routine backups. By doing this you can effectively eliminate the possible negative repercussions associated with having your site infected, as you’ll be able to instantly restore it to the state it was in before the security lapse. Some malicious scripts are specifically designed to erase data on the server, while others give the hacker access to the server and allow them to “deface” the site by placing their own content on the home page and other pages. Fortunately, within your control panel you’ll be able to use the backup utility to backup your entire portion of the web server or a specific website individually. In addition to storing these backups on your local hard drive, it is recommended to have redundant copies stored on external media like a USB flash drive, external hard drive, or even an online file hosting service.
Utilize Reputable and Powerful Hosting Plans
It is well known that the most reputable hosting providers are the most secure, and have the most qualified staff to deal with security issues 24 hours a day. If you choose to utilize a cheap form of web hosting, such as plan that operates within the shared hosting environment, you’re placing your website at a much higher risk. This is because with shared hosting you are sharing a web server with dozens or even hundreds of other webmasters, and if one of their sites becomes infected with a malicious script and proper safeguards are not in place, it is possible for the script to become “contagious” and begin spreading to other sites on the server. In fact, this is the most common cause of websites being infected with malicious scripts.
What Do Malicious Scripts Do and Why Is It Important to Avoid Them?
Malicious scripts can perform a variety of functions for the hacker, including gaining administrative access to a server or site by installing a fraudulent login page that collects the credentials of the website owner, defacing the site with embarrassing or inappropriate content, installing spyware, adware, or viruses on the computers of individuals that visit the site, and simply causing site downtime and loss of sales for competition. If you do not take the proper precautions and deal with a web hosting company that is known for providing top-notch security, you could experience a significant loss in sales and reputation.