These days, it is more important than ever to keep your website current with the latest security measures. Why so much emphasis on security? Because hackers are always looking for ways to penetrate servers and websites to thieve sensitive information. There are is a lot you can do to ensure better website security and the tips in this article should taken very seriously.
1. Update Your Applications and Scripts
Running outdated web applications and code on your site is liking giving hackers an open invite. So if you have older versions of WordPress or Joomla installed, it is advisable that you immediately check for and perform the necessary updates. This goes for any application or programming languages used for your site. For a knowledgeable hacker, compromising Joomla 1.0 is as easy as uploading a shell script to an insecure form. If successful, they could end up with complete control of your account.
2. Create Strong Passwords
A password can be a simple but effective security mechanism. However, this is only the case when following a strict set of rules. When securing login sessions and other areas of your site, never apply a password that can be easily guessed by others or is used for other accounts. If someone knows just one of your passwords, they can keep trying it for each of your accounts until they are successful. This could not only lead them to the control panel login of your hosting account, but also the financial institution you do your online banking with.
3. Mask Your Folders
It is always wise to cloak your website files and folders that are stored on the server. Many security experts suggest keeping a blank index.html file in each of the folders stored in your public directory. Doing this will ensure that the contents cannot easily be viewed by internet users. This process is made simple with the cPanel control panel and its Index Manager function. You can take this one step further by password protecting the administrator folder that contains the scripts you are running. This is highly recommended as it provides an added layer of security that will make an intruder have to work that much harder.
What If I Still Get Hacked?
As we eluded to earlier, there is a possibility that even after adhering to all of these tips and more, your website can still be compromised by a hacker. Should your site be successfully exploited, there are a couple of things you should do right away to minimize the damage. The first step that needs to be taken involves changing all of the passwords associated with your website. This goes from your control panel and administrative areas to everything else in between. Next, go through your hosting account to find and update all old applications and plugins as they could easily be the culprits that led to exposure. Any website can be compromised and if it happens to you, your sensitive information can be used for criminal gain in one way or another. Prevention is the key so employ all the measures you can to ensure you are protected against the existing and emerging threats.