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Ways to keep your website secure from hackers

Regardless of the kind of website you have, it’s vital that you keep it protected from attacks by hackers. No matter how small your website or online blog may be, you could still be vulnerable to identity theft, data theft, and the hijacking of your hosting server in order to use it as an email relay for spam and other illegal activities. Here are a few tips to keep your website as secure as possible.

Use complex passwords

This tip may seem glaringly obvious but it’s absolutely crucial. You should always use passwords that are a minimum of eight characters and include a numerical digit and one uppercase letter. Make sure to change your passwords regularly. All users that have access to your site should follow this practice.

Security plugins

One pretty simple way to keep your website safe is to install security plugins that prevent hacking attempts. If you are using WordPress, some of the best security plugins are iThemes Security, fail2Ban, Wordfence, Bulletproof Security and Sucuri.

Avoid file uploads to your site

Allowing users to upload files to your site directly is extremely risky as uploaded files could include scripts and code that open your website to attacks. If your website requires file uploads you should ensure that all files are stored in a folder or database in another location and create a script to fetch those files.

Shield your site against SQL Injections

One of the most common web hacking techniques is an SQL Injection. This type of attack is carried out in an attempt to gain access to sensitive data, such as personal and customer information, and to steal money.

The only way to prevent SQL Injection attacks is to input validation and parameterised queries in your code and remove all potential code elements, such as single quotes. An easy solution to this problem is to install the WP Hide plugin, which will hide your site code so that hackers won’t even know that you have vulnerable code in the first place.

SSL encryption

Your login pages should be encrypted with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. SSL ensures that all sensitive information, such as login details and credit card numbers, is encrypted so that hackers can’t access it.

Switch to HTPPS

Make sure that your site is using HTTPS protocol so that hackers can’t change information on your pages to steal personal data from users.

Set up a Web Application Firewall

A Web Application Firewall protects websites from attacks by monitoring, blocking and filtering HTTP traffic. Some of the best web application firewalls available include Cloudflare, Cloudbric, Sucuri and Imperva.

A tool such as SiteLock will scan your site and detect threats, such as malware and will fix any security risks it finds.

Keep your software updated

It’s important that every piece of software that you run on your website is always up to date. Regularly run updates on all of the software supporting your site, as well as any plugins you have installed to ensure that you always have the latest versions.

Back up your site

One of the most important practices of website management is to regularly back up all of the data on your site so that, if you are hacked, you don’t lose all of your information. You can use plugins to ensure that this is done on a regular basis.

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Written by Taryn Hill

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