15 Ways To Prevent Your Website From Being Hacked

Artificial Intelligence January 11, 2023
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Countering attacks on your online presence can be difficult and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to protect your website and visitors from malware is to take immediate action. Malware is a threat to all websites, regardless of size or purpose. It can take many forms and can harm anyone. As a website owner, it is important to set up and regularly schedule backups to ensure you have access to your website files in case of a data breach or emergency. Strong passwords and frequent password changes are also crucial in preventing hackers from gaining access.

An SSL certificate, indicated by a padlock in the URL bar, will protect any information transmitted through your website from being intercepted. It is also important to note that Google Chrome and other browsers may label websites without SSL encryption as “insecure.” Taking proactive steps to secure your website is essential for any website owner. A clean, secure website will give your visitors confidence and peace of mind. Our team of security professionals at Ateam Security is here to guide you every step of the way in your online journey. Let’s dig deep and understand thoroughly.

What is Malware?

Malware is malicious software that can infect your computer, mobile device, or other digital devices. Malware includes viruses and spyware. Malware is often hidden inside files or websites you download from the internet. It can also be embedded in websites you visit and apps you download from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Malware can infect your device when you visit a website or open an app containing Malware. Malware can slow down your device, cause it to crash, and become unusable.

How do you know if your website is infected?

You can detect Malware in several ways.

You can check for specific file types typically associated with Malware, like .html or .php files. If you are seeing these files on your site, this could be a sign of an infection.

You can also look at the source code of your site and compare it with the original version you uploaded to the host. If there are any differences in the code, this could indicate that someone has modified it without your knowledge or consent.

If your website is infected, you will likely notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Your website will be slow to load, or it won’t load at all.
  • The site may not display correctly on mobile devices.
  • The site may have unusual advertisements, especially pop-ups for adult sites or pharmaceuticals.
  • You may see an increase in bounced visitors and page views and a decrease in clickthroughs and conversions.

Is there a way to prevent being hacked?

Yes, there is a way to prevent your website from being hacked.

The first step you can take is to make sure all of your third-party plugins are up to date. Suppose you’re using WordPress, for example. In that case, this means ensuring any plugins you’ve added are running the latest version of their code. Many hackers will attack outdated software versions and try to exploit flaws in the code. Keeping your third-party plugins up-to-date prevents this from happening.

Another thing you can do is use a firewall. A firewall is an extra level of protection that prevents unauthorized access to your website by blocking any attempts at entry. Most hosting providers offer free firewalls with their hosting packages, so it’s always worth checking if yours does.

15 basic and advanced steps to protect & secure websites from hackers.

As a website owner, one of your top priorities should be to protect your site from hackers. A successful hack can not only cause damage to your site, but it can also result in the theft of sensitive user information. It can further lead to financial loss and damage to your reputation. In this section, we will go over 15 basic and advanced steps that you can take to protect and secure your website from hackers.

steps to protect & secure websites from hackers

1. Use strong and unique passwords:

 

One of the most basic yet often overlooked steps to secure your website is to use strong and unique passwords for all your accounts. A strong password should be at least 8 characters long and contain a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. Using a password manager to generate and store your passwords securely is also a good idea.

2. Keep your software and plugins up to date:

 

Outdated software and plugins are a common target for hackers, as they may contain vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Make sure to regularly update your website’s software, including the content management system (CMS), plugins, and any other applications you use.

3. Use a firewall:

 

A firewall is a security system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. There are two main types of firewalls: network firewalls, which are installed on your network and protect all devices connected to it, and host-based firewalls, which are installed on individual devices and protect just that device. It’s a good idea to use both types of firewalls to provide an extra layer of protection for your website.

4. Enable SSL/TLS:

 

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) provide secure communication over the internet. Enabling SSL/TLS on your website ensures that all data transmitted between the server and client is encrypted. It makes it much more difficult for hackers to intercept and steal sensitive information. You can enable SSL/TLS by purchasing and installing an SSL/TLS certificate on your server.

5. Use security plugins:

 

Several security plugins are available for popular CMS platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal that can help secure your website. These plugins can provide features such as malware scanning, brute force protection, and firewalls. Researching and choosing a plugin that best fits your needs is a good idea.

6. Limit login attempts:

 

One way hackers try to gain access to your website is by repeatedly trying to guess your login credentials. This can be done through a process known as a brute force attack. You can protect against this attack by limiting the number of login attempts made within a certain time frame. This will prevent hackers from being able to try an unlimited number of login combinations and eventually guess the correct one.

7. Use two-factor authentication:

 

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your login process. It requires the user to provide a second form of authentication in addition to their password. This can be a one-time code sent to the user’s phone or email or a biometric factor such as a fingerprint or facial recognition. Enabling 2FA can greatly reduce the chances of a successful hack.

8. Restrict file permissions:

 

File permissions control who has access to certain files on your website. It’s a good idea to set the permissions on your important files (such as configuration files) to be as restrictive as possible, allowing access only to those who need it. This will prevent unauthorized users from making changes to these files.

9. Use HTTPS:

 

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a secure version of the HTTP protocol used to transfer data over the internet. It encrypts the communication between your website and the user’s browser, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept and read the data. Implementing HTTPS on your website is important for security and SEO, as Google now boosts rankings for sites that use HTTPS.

10. Use a CDN:

 

A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers that delivers web content to users based on their geographic location. By using a CDN, you can reduce the load on your server and improve the security of your website by distributing the traffic across multiple servers. Additionally, many CDNs also offer security features such as DDoS protection and malware scanning.

11. Monitor website activity:

 

Regularly monitoring your website’s activity can help you identify and prevent potential security threats. This includes monitoring unusual traffic patterns, user behavior, and suspicious file changes.

Use strong server-side security: In addition to client-side security measures, it is important to also implement strong server-side security. This can include measures such as secure servers.

12. Implement security headers:

 

Security headers are a set of HTTP headers that can be used to improve the security of your website. Some common security headers include:

  • X-XSS-Protection: This header enables the browser’s XSS protection and can help to prevent cross-site scripting attacks.
  • Strict-Transport-Security: This header forces the browser to use HTTPS for all requests to your website.
  • Content-Security-Policy: This header allows you to specify which domains are allowed to load resources on your website, helping to prevent cross-site injection attacks.

13. Use reCAPTCHA:

 

reCAPTCHA is a tool that helps to protect your website against spam and abuse. It displays a challenge to the user, asking them to select a specific image or enter a series of numbers to verify that they are human. Using reCAPTCHA helps to keep your site safe from bots and hackers.

14. Enable error reporting:

 

Enabling error reporting on your website can help you identify and fix any issues that may arise, including potential security vulnerabilities. This is especially important if you’re running a custom-built website or using third-party

15. Educate your team:

 

Make sure that all team members are aware of the importance of website security and the steps that can be taken to protect your site. This can include educating them on the use of strong passwords, the importance of keeping software and plugins up to date, and the risks of clicking on suspicious links.

How do I fix my hacked website?

There are a few steps you can take to fix your hacked website.

  • First, you’ll want to have a tech expert examine the site for evidence of hacking.
  • If your website is hacked, you will want to clean up the damage done by the hacker. This may include removing malicious code, resetting passwords, and updating the software on your server.;
  • Make sure you have a backup of your site. If you don’t already have one, now is the time to create one.
  • Remove the Malware from the site by changing your passwords and updating your plugins and themes.
  • Re-upload the backup you made in step 1 to restore the website to its original state.

Hackers can use your website for a DDoS attack.

Hackers can use your website to launch a DDoS attack. This is because the site is connected to the internet and has a domain name. They can create an internal server to link to your site. They will then use this server to send requests to your site, overloading it and making it inaccessible to real users. This type of attack is called a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack.

How important is an SSL?

An SSL is very important. It helps keep your information secure and private, especially when using a public wifi network.

When you’re on a public wifi network, it’s very easy for hackers to get access to your device and steal any sensitive information they want, including passwords and credit card numbers. But they can’t do that if you have an SSL on your sites!

And even if you’re not on a public wifi network and are just browsing the web from home, having an SSL will still make sure nobody can see what you’re doing online. It encrypts all of the data between your computer and the server so no one else can see what’s happening between those two points.

How can I prevent my website from getting hacked?

How can I prevent my website from getting hacked?

There are several ways to prevent your website from getting hacked, but the most important is to keep your website up to date.

  • You should ensure that all your plugins and themes are up-to-date and running the latest version. Suppose there’s a security problem in an older version of WordPress or one of your plugins/themes. In that case, hackers will exploit that vulnerability by scanning for websites using old versions.
  • You’ll also want to ensure that you have good passwords on your admin dashboard and that you don’t leave it logged in when you’re not around (hackers can get into the dashboard if they know your IP address).
  • Finally, suppose you have any old versions of software installed on your site (like PHP). In that case, it’s best practice to uninstall them entirely. You can later reinstall them with new versions as needed.

How often should I back up my website?

The short answer is: it depends.

Two major factors determine how often you should be backing up your website. The first is the size of your site. The larger your site, the more work it will take to back it up and restore it if there is a problem. The second factor is how often you update your site. If you update your site frequently, you may want to back it up more often than if you don’t change anything very often.

We recommend backing up most websites every two months. This should be enough time for any problems to be fixed but not so much time that the backup becomes cumbersome and difficult to manage.

Four steps To Secure Your WordPress Website From Hackers

1. Change your login URL

 

One of the first things you should do to secure your WordPress website is to change the default login URL. The default login URL for WordPress is “wp-login.php,” and hackers know this, so they often try to access your website through this URL. By changing your login URL, you can make it harder for hackers to find and access your site. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Install and activate the WPS Hide Login plugin.

Step 2: Go to the Settings menu and click WPS Hide Login.

Step 3: Enter a new login URL in the field provided and click on the “Save Changes” button.

Now, whenever you want to log into your website, you must use the new login URL you just created. This will make it much harder for hackers to find and access your site.

2. Keep plugins and themes updated

 

Another important step to secure your WordPress website is updating all your plugins and themes. Outdated plugins and themes can contain vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to gain access to your website. To ensure that your website is secure, you should regularly check for updates and install them as soon as they are available.

Step 1: Go to the Plugins menu and click “Updates.”

Step 2: Check for updates for all your plugins and themes.

Step 3: Click the “Update” button next to each plugin or theme with an update available.

By keeping your plugins and themes updated, you can close any vulnerabilities that may have been discovered and protect your website from potential attacks.

3. Install a security plugin with a firewall

 

A security plugin with a firewall can help protect your WordPress website from various attacks, such as SQL injection, brute force, and XSS (cross-site scripting). Some popular security plugins with firewalls include Wordfence and Sucuri Security.

Step 1: Go to the Plugins menu and click “Add New.”

Step 2: Search for a security plugin with a firewall, such as Wordfence or Sucuri Security.

Step 3: Click on the “Install Now” button and click on the “Activate” button.

 

Step 4: Follow the instructions provided by the plugin to set up and configure the firewall.

By installing a security plugin with a firewall, you can add an extra layer of protection to your website and block potential attacks before they can harm you.

4. Install a web application firewall

 

A web application firewall (WAF) is another important tool that can help protect your WordPress website from various attacks. A WAF sits between your website and the internet, analyzing traffic from your website to block any malicious requests. Some popular WAFs include Cloudflare and Sucuri.

Step 1: Sign up for a WAF service like Cloudflare or Sucuri.

Step 2: Follow the instructions provided by the WAF to set up and configure the firewall.

Step 3: Test the WAF to ensure that it is working properly.

By installing a WAF, you can add an extra layer of protection to your website and block potential attacks before they can do any harm.

Install a web application firewall

 

Takeaway

In conclusion, there are several steps you can take to secure your website from hackers. By changing your login URL, keeping your plugins and themes updated, installing a security plugin with a firewall, and installing a web application firewall, you can protect your website from various attacks and keep it safe from potential harm.

Manasi January 12, 2022
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