You may think your website is harmless and is of no use to the hacker. However, the security breaches of the website happen not to steal your data but to use your server for spam emails or to set up another transitory server. You can up the security levels to dissuade the hackers from hacking into your server and misusing it for malicious purposes. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Always keep the software updated
This may seem like an obvious thing but to keep your software up to date is of critical importance. If the hackers find any security holes in the website, they are likely to abuse them for their own advantage. However, you can take a sigh of relief from applying security updates if you are using managed hosting server.
2. Keep stronger passwords
We have come a long way from using ‘123456’ as password. When people choose easy passwords, they are wilfully compromising the security of their website. You should use strong and different passwords for all your accounts. If someone is hacking into your website, don’t make it a cake walk for them.
3. Double check your file permissions
You must check all the files and applications on your website that are open to install. It is always safe to check the permissions to be on the safe side. Also, do not allow users to upload files to your websites.
4. Avoid open-redirects
You may think that the redirecting link can increase the traffic on your page. However, they also are a huge threat to your website’s security. The attacks through these redirecting links are initiated from the browsers. Always link trustworthy sites to your own website.
5. Use File Transfer Protocol to make file transfers
All the transfers that happen through FTP are done via SSL. As a matter of fact, use SSL for email especially when you are sending sensitive information over the internet. SSL is a tool that provides security online. It is always better to have a security certificate in place when you are passing on critical information over the internet.
6. Use website Security Tools
These tools help in determining the security of your website. There are some very effective products that are free of cost that will test your website and try to attempt a breach through certain technical methods. These results that you get through these automated tests will give you a clear picture of the potential issues. You can then focus on these issues one by one and cover the security holes.
7. Check your Hosting Environment
Ensure that your hosting provider uses the latest version of MySQL, PHP, Apache etc. You must keep an eye out for any versions that are out of date and need to be updated immediately.
8. Use Firewall security
A firewall is a secure layer of your network that alerts you when a suspicious event takes place on your server. To avoid any attacks like SQL injection or cross-site scripting attack, you must consider adding an additional layer of security. You can also refer to a good list of free antivirus downloads that will help you keep your browser and operating system secure by detecting any virus or malware breach.
9. Monitor your website regularly
You must keep an eye on your website’s activity. There are many tools that monitor your website regularly for the incoming traffic and will notify you as soon as there is any suspicious activity.
10. Don’t have descriptive error messages
When you pass on too much information via the error message, you give the hackers the exact field they need to work on. For instance, use very generic language to communicate an error when communicating login errors. Use message like “incorrect username or password” so that the attacker doesn’t know which field to work on.