How to Protect Your Website from Hackers and Viruses
You probably think that there is nothing on your website that would make it vulnerable to hacking, but websites are hacked every day. Most of the time, these hacks do not occur to deface your website or steal customer data. They are done so your server can be used as a relay for spam email. They may also be looking for a server to temporarily hold illegal files. The other reasons to abuse servers and websites are:
- To use the server in a botnet
- Mine for bitcoins
Hacking is usually performed by written scripts. They are automated and are used to search the Internet to find website security problems in software that they can exploit. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to keep you and your website safe.
Make Sure All Software is Updated
This seems obvious, right? However, by ensuring all software that is used to maintain your system is updated, you are taking a critical step in making sure your site stays safe. This applies to any software that is used on your website like a forum or CMS, and the software that is used on the server operating system. If there are security holes that are found in the software, hackers are eager to try to abuse them.
If you are using a hosting solution that is managed, you will not need to worry about security vulnerabilities in the server. The hosting company should be handling this on its end. Any third party software that you are using such as CMS, should have security patches applied to it. You are responsible for those security patches. The software will alert you of any recommended updates each time you log on.
This occurs when a hacker uses a URL parameter or web form field to get access to your database. If you are using standard Transact SQL, it is very simple for a hacker to insert rogue code in your query. The rogue code can then be used to delete data, change tables or get information from the database. This can be prevented by hiring experienced MySQL data recovery services specialists who are familiar with these hacks and can place parameterized queries in your database.
Even though everyone knows that the passwords they use should be complex, few actually create complicated passwords. In fact, many people still use the same passwords for every website they visit. It is very important that the passwords you use for your website admin area and server are not only complex, but completely different from each other. You should also insist that your customers and web users also use strong passwords to protect their accounts.
As much as your users may protest, enforcing certain requirements for passwords will help to protect their information. For example, you could require them to use a minimum number of characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
In the unfortunate event that your website is hacked and passwords are stolen, the passwords should be hashed passwords. This will help to limit damage because it would require the hacker to either use a brute force attack or a dictionary attack. They both take time because they would have to guess the combination until a match was found.
Hopefully these tips will help keep your information and site safe. Even though third party software and hosting companies are trying to do their part, it is also good for you to stay updated on the latest security exploits so you can make sure you are covered.