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How to Protect your Website from Hackers and Attacks

Having a website in today’s market is often times critical for the success of a business in this ever-changing world of technology. Businesses, organization, and independent bloggers all have their own websites. Websites are used for interacting with customers, providing services, displaying information and much more. Today we will discuss several things you can do to better protect your website from hackers and attacks.

Keep your core files and platform updated

The first step you should take is to make sure all the software is up-to-date – both your website and your operating system. Depending on what platform your website is built on, or if it’s using a CMS (Content Management System) or forum software, make sure it is being updated regularly. This is not the case if you are using a managed hosting package because they do all the patching and updating for you. CMS like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and many others show you an update notification for any new patches on the dashboard when you log in.

Strong passwords everywhere

Using a strong password is the first line of defense against hackers. Therefore, we should all use passwords that are complex and long. However, not many people do and this is problematic. It is imperative to use a strong password for your server login and your website admin dashboard. You should also make it a requirement for users of your site to create strong passwords for themselves. The typical format of a strong password is usually a minimum of 8 characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters. If you tend to store passwords on your server, make sure they that are encrypted. It is always a good idea to use SHA which is a one-way hashing algorithm. Additionally, it is a good idea to salt all the passwords (a new salt for each password).

Use HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)

If your website stores any sensitive information, using HTTPS is a must have. It guarantees that you are connected to the server you are expected to be connected to. The data sent through this method between you and the web server is encrypted and cannot be intercepted. At the very least, you should use HTTPS on important pages that ask for details and confidential data including login pages, credit card payment pages and admin areas. This will help you protect your website from hackers.

Protect your website from XSS and SQL Injection Attacks

What is XSS and how do you stay safe from it?

XSS, also referred to as cross-site scripting, is an attack used to enter malicious JavaScript code into your website’s page. This allows hackers to change the page’s content and what appears on the user’s screen, while also gathering important information. In order to defend against XSS, you must implement the appropriate headers that will thwart an attacker from injecting code into the pages. A widely used and effective one is to add a CSP header (Content Security Policy). Limiting the browser with how JavaScript is executed will block and disallow any JavaScript from executing that is not your server/domain.

Perform Website Security Audits

Upon manually checking the server configurations, securing from XSS attacks and other threats it is important to perform a vulnerability scan to locate other weaknesses. These scripts keep a database of known vulnerabilities and exploits, which they then use to scan your website for matches. If so it will flag it and notify you of the threat.

Conclusion

Having a secure website is imperative for you and for your users. Never turn a blind eye to the poorly secured part of your website. Ensure that you are constantly updating and patching your site. This article covers how to ensure you are operating a secure website and how to protect your website from hackers.