You read about it all the time, hackers have broken into this website or that website and stolen information or disrupted the service of the website itself. The then furious website owner begins to point fingers at the web host and ask “How did this happen?”
The harsh reality of the question is that the website owner is the one that is ultimately responsible for their website. Here is a list of the most common reasons that websites get hacked:
1. Outdated scripts and software. Software developers and computer programmers are constantly assessing the security of their programs and fixing holes and bugs. Running older, out of date versions of your software and scripts leaves you vulnerable, because as the developers are improving their products and techniques, so are the hackers. The ultimate protection against this form of security breach is to keep your software and scripts updated on a continual basis.
2. Not Using Secure Passwords. For the best protection passwords should be a combination of letters and numbers. They should not be obvious combinations either such as your name or birth dates that are easy to guess.
3. The use of third party scripts. Using third party scripts that are circulating freely about the web puts your website in danger. These scripts are highly dependent upon the skill of the programmer; they may be riddled with security holes and very easy to hack.
4. Check Your Website Logs on a frequent basis. If you are seeing multiple errors or repeated unsuccessful attempts at logging in you may have a problem. You should assess the situation and take measures to correct the problem.
5. Make sure that you practice “safe surfing”. Sometimes the tings that cause websites and personal data to become hacked are our own dumb moves. Don’t bypass or turn off your computer’s security features. They are there to protect you. Make sure that you keep your virus scanners up to date and that you clear your histories on a regular basis. Make sure that you do not store passwords, personal information such as bank, credit card, or social security numbers in clear access files on your computer. Be very cautious with the use of unsecured wi-fi connections and hot spots.
6. Make sure that you back up your files on a regular basis. If you loose your data from being hacked, this will give you and instant jumpstart in the rebuild process. Just think about all the irretrievable data that is sitting on your web blog or site right at this very moment. Always make copies on a regular basis, the ideal frequency is every time you change your website.
By following the above tips, you are well on your way to having a website that is protected from hackers, information theft, and data loss. This protects you from liability in the loss of your personal information or heaven forbid the personal and financial information of customers that you may have. Hacking can never be completely stopped, but instituting these measures can provide a solid foundation in the prevention of hacking occurrences.