4 Ways To Keep Your Website From Getting Hacked

4 Ways To Keep Your Website From Getting Hacked

Small businesses are especially vulnerable to hacking because they usually lack the technology expertise and site security that larger companies have. They also suffer more if their lack of expertise slows repairs and their ability to get back to work. Business owners can lose significant online traffic and sales if their site lands on blacklists operated by Google and other search engines.

Hackers are constantly breaking into innocent websites and using them to infect visitors with malware, lure them to dodgy sites and infiltrate databases to grab sensitive customer information. But you can avoid trouble — or eliminate it quickly — by taking some relatively simple steps.

Here’s how to get started:

1) Keep your software up to date.

Hackers aggressively target security flaws in popular Web software such as content management systems and blogging programs so they can attack websites en masse. Stay out of the line of fire by using the latest versions of software and applying security patches promptly.

2) Use strong passwords and keep them safe.

Using strong passwords is crucial because hackers frequently attempt to crack or steal passwords for web software and FTP servers, which are computers that use the File Transfer Protocol to move web pages and other files to another computer, such as a Web-hosting server. Default, common or predictable passwords can be easily broken.

3) Register with Google’s Webmaster Tools.

Getting on Google’s blacklist, which is used by the search site and the Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers, can reduce traffic to your site. By registering with Webmaster Tools, you can receive notifications of malware infections immediately, sometimes before blacklisting occurs, so you can get rid of them faster. The service also provides details about the precise problem Google is seeing. That can speed your clean up and your return to Google’s good graces.

4) Get expert help.

Companies that are heavily dependent on their websites may want to hire a firm that provides alerts if they get on a blacklist, monitoring for malicious activity, scanning for security vulnerabilities or help with repairs after a hack. Prices start at about $90 a year. Businesses that have databases with sensitive customer information connected to their sites should get help building security into their sites and scouring software code for bugs.

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