A hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds in the US, affecting one in three Americans every year.

Don’t leave the front door of your site wide open! You need to secure your website, which means putting protection in place to keep out hackers, bugs, and other online nasties. Otherwise, your data could be at risk, your site could crash, or you could even lose money.

Here’s how to make a website secure:

  1. Install SSL – buying a simple Secure Sockets Layer certificate is a crucial first step.
  2. Use anti-malware software – to scan for and prevent malicious attacks.
  3. Make your passwords uncrackable – 123456 won’t cut it!
  4. Keep your website up to date – using out-of-date software is like leaving your back door unlocked.
  5. Don’t help the hackers – look out for phishing emails and other scams.
  6. Manually accept on-site comments – keep control over potentially dodgy comments.
  7. Run regular backups – to prepare for the worst case scenario.

How Do Websites Get Hacked?

Before we get into the details of how to prevent your website getting hacked, we should probably talk about what a hacked website looks like.

While there’s no set way that a website will look after being hacked, there are patterns. And we should tell you now, if your site has been hacked, you’ll be in no doubt about it because something will be very wrong. Here are some common ways hacking presents itself:

  • Ransomware. The hacker will threaten to publish your data and/or withhold access to your site unless a ransom sum is paid.
  • Gibberish hack. You’ll spot loads of auto-created pages filled with keywords and gibberish, with the aim of getting them to rank on Google for key terms. When clicked on, they’ll redirect to a dodgy site.
  • Cloaked keywords hack. As above, but slightly more sophisticated – at first glance, these will look like your site’s pages, as only the written content is altered.
  • Japanese keywords hack. Creates random pages in Japanese full of affiliate links to stores selling fake merchandise.
  • Malicious code/viruses. If malicious code or a virus is inserted into your site, your site may well go down, or you could be unable to access it. You may find that all your hardware is also affected.
  • Denial of Service (DoS). Hackers use bots to overload a website with requests and crash the server it’s on.
  • Phishing. Scammers contact your clients pretending to be part of your business and using your branding in the hope of finding personal information.

This content was originally published by big commerce

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