9 easy ways to secure your website from cyber attacks

Every website is potentially vulnerable to these attacks. You need to keep yours safe. An unsecured site can be compromised. Your customer’s data might be stolen. This can lead to loss of revenue, costly website coding repairs, and many other problems. You can protect your website from hackers. Here are some basic tips to secure your website.

1. Use Secure Passwords

The best website security starts with a secure password. The backend (the developer side) of every website is password protected. Although it’s tempting to use an easy to remember password; don’t. Instead, pick something that is extremely secure and tough for anyone but you to figure out. The best practices for passwords is to include a mix of capital letters, punctuation, and numbers, or use a strong password created by a password manager. Never use something that is easy to guess. This goes for everyone in your organization.

2. Install Software Updates

Manufacturers keep operating systems and software running efficiently with regular updates. It can be tempting to push those updates aside to save time. After all, many of them require a complete system restart and some installation time which kills productivity. This is a dangerous practice, as those updates contain crucial new security patches. You need to install updates as they are available to keep your entire system secure.

3. Use a Secure Website Hosting Service

Your web hosting service plays a vital role in the security of every website under their jurisdiction. Choose yours wisely. Before you build or move your site to a host, ask them about their security platform. The best hosts work with or hire experts in the internet security field. They understand the importance that their customer’s websites aren’t vulnerable to attack. Make sure they include a backup option. You could lose valuable information due to a hacker. It is easier to rebuild your site from a backup than it is from scratch.

4. Install Security Plugins

There are several options here, depending on what type of website you run. For those based on WordPress, there are specific WordPress security plugins that provide additional protection. These plugins ensure that no one can take advantage of them. These plug-ins monitor your site continually looking for malware and viruses. It also closes those vulnerable loopholes, providing additional security updates. 

5. Avoid phishing emails and other scams

Please, read very carefully every email you receive. Don’t fall for sweet and dream-like messages that only look to persuade and take you to a trap. Eventually, this could allow the criminal mind behind to get access to your website.

6. Limit file uploads

File uploads are a major concern. No matter how thoroughly the system checks them out, bugs can still get through and allow a hacker unlimited access to your site’s data. The best solution is to prevent direct access to any uploaded files. Store them outside the root directory and use a script to access them when necessary. Your web host will probably help you to set this up.

7. Remove form auto-fill

When you leave auto-fill enabled for forms on your website, you leave it vulnerable to attack from any user’s computer or phone that has been stolen. You should never expose your website to attacks that utilize the ignorance of a legitimate user.

8. Install a web application firewall

A web application firewall (WAF) can be software or hardware based. It sets between your website server and the data connection and reads every bit of data passing through it. Most of the modern WAFs are cloud based and provided as a plug-and-play service, for a modest monthly subscription fee. Basically, the cloud service is deployed in front of your server, where it serves as a gateway for all incoming traffic. Once installed, a web application firewall provides complete peace of mind, by blocking all hacking attempts and also filtering out other types of unwanted traffic, like spammers and malicious bots. 

9. Install security applications

While not as effective as a full blown WAF, there are some free and paid for security applications that you can install that will make life a bit more difficult for hackers. In fact, even some free plugins such as that from Acunetix WP Security can provide an additional level of protection by hiding the identity of your website’s CMS. By doing so this tool makes you more resilient against automated hacking tools that scout the web, looking for WordPress sites with specific build and version, which has one or more known vulnerabilities.