No matter how safe you think the website is, there is always someone trying to break into it. Whether it’s to distribute spam from your site or to steal personal information, hackers and bots may continuously smash against your security protocols. Unfortunately, some of these attempts may gain a foothold of your digital real estate. What can be done to make yourself truly unhackable? That really depends on the type of website you’re operating. We recently shared the 7 most commons reasons why a website can be hacked and how to protect it. Regardless of what your site focuses on, you should implement strong online privacy protection to reduce the risks.
1. Use HTTPS Domains
A secure socket layer can make sure that the information traveling from your site goes directly to the person accessing it. These secured websites are often identified by the “HTTPS” in front of the domain name. This denotes the site is secured through encryption and is next to impossible to intercept. Learn how to get your SSL and enable HTTPS on your website.
Encrypting the information sent to your visitors eliminates the risk of compromised data transfers. This keeps information safe from snooping while reducing the risks of stealing login credentials. In this environment, you’re helping yourself as well as those who visit your website.
Using the HTTPS solution for domains doesn’t mean that you are hack-proofing your website. In fact, these focus more on encrypting data transfers from your pages to the visitor. However, it does prevent others from spying on that data transmission and accessing the visitor’s login credentials. This information could be used to gain access to the site in order to find other exploits. It’s like putting a curtain around an ATM machine. This would give privacy as well as stop someone from looking over a person’s shoulder to see the pin code.
2. Index Pages In All Folders
Folders that do not have an index.html page will display contents such as other folders and file systems. This will show the average Joe what exactly is in your website’s structure. If you’re trying to hide an admin folder or other piece of information, these areas can give hackers a way to identify access points.
This is an easy hole to plug for the most part. A blank index.html will prevent browsers from stumbling across a folder without a page. You will want to check all of your folders to make sure there is a index available. If there isn’t one, you can create this using text editor software such as Notepad. Save a blank document as “index.html” and upload it to the folder in question.
Most attacks are performed on those who are easy targets. Unless you operate a high-risk or very public website, most hackers will quickly give up on something that shows any kind of a resistance. Although this measure won’t absolutely stop those who are determined to access your site, it does act as a deterrent. It’s a bit like posting a sign in your lawn that says your home is being monitored. Most criminals will move on because the risk is too great for an unknown reward.
3. Routine Tests for Vulnerabilities
The more popular your website becomes, the greater the threat could be for security. By using a cyber-security organization or even security plugins to test your site’s functionality, you can address exploits quickly. Usually, these companies and plugins have extensive tools and capabilities that are used to test the limits of your website. When considering the alternatives, having security measures such as these can be enlightening for finding its week points.
An extremely useful procedure is that of penetration analytics. Essentially, you’ll hire a cyber security company or use high-end software with the sole purpose of hacking your own site. Since you’re in control during this procedure, there is less of a threat when discovering the holes in security. The resulting reports will show you the weak spots in your site and how to seal them up.
Validate All Code
4. Deny Access Through .htaccess
The .htaccess file can be used to help eliminate access to your login page from any IP address other than your own. Although there are ways to circumvent this measure, it’s still a very useful stopgap to prevent those looking for an easy target. This kind of a method is ideal for websites that use WordPress or other content management system. You can edit the .htaccess file with Notepad or use your online editing system such as that provided by cPanel. In the .htaccess file located in your admin folder, enter in the following:
order deny, allow
deny from all
allow from XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
In place of the “X”s, use the IP address that is assigned to you by your Internet service provider. In the event you have others working on the site with you, simply add another “allow from” line under the first with their IP addresses as well.
The downside to this method is that you must keep it updated should your IP address change. Not everyone pays for a static IP address, and many ISPs will change the number you use once every eight days or so. One way to get around this problem is to only input the first two series of the IP address. For example, 123.456. This will allow you to continue accessing those pages from that specific ISP.
What About DDoS and DoS Attacks?
Denial of service attacks are extremely difficult to stop. The purpose of these assaults is to prevent others from accessing your website by bombarding it with fake traffic. Luckily, these kinds of attacks are not meant to hack your site or steal data. However, it can be frustrating to be targeted as it could drive the productivity of the site to a standstill. Many security measures are already put into place by your web hosting provider. Unfortunately, DDoS and DoS attacks are next to impossible to prevent simply because the nature of changing IP addresses from the attacker or attackers.
Although there is truly nothing that is 100 percent hack-proof, the methods mentioned here can greatly reduce the risk to your site. As long as you remain vigilant about protecting the data of visitors and staff, you can remain ahead of some of the most potent hacks out there. Make sure you keep your proverbial doors and windows locked and secured on your digital real estate.