Too often we have new customers that come to us because their website is hacked.We just had a customer in the past week come to us which had their site hacked more than 6 months ago but never knew it because the files were all hidden and were simply redirecting people coming from particular searches in search engines to porn sites. How they figured it out was that when they Googled themselves their was a message on the listing that said “this site may be hacked”. That can be very annoying to say the least or even cause you much potential business.
We were able to get them fixed in a few hours and get the bad message removed from their listing within a couple of days.
It is unfortunate when this happens because in most cases some simple basics would have prevented the issue to begin with.
Fortunately if it does happen we offer a reasonably priced service that will usually get you up and running quickly and prevent the issue from happening again.
The first step to securing your website from hackers is to make sure you don’t have any scripts or files on the server that are easy to exploit. We see this all of the time. If you are not sure about this and don’t know how to look or what to look for then it would be wise to hire someone competent in this area. Usually the fee to have your site inspected for fatal flaws is very reasonable. If something is find then you can decide how to deal with it.
If you are running software such as ecommerce programs or wordpress for example it is critical you keep these updated. Both of these are the most common types of services that are under constant attack by the unscrupulous and in most cases they are also constantly being provided with updates in order to mitigate and security holes as they are found. As well we see these as the most common cause of problems associated with hacking. Whereas simply keeping them updated usually resolves any potential for problem.
Too, as in the case of wordpress for example there are third party plugins which will also help to secure them such as BPS Security. They are easy to install and operate and you shouldn’t go without them.
There is also an excellent service called Sitelock which will monitor a website and prevent most of the problems before they can even occur.
We offer this Sitelock service as well to our customers and it is priced very reasonably. The Sitelock service will help prevent most issues and what I like about it most is that with the Professional plan which is very reasonable at less than $50 a year it will let you know anytime a file is changed. This way you can immediately take a look to see if a hacker has found a way into your site. Too, it will automatically remove malware if any is found to be on your site.
Another great advantage to the Sitelock service is it will show a special seal on your website which can help to give your site visitors confidence n the safety of your website. This is an added plus especially if you rely on on-site conversions.
Who you host your website with too can be a critical decision. Oftentimes hackers are able to gain admittance to one website because of a flaw or security hole on the web server itself. Or by compromising another website on the same server as yours. Often as is the case in a shared hosting environment your site is only as strong as the weakest link or website on the same server. As most people do host their websites in shared server environments this is another great reason to use a service like Sitelock in order to have a stronger protection for your individual website.
On the other hand you could have a dedicated server. This is more expensive than shared hosting but at least you know everyone in your hosting environment and you have a much higher level of control. But again, in this type of situation you need to have someone administer the server that is well versed in knowing how to tighten the servers security and protect it which also has associated costs. If you have a mission critical website or ecommerce platform that you rely heavily upon for your income this is probably an excellent investment to make.
There is no perfect solution. But not paying attention to at least the most basic things like keeping your site properly updated and mitigating any potential issues by using a low cost service like Sitelock is a formula for disaster.