4 Factors That Compromise Your Website Security and How To Stop Them
A website hack can be a business owner’s worst nightmare. Hacking is any activity that tries to compromise your digital devices. Hackers seek out and exploit vulnerabilities to allow them to gain access to your information. A person is more susceptible to hacking if they engage in any of the following behaviors.
Using Weak Passwords
The easier a password is to remember, the easier it is for hackers to crack. Another big no-no is reusing the same password for all your accounts. Although it can be hard to remember passwords, there are tools that can help you keep track of them.
To keep your accounts secure, Melissa Buck, program manager at TOH, recommends using passwords that have a random combination of 12 to 16 characters, including numbers, both uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters. She likes a secure database storage system, such as KeePass, to help keep track of passwords. “Do not store passwords in an unprotected digital document on your computer,” she says.
Running Outdated Software, Themes, Plugins and Addons
If you’re running outdated software, or utilizing outdated themes, plugins and addons, your website is more susceptible to being hacked. To protect yourself, regularly apply provided security patches and software updates to your CMS, plugins, addons and themes, and consider replacing or ditching any plugins that are no longer maintained by the developer. If you’re having trouble maintaining your software on your own, consider enlisting the help of a professional webmaster or opting for a maintenance program that will keep your website up to date and secure.
Risky Online Behaviors
Hackers frequently exploit human nature in order to trick you into giving up information. This is called social engineering, and if you aren’t on your guard, it can easily happen to anyone. Phishing is one example of social engineering. Other forms of social engineering include malware and vishing.
Poor or Non-existent Internet Usage Policy
If you don’t have strong rules and procedures for how individuals in your organization are going to access and utilize your company’s online or IT resources, you’re at a higher risk for a security breach. Many free templates for Internet policies are available online, however, you’ll want to customize them for your company or organization. At a minimum, the policy should include acceptable and unacceptable ways to utilize the Internet at work, as well as how non-compliance will be handled.
There are countless ways for hackers to gain access to your information. Because the internet is integral to our daily lives, it’s important to be smart about how we use it, and to take steps to protect ourselves.
Contact us for a manual audit of your website for potential vulnerabilities, or if you need a hacked site cleaned up and secured.