Most websites right now are using online marketing, and many people claim hackers can’t affect their site. That’s when you lower your guard, and your site crumbles before you. Hacking is quite a problem with blog owners and personal websites, but a huge problem for marketing sites.
Many people believe that if they know how to change IP addresses, they can protect their sites from hackers. However, it’s critical to understand that changing your IP address only prevents people from tracing and spying on your activities online, and not merely protecting your site from hackers.
You should consider these five tips when you want to protect your website from hackers.
- Add Parameterized Queries In Your Web Script
The most common attack on any website is a Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attack. Hackers get creative when attacking websites like Paypal and Amazon that keep users’ credentials. SQL attacks are mainly targeting the servers themselves to gain access through their site.
A web script is basically the programming language of a website, and this is what website developers manipulate. To ensure that your website has command parameters to prevent SQL injections, you need to consult a professional web developer. You can also check it yourself if you know web scripts, but this method usually entails technical knowledge in coding.
If hackers are unsuccessful in stealing users’ credentials but somehow got control of your site, they would install ransomware. Hackers get more creative every time they see websites worthy of stealing, which is why SQL injections should be prevented at all costs.
- Use Advanced Security Development Lifecycle
While SQL injection attacks target the servers, XSS attacks primarily target the users. An XSS attack is cross-site scripting, where hackers insert malicious code to any input fields on your site. This is done by manipulating your site to send copies of users’ information to the hacker every time they access your site.
This can be prevented by using advanced Security Development Lifecycle, or SDL. One of the most famous SDLs is Content Security Policy (CSP) of Mozilla Firefox, which mainly prevents XSS attacks. Aside from preventing attacks, it also identifies any coding errors on your site that the web developer can correct to make your site more secure than before.
- Use HTTPS
Using HTTPS on your site is something that anyone can do with their website, as long as you can maintain it. Basically, when you launched your website and added no security protocols on it, your site will default with HTTP. You need to convert your site to use HTTPS, and you need to pay regularly for it.
There are four steps you need to remember to convert your site to HTTPS.
- Purchase a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. There’s a lot of SSL certificates available online and some sites sell SSL certificates for around $10 a year.
- Install an SSL certificate on your website. You can install SSL certificates on your site if you know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you can let your web hosting provider with their own web developer do the job for you, or hire a web developer yourself.
- Double-check everything on your site. Your site most likely has multiple pages, and it might even have several applications. Check all of those and see if HTTPS is installed in each of them.
- Notify Google. This might seem unimportant, but if search rankings is a big deal for you, you should notify Google. You can update your site by using Google Search Console, and informing them that your site is now in HTTPS.
- Keep Everything Updated
The main reason why software developers update their programs frequently is because they see defects. These defects can be bugs, glitches, and missing parts in the computer coding system, which the hackers can utilize to gain access. This is why keeping everything updated is vital for your security.
There are three ways you can check that everything, aside from content, is updated.
- Confirm updates from web hosting service providers. Web hosting service providers usually provide automatic security updates to your site, but you should confirm it at the start of their service.
- Regularly check updates from third-party applications which can be plugins or payment gateways. You can subscribe to their emails for security updates, but some of them usually notify you for available system updates every time you log into your website.
- Use online tools, such as Gitlab and OpenVAS. These tools allow you to track your website activity and notify you if any suspicious activities take place.
- Beware of User Input
Aside from malicious codes, hackers can use the privilege of users which include file uploading and saving login information to infect your site. There are two ways you can continue user privileges and prevent users from infecting your site.
- Consider double validation. Whenever any information goes through your site, the browser validates the information and checks its validity. However, a browsers’ validation is not as reliable as the servers’ validation. So, make sure that your server also validates information.
- Install web application firewall (WAF). When users upload files to your site, they can rewrite the code on that file and infect it with malicious code. WAF can prevent other input like manipulating a file that you don’t authorize.
The Bottom Line
To prevent a hacker from hacking your site, you also need to think like a hacker or find web developers who do. It’s never safe to rely on user input for your site as this may be the reason you lose everything you’ve worked for in your life. Keep these things in mind, and never forget to keep yourself updated for newer security tools.