The 21st century seems to be rife with hacking and hackers. It seems as if every time we turn around, there’s another major story about someone being hacked. It can be difficult to stop some of these hackers who, unfortunately, are quite good at what they do. After all, if they can hack into major organizations, hugely popular websites and even the government, then what hope is there? Security breaches aren’t always to steal data. It could be to use your server for the purpose of spamming. However, there are some things you can do to minimize this risk. Let’s take a look at some tips to help prevent your site from a hacker.
1. Up-To-Date Software
Always make sure that your software is up-to-date. Hackers are clever opportunists and will try to find security vulnerabilities in software to take advantage of. The server’s operating system must be up-to-date and the website’s as well, especially if it’s running a Content Management System. It’s really important, especially if you’re running a third-party software on your site that it is current and keeping up with the times.
2. Use Strong Passwords
There are many people who still use what are considered as weak passwords. These are not only common ones which many people use but they are also easy to decipher. Examples of these are ‘123456’, ‘qwerty’, ‘password’ or a password that’s the same as the username. The use of a strong password cannot be emphasized enough, especially when it comes to server and admin areas. Users should also be advised to use strong passwords to keep their accounts and information as secure as possible.
When making passwords, try to use a minimum of at least 8 characters and include a number and an uppercase letter. Since passwords are stored using encrypted values, salting passwords will add even more security.
3. SQL Injection Attacks
An SQL Injection is arguably the most common web hacking method used. It places a malicious code and this code injection can destroy a database. A hacker can obtain or change information or delete data. Always use parameterised queries which can be implemented easily enough and this form of hacking can be avoided.
4. Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
WordPress plug-ins are prone to Cross Site Scripting vulnerabilities.XSS is another common form of attack where a malicious code is injected into susceptible web applications. Unlike SQL injections, XSS doesn’t really target the application itself, but it’s the users who are most at risk. A user’s account may be compromised, Trojan horse programs may be activated and page content may also be modified. Users may be misled into giving up their private information, thus leading to being impersonated and having their information abused. A common solution used for protection is a WAF (web application firewall). This helps to pinpoint and stop any malicious requests.
5. Uploading Files
Whenever you allow users to upload files to your website, it’s potentially causing a security risk. If a file contains a malicious script, it could open up your site once it’s executed. Even images may contain threatening PHP codes. Try to prevent access to uploaded files. Store uploaded files in a folder outside the webroot. You could also change the extension name during uploading. You may also do the following:
- Have a firewall that blocks all unnecessary ports.
- If Internet file uploads are allowed, use secure methods like SSH or SFTP.
- Make sure that your database is on another server than that of your web server. Only your web server and not the outside world can access it then. The risk of data being uncovered is reduced.
Security testing will help to make sure that confidential information remains confidential. With security testing, you could possibly find certain vulnerabilities that you can quickly act on to keep information safe. With a little bit of knowledge on some of the more common security issues, you could help to make sure the necessary steps are taken to keep everyone protected.