Lately, hackers have been on the news a lot. When your website gets hacked, it is a lot of work to get it back to running smoothly again. Think time, money and heartburn.

The best offense against any hacker attack begins with a good defense. Here are 5 tips to protect your website:

1. Keep the underlying software updated.

Make sure that you are running the most current version of your content management system. WordPress, the most popular content management system on the website, puts out a new version every 3 months or so. These updates close loopholes that hackers might exploit and address known vulnerabilities in the code.

2. Keep the plugins updated.

Websites use plugins to perform specific tasks and extend their functionality. The plugins should be updated on a regular basis. If not, the loopholes in these plugins can also be exploited by hackers to gain illegal access to your website. If a plugin isn’t putting out updates, that could mean that the writers of the plugin are no longer vested in it. This increases the likelihood that your website could be compromised through this plugin. Such plugins should be replaced to safeguard against possible attacks.

3. Create secure passwords.

Passwords are an easy way for hackers to get into a website. Don’t use commonly used words in your password. Dictionary words are especially easy to figure out. Don’t use any personal information, such as your name, your spouse’s name, your date of birth, your street address, etc., either in your password. Make sure that your password is at least 8 characters long with at least one capital letter, one small letter, a number and a symbol, like @. Use a unique password for each account.

4. Regularly backup your website.

Your website should be backed up on a regular basis along with the database and other related elements. This is important because if your website gets hacked, you will need a backup to reinstate your website along with all the content.

5. Use SSL encryption on your website.

SSL encryptions enable secure connection between web servers and browsers. Without a secure connection, your usernames and passwords run the risk of being read by hackers when you login to your website. SSL encryption also authenticates the website. You can identify SSL certificate by the green padlock icon next to the URL of any website. You should see the green padlock next to the URL on this page!

Recently, Google Chrome’s security team announced that it will add a “Not secure” warning next to all websites that don’t use a secure connection. If your website is still not using secure connections or you want to know what this all means, get in touch with us.

If you are interested in knowing more about our maintenance plans, call us at (650) 346-1442.