4 Simple Ways to Secure Your Website From Hackers
Launching your business or personal website is like opening the door to your safe open and office. The majority of the people who visit your building will never know that all your information is there to see just by walking in.
And most of the time, there are people with cruel intentions who will walk in and snatch your data. It’s one of the many reasons why you have locks on safes and doors. Your website is the same too.
However, you’ll never see someone come in provided that you have security systems in place. Hackers are fast and invisible, probing the data of your website visitors, particularly their credit card information. For a little help, here are four simple ways to keep your website safe from hackers. Read on!
Hacked websites aren’t a new thing. Normally, all websites are susceptible to get hacked, and there are many steps that you need to take to solve such problems. According to the data trove’s seller, there are 617 million online account information or data stolen from sixteen hacked websites.
And these account details are being sold on the dark web today. The hacked websites include DataCamp, Artsy, CoffeeMeetsBagel, Whitepages, Animoto, MyHeritage, and Dubsmash. Depending on the website, there are several bits of info, like social media authentication tokens, personal details, and location.
How It Worked:
Online hackers have a lot of options when it comes to attacking websites. The most common are carrying out an SQL injection to alter or destroy data in the database, spoof the identity of a user, or gain access to the database.
Another method is to send malicious code to the users of the site. Also, making a website temporarily unavailable with DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service Attacks). In the security breach mentioned above, the hacker must have exploited a bug, thus dumping the database to a file and download it.
Beef Up Your Passwords
Undoubtedly, it’s common knowledge to use complex passwords for all your online accounts. However, it does not mean that they always do. Keep in mind that it’s vital to use impenetrable passwords to your website admin area and your server.
Still, it’s essential to hold out on good password practices so that the personal information of your visitors is secured. Although many users might not like it, imposing password requirements like including a number, an uppercase letter, and at least eight characters will aid in protecting their information over time.
Passwords must be kept as encrypted values, ideally using a one-way hashing algorithm, for instance, SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm). Through this method, you’re only comparing and authenticating encrypted values. For added security, it’s a good idea to use computer password managers.
Protect Your Site Against SQL Injection
SQL (Structured Query Language) injection attacks happen when a hacker utilizes a URL parameter to exploit your database. Therefore, they obtain access to your website. You’re susceptible to becoming an SQL injection attack victim if you’re currently using a standard Transact SQL.
Take note that it’s easier for a hacker to enter malicious code into your search query to obtain access to your information and data. To keep this from occurring to you, you must utilize a parameterized query. Such a query is easy to impose because most web languages have it.
A typical query is like this:
“SELECT * FROM <table> WHERE <column name> – ‘ “ + parameter + “ ‘ ; “
By parameterizing this statement, it’ll prevent a hacker from adding a query at the end. Here’s what a parameterized statement would look like:
$stmt = $pdo->prepare(‘SELECT * FROM <table> WHERE <column name> = :value’); $stmt->execute(array(‘value’ => $parameter));
Don’t Allow File Uploads
Letting website visitors upload files can be a huge security risk, even if it is merely changing their avatar. However decent it might look, any file uploaded to your website could have a script that when employed on your web server, it can open up your site.
If you have a form about file upload, then you must deal with all files with the utmost suspicion. When you’re letting your users upload pictures, you can’t depend on the mime type or file extension to check if the file is indeed an image because these things can be easily faked.
As such, what can you do to deter this? The ideal solution is to block direct access to uploaded files. In this way, whatever files uploaded to your site are kept in a folder as a blob in the database.
Moreover, make sure you have a firewall set up and are averting all non-essential ports. Remember to restrict physical access to your web server, as well.
Using HTTPS can help secure your website over the Internet. This protocol assures that your site visitors are communicating with the webserver they expect. Plus, no one else can change or intercept the content they are seeing.
So, if your users want to see something in private such as credit card information, it is recommended to use HTTPs to deliver it. Moreover, Google has announced that they’ll boost your rankings in the search results if you use HTTPS. Thus, it’s an SEO advantage, as well.
Keep in mind that you can never cancel or reverse the effects done by a hacker. However, you can take several steps or approaches to prevent it. Some of the easiest steps that you can take are to strengthen your passwords, protect your website against SQL injection, not allowing file uploads, and using HTTPS.
Tyler Pack is a content writer, who specializes in topics like technology, home security, and business. Aside from writing, he manages his own business too. When not working, Tyler loves to visit new places.