Hackers love finding creative ways to collect information, redirect pages, and make your site unsafe for clients to use. If you manage a website, you should know how to prevent some of the most common hacks and when to alert your development team.
Site Side: Passwords, Plugins, and Security Updates
Before they try anything fancy, most hackers check to see if your site has some of the most common vulnerabilities. Luckily, many of these problems can be prevented by the site owner or administrator.
Start by using secure passwords and avoiding default accounts like “admin.” You should also limit new user permissions and consider requiring administrator approval for new accounts.
Content management systems like WordPress and Drupal offer regular security updates. With your developer’s permission, push these updates through as soon as possible - they’re usually created to solve a recently-discovered hack.
Finally, many hackers gain access to sites through unmaintained or poorly coded plugins and software. Don’t install new plugins until you check with your developer, and make sure to replace any plugins that are no longer supported by their development team.
Server Side: Vulnerabilities and Exploits
Have you ever seen a cluster of related websites get hacked at the same time? When this happens, it’s usually because the sites were hosted on a shared server. Once one site has been compromised, the other sites might be vulnerable as well.
This represents just one of the many ways that a server-side vulnerability could result in your site getting hacked. It’s up to your hosting provider to choose the right software, run security checks, and keep individual sites isolated from each other. Cyber criminals are constantly inventing new exploits, and great hosting companies regularly update their security techniques.
Signs That Your Site Was Hacked
Some hackers render your site unusable, while others try to keep things running so that they can steal information. Here are a few common signs of hacker involvement:
- Google is preventing access to your site. Google regularly flags sites that contain malware or suspicious links. When you try to access your site, you’ll see a bright red warning screen that says “the site ahead contains malware.”
- Someone made changes to your site. If you’ve recently hired a web developer, those random changes could be a case of late-night workaholism. But if you haven’t asked anyone to update your site, even small changes could be a sign of unauthorized activity.
- Your traffic has randomly spiked. New site traffic can usually be traced back to your most recent advertising campaign. If you’re seeing numbers that don’t make sense, it’s time to run a malware check.
If something about your site just doesn’t seem right, get in touch with your development team or your hosting provider right away. They’ll be able to run a malware check, fix any problems, and get your site back online.
Secure Website Hosting Through Precision Creative
Working with a great development team is one of the best ways to protect your site. Every Precision Creative website is built with modern software from trustworthy developers. We also offer a complete hosting package with secure servers and regular updates. Get in touch with us today to discuss your website’s security needs.