Every business owner should understand that website security is now imperative, there are more automated hacking bots visiting your website looking for vulnerabilities than there are people visiting your website. Hackers have numerous ways to gain access to websites, and even large business websites get hacked, most people are aware of hacking attacks on Facebook, Twitter and many federal government websites. This means that every single business that has a website needs to look at site security because if your website does get hacked, your domain name could be blacklisted and that means no website traffic, no inquiries and no emails.
Website security is an imperative today due to the numerous ways that hackers will use to find their way into your website to cause problems, steal your content, and even affiliate income right out from under you. Even large business sites get hacked. Many of you probably were aware of the issues AWeber.com, Twitter and even Facebook have had due to hackers. Even the Federal Government isn’t exempt from getting hacked.
Website Security Check – Understand What’s in Your Files
Hackers want their links out there because it helps their site get ranking. Luckily Google has cracked down on the practice but unfortunately the spammers are still out there hacking sites, adding their secret links, mucking up other people’s hard work, and even stealing their affiliate income. Understand what’s in the files on your site so that if something shows up that you don’t understand or recognize, you can identify it fast.
Monitor Your Site Regularly
Choose a regular time to monitor your site for hacking issues. You can use software programs that will alert you to potential hacking, as well as services that promise to protect your site against hacking. Understand that even a service won’t always prevent it, but it can cut down on it.
Research Potential Hidden Links
Hackers like to put hidden links into websites, and even redirect them to their own online websites. It is important that you know what links are on your site and have a method to check links at all times. Check your header and footer files as well as other files, and use software to scan your website regularly.
Use a Web Developer Toolbar
Use Google’s Safe Browsing Checker
To check any site including your own quickly to find out if it’s been hacked, simply type into your browser the following:
Replace yourdomain.com with your actual URL. Using that information Google will let you know if your site is listed as suspicious, how many times they’ve crawled the site, and whether or not any malicious software has been hosted in the last 90 days on your site.
Take Advantage of Google Webmaster Tools
Register your site with Google Webmaster tools in order to be able to take a quick look inside the Webmaster Tools dashboard for any problems that you might need to know about. If there are issues with the health of your site, Google Webmaster Tools will pick up most of them.
Try Sucuri SiteCheck
You can use the free Sucuri SiteCheck to do a quiet scan of any website to find out if anything is wrong with the site. It’s not 100 percent accurate for the free version, but you can upgrade to a paid version. The program can also help you clean up a hacked site infected with Malware. There is a WordPress plug-in.
I actually use the paid version of Sucuri for my own websites and that of my clients, this means that every four hours these websites are automatically scanned, and should any malware be found I am alerted and Sucuri will help clean any infected files and help with blacklisting removal issues.
Find Platform-Specific Scanning Tools
No matter what type of website design tools or content management system you use, there are scanning tools specifically for your software. You can use All In One WP Security & Firewall for WordPress, and Drupal has contributed modules that can help protect security. Don’t go without some kind of protection and consider using hard passwords, IP blacklisting, privacy management and more to protect your site.
I personally don’t utilize this plugin, however I do recommend it to anyone that needs a good all-around security plugin, on our sites we do things slightly differently and I do use the WordFence plugin.
Finding hidden hacking on your website can be stressful, and you are better off doing all that you can to protect your website up front. Protect your database, and keep your websites monitored and updated at all times and the best advice is to always have a backup in case your are hacked, simply restoring your website from a clean backup can solve most issues and when selecting your website designer and hosting company do keep website security in mind, as once your site is hacked it’s often too late.