Protecting Your Website From Hacking Attacks

preventing hacking singapore

Hackers aren’t just after the big prizes like the fortune 500 companies with huge databases of credit cards, corporate intelligence, and a whole treasure of national secrets. For all we know, whether small or big, your site could be targeted, as well.


Dedicated hackers may have all the reasons in the world to target governments and corporate domains. But there are some who don’t mind going after the low hanging fruits, considering a vast majority of the small fries don’t actually care about monitoring their servers, let alone maintaining them.


You’d also be surprised to know that most of the attacks forged by these cyber-criminals are usually carried out on a humble. They’ll simply be making automated hacking attempts, probing around for vulnerabilities and hoping to catch unsecured sites unawares.


In their hacking toolkit there will be web crawlers, or some sort of traveling software that will be moving around from site to site, discovering new sites a long the way, and automatically scanning them for weak spots, including weak passwords and outdated plugins.


Your site isn’t exactly safe until you’ve gone an extra length to make it secure.



So what happens when they finally identify an insecure site?


Some hackers aren’t exactly interested in your little money. But there are some that do and may decide to hold your site at ransom, hence the term ransomware.


However, most often than NOT, hackers target thousands of web servers from all over the globe to create networked resources. They’ll then create a botnet that they’ll be using to wreak havoc in the hallowed chambers of the internet. In other words, your servers get to act as a temporal combined server that these hackers will be using to wedge major attacks targeting other web owners or some identified company or government corporation somewhere.


That’s on the extreme end though. For some, all they may want is to steal your credit card information or that of your customers or clients.



Steps to Protect Your Site From Hackers


Regardless of how the hackers end up using your web server, there’s nothing good about getting hacked.


Besides losing all your web content, there’s also the risk of being picked out as a suspect of an organized cyber crime. Your name might be cleared eventually, but the thought itself is still scary.


So yes, it makes more sense to keep your site protected at all times.

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And the best way to do it is to make sure you’ve followed all the basic hacker protection tips provided below.



Use Plugins


WordPress users have little to worry when it comes to keeping their sites protected from hackers.


Once you have your site set and everything updated, you can go ahead and search for security plugins that will actively be working around the clock to block any form of attack wedged against your site.


Your options are far from limited. For free plugins, you have Bulletproof Security and iThemes security plugins to choose from. You can still search from WordPress Plugins for more options.


These plugins may NOT keep you 100% protected from some cyber threats, but they can surely address a broad range of security vulnerabilities that place your site at great risk of getting hacked.


For those running their site on customized CMS or pure HTML, SiteLock is the plugin to turn to. Designed to block all kinds of malware, the plugin can also scan your website for viruses. It can as well detect if your site has vulnerabilities that places it at danger of getting hacked.



Install an SSL certificate and redirect your site to HTTPS


This is particularly important if your site will be handling financial transactions. Planning to have a checkout page or list some products or services that customers will be clicking to be directed to paypal, skrill or any other similar site to make payments?


Well, make sure you have the SSL certificate installed.


HTTP is simply the text protocol that facilitates the sending of information from your device and server, or vice versa. HTTPS just happens to be a more secure version of it.


First, the new security protocol (HTTPS) will be working to encrypt any form of information going through it. It does this by fuddling it up, thus rendering it totally unreadable. That way, even if a person were to tap the information along the way, they still wouldn’t read it for stealing.


This is important if your plan is to protect your innocent customers from losing their password or credit card information to a third party or hacker. It simply eliminates any chances of your operations being intercepted by an unsolicited man in the middle.


Hackers can’t alter the messages you send once you have an SSL certificate installed. Your customers get to receive their message exactly as you intended, which gives them even more reasons to trust you.

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Keep Everything Updated


For WordPress users, you can start by keeping the CMS platform updated to the latest version. Luckily for you, WordPress sends you a notification every time they release an update and all it take for you to update it is a simple click on the hyperlink text provided.


It’s also important that you go through all the plugins you’ve installed on your website and update them all one by one. Even more important, try looking for open-source plugins and software and check for their vulnerabilities. In most cases, these plugins or software come with holes in their codes that hackers can use to get into your website and carry out their nefarious acts.


WordPress makes it easy for web owners running their websites on the platform to check out if the platform itself and all of its plugins have been updated to the latest version. If not, they will be a message in yellow prompting you to update them. Just follow the steps provided and you’ll be safe to go.


Use Secure Password


It’s never that technical to hack someone. Some hackers can easily find their way into your website by making random guesses of your password.



This is particularly the case for those who use their dates of birth or passport numbers as their passwords. If someone lands across this kind of information, they can easily make their guesses around them and be able to find their way in.


The same goes for simple numbers such as 12345678. All they need to do is try out the obvious passwords, and considering they have automated crawlers that do all the dirty work for them, this shouldn’t be that much of a hassle on their part.



It’s a Wrap


As you can see, your site isn’t immune to hacking. If anything, hackers have all the reasons they need to hack your site or even use it to lodge an attack to someone prominent or corporation. The tips provided aren’t full proof, but they can surely help. But if you’re really concerned about the security of your website and happen to be based in Singapore, then it’s always wise to reach to a company like MediaOne for the proper development of your website and third party protection and maintenance of you site.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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