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Huge Increase in Website Hacking - What to Do!

Hacking Attempts are Continuous

You know how in movies, they make hacking look really cool - almost like you're playing a video game?

Code on a screen.

Yeah, it's not that exciting looking.

Yes, I can understand how you get a thrill when you get through or get around something but there are no dragons or doors or bridges. It's basically just looking at text.

That aside, it's happening more and more to websites. I can watch server logs and do real time monitoring and you can see it happening all the time. Yes, all - the - time.

Hacking elections is in the news right now and you may or may not believe that but hacking, in general, is on the increase. Why? Well, if you know what you're doing, the payoffs can be pretty big.

With hacking websites, they're generally trying to set up a phishing page (fake login page), send out tons of spam email or try to get at information (like email addresses or credit card data).

There are 3 main things to do in order to help prevent hacking:

  • Protect against brute force attacks
  • Keep the website software up to date
  • Get good website hosting

Protect Against Brute Force Attacks

A brute force attack is where they try to login over and over again, trying the most popular login combinations.

Huge Increase in Brute Force Attacks in December and What to Do (wordfence.com)

At Wordfence we constantly monitor the WordPress attack landscape in real-time. Three weeks ago, on November 24th, we started seeing a rise in brute force attacks. As a reminder, a brute force attack is one that tries to guess your username and password to sign into your WordPress website.

[...]

During the past three weeks we have seen the number of sites attacked each day almost double.

[...]

If you run a WordPress site, make sure you lock it down so that you can relax over the holiday season. Brute force attacks are easy to protect against if you have the right tools.

With brute force attacks, the main thing to do to help prevent them is to change where your login page is. Think of your website like a house. If they can't find the door, then it's much harder to insert a key to try to get in. Second, make sure the username to login is not "admin" but instead something else. Third, use good, strong, long passwords. Forget about using easy passwords everywhere - those days are gone.

Keep the Website Software Up to Date

In keeping with the house metaphor, think about how many windows and doors are on the house (website). Open doors and windows can easily let people in. When you use software that's not up to date, you've basically left some windows open.

Do all software updates when they come out. It's just that simple. We see the most hacks on websites that are not up to date.

If you don't know how to do this, then we have you covered with our Website Care program. Our team will go in weekly and make sure the core software, all plugins and all themes are up to date. We do testing when we're done. You also get a nice report - here's how it looks:

Webstix Website Care Report

Wouldn't you like to get one of these every week in your inbox?

Get Good Website Hosting

So what's better? Would you rather live in a low rent apartment building that lets just anyone live there or do you think a gated community is better?

Webstix website hosting is like the gated community. We know who lives there, what they're doing and they're required to keep their website up to date. This essentially is like having a gate or wall around all the houses there.

Our hosting is fast, continuously monitored and has relatively few problems. When clients' websites get out of date, we let them know and we make them upgrade. If they don't, we essentially kick them off that hosting. The result is website hosting that has very few problems. We're not the cheapest hosting out there but it's fast and simply works better.

Conclusion

Is any software 100% secure? No.

Can you increase the chances of not getting hacked? Yes.

Hackers, unless they really have it out for you, basically just go from website to website and jiggle the locks. If something looks too hard to get into, they'll move on and find a website that's easier to get into. They're lazy that way. All you need to do is take advantage of that and take some simple steps to lock down your website better than most business owners do.

If you need help with your website (even if we didn't create it), then contact Webstix and let's discuss how we can help you. It's not as expensive as you might think and taking preventative measures is pretty much always cheaper than cleaning up hacks.

-Tony

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