Website hack attacks: The dangers ahead that affect online businesses

Dec 19, 2016

Happy holidays Orlando!  As we look forward to the season and a new year we should take steps to secure our websites. Those that would attack websites are increasing with each new year.  The holidays are perfect for these black  hat individuals since we are all busy with holiday chores. These hackers are looking for vulnerabilities in website plugins and in third-party software. Their main objective is to stop you from being able to  manage the website by locking you out and taking over.  Once this is done, they can then steal your client data and worse, they can even use your server space to add illegal ads,etc.  Every business owner should do their best to secure their site for user peace of mind.

Weak Passwords:

Using complex passwords will go a long way to secure your site from intruders. Once the site is compromised the intruder has access to all files and this includes the admin areas of the site. We recommend that passwords have several  digits, at least eight letters and also a special character such as a dollar sign or another choice. The hacker develops a program to try millions of passwords at one time. Your job is to come up with a difficult password to stop him since your security is on the line. Do not take this lightly.  We also suggest that you change the password about once every few months.

What is a “brute force” attack?

A brute force attack is an attack where the hacker attacks many sites at once, using a trial and error method to try to guess your password. They develop software programs to try millions of combinations at one time. They use methods that temporary block IPs  and accounts.  This allows them to return at their leisure and do more damage.  They get lucky with some websites that have  weak and easy passwords. These sites are easy to hack.  Hopefully, your site will be protected since you have spent the time to come up with a hard, complex password. Over the past year, we had several clients whose sites were hacked.  The major reason for these intrusions were mainly those using weak passwords.  Our clients do change their passwords as they see fit, but sometimes do not spend the time to come up with complex passwords.  When this happened, our programmer was able to take the site offline, clear the site from the infected files and reload a clean copy.  For those sites this year that were compromised, we would lucky enough to have a backup copy to reinstall.  Without this being done, we would not have been able to restore their sites.

The importance of website backup plans:

Although most of us  do stay vigilant and do our best to protect our sites, attackers are always looking for loopholes and other means to breach our websites. Choosing a professional and reliable hosting account is paramount to the security of your website.  These hosting companies always offer a good backup plan.  Your site is backed up regularly to keep the content updated and also to make a copy in case the site should be compromised. Without this backup plan, you have no way to restore the site to its former glory.  Never take the chance of losing your site information. A good backup plan will ensure this success.  A hacking attempt with no backup plan can easily cost your reputation and cause a loss in sales and revenue.

Keep software updated:

Those website owners that do not update their websites can expect  a higher chance of being breached. Plugins that are old can easily be compromised. This applies to the server operating system as well as any software you are using on your website such as a third-party link.  If you have a last known backup however, we can restore the site.
Stay tuned for more next time. Follow us this year for all  things design and programming.
We wish all of you a happy Christmas ahead.


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