How to Protect Your Website from Malware & Virus

| December 20, 2018

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Google estimated that it flags 10,000 infected websites daily! With this number, you cannot take the idea of securing your site for granted. Moreover, let’s not forget a malware or virus affected website is equivalent to the loss of reputation and customer trust, and decreasing business opportunities. Websites are often hacked to steal credit card information. However, that is not the sole thing that runs in a hacker’s mind. It can be done to disrupt service and believe it or not, it is also done just for fun and to seek attention. Complete website destruction can also be a motive. There is no silver bullet to protect your website from being hacked. But, even the basic effort taken in the direction of preventing your site will sway hackers away. So, here are six ways that will help you prevent your website from cyber-attacks and threats:
  • SSL Certificate
Have you seen ‘HTTPS’ along with padlock in the web address bar, before the domain name? It is a proof of website security. Your website enjoys HTTPS status if it is Secure Socket Layers (SSL) certified. It is a website security certificate that used to be a priority only for e-commerce websites, however, it’s not the case now. When the best SSL certificate is installed, HTTPS is set up for a domain or subdomains. This digital certificate then encrypts everything entered by a user on the website. Also, it prevents information from being read in the transit and can be accessed only by the identified recipient. So, get SSL certificate protection from a Certificate Authority. GoDaddy, GlobalSign, Geotrust, are some of the authorities you can count on.
  • PCI Compliance
As an owner of e-commerce website, are you ensuring that your customers can shop online without any fear of losing their credit card/ debit card information? If not, you can do so now with the help of PCI compliance. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), also known as PCI, is a set of requirements which a company needs to fulfil if it accepts card payments. Complying with PCI acts as a proof for website users that both business and customers are safe from cybercrime. Violating PCI compliance can lead to hefty penalties, lawsuits for you as an individual as well as your organization, and not to mention wrecking brand reputation due to the breach of data.
  • Stay Updated
One of the best methods to protect your website from hackers is to keep everything updated such as Content Management System (CMS), software you have installed, plugins, themes, extensions, etc. Many of the tools are developed using open-source platform and they are as much available to hackers as they are to genuine developers. It is, therefore, essential to ensure regular updates are performed to strengthen your website. Moreover, there are many CMS that facilitate auto update of the files. It doesn’t take hackers a long time to scan thousands of websites and find the vulnerability (opportunity) to break in.
  • Strengthen Password
Buying SSL certificate and investing in malware removal tool would not be effective, if you are still neglecting your passwords for business applications. People go wrong in this area by keeping a weak password, just because it’s easy to remember. A strong password consists of over eight characters (it should not be a dictionary word), has both upper and lower case, includes number(s) and a special character. You should ensure that all the boxes are ticked for website protection. Therefore, it is imperative you put such terms & conditions for passwords from the backend as a weak password can be cracked in the nick of time.
  • Web Application Firewalls 
Every week, more than 1 million malware is developed and in such a situation protecting your website from them becomes a daunting task. Web Application Firewalls (WAF) make things difficult for hackers by not letting them visit your site in the first place. It makes your website resilient against automated hacking tactics. It checks where the traffic is coming from, the behaviour of potential visitors and information he or she is looking for. Considering all this, WAF evaluates if the visitor is legitimate, and the permission is granted accordingly.
  • Regular Website Backup
Just like data or a file, a complete website can be backed-up. If a site is hacked, you need a malware-free version of the website to return to. Therefore, it is wise to run daily backups. You have two options of taking a back-up - manual and automatic. Speaking of manual backup, you need to allot specific time for that. However, in case of automatic backup, you just need to do the required setting in the system and files can be restored as and when you want. A premium backup solution gives periodic backup of the website data. Also, it provides you with the option to migrate to another hosting provider at the time of emergency. Wrapping Up It is essential to take the necessary steps to provide your website with a shield against cyber-attacks and deter hackers from attacking sensitive data.

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