A majority of organisation, websites are the most compelling things to build for our customers, fans and constituents. Websites are a long term commitment and whose safety should be the number one priority. Therefore they need constant attention, supervision and at most care. It is disastrous for a company to build a website with a huge initial building capital only for your website to be destroyed. It is paramount for any company with a website to reduce the chances of it being hacked. The first thing is to make your site less attracting to hackers ad which many people don’t do because it takes both expertise and time. Lacking proper tools for enhancing website security is a serious concern, and larger organisations are not immune to the vice. With more websites growing more and more complex and increasingly more people using websites more than ever before, it is paramount to guard and protect your site from online attacks.
How to know a site is hacked
A hacked website is an obvious clue when a website has been either vandalised or replaced entirely. Unfortunately, hackers not always make it obvious for you to notice that our site has been hacked at all. Currently modern sites are designed to pursue their purposes like collecting information, installing spyware and spreading the rather disastrous infections to end users as well as other servers hence avoiding detection.
If left unchecked, a site that has been infected quickly spreads to millions of users depending on whether the site was popular as well as a demographic population visiting it. As a consequence, major problems will be emanated from your site as well as your visitors thus lowering both your success and credibility and through persistence and sweat. With a little preparation the result may turn out to be fortunate for you if you have the right tools to easily and quickly identify whether your site has been hacked.
- Constantly investigating hacks on your site by taking a look at your file. In case you have familiarised yourself with coding and site file then it can be possible for you to determine whether your site has been hacked or not. Modern hackers attack websites at three most critical junctures which include: php files, htaccess files and media files.
- Taking advantage of available security tools. In case you are not comfortable of examining your site yourself then it is important to do a quick scan with the available security utilities. This tools include Google’s safe browsing checker which will perform a scan on your website and provide an in depth information of any suspicious activities associated with your site. Proving any essential tools to the webmaster are the Google webmaster tools that determines the health status of your site. Also available is the Securi SiteCheck which is an online platform that not only scans your sites but also identifies any problems. Lastly on the list of the security tools is the platform specific scan which comes handy if you built your site using Joomla or WordPress. Tools like Better WP Security, Theme Authenticity Checker or Exploit Scanner Plugins for WordPress.
Cleaning a hacked site
It is always important to make an entire backup of your site before you decide to format anything which will protect you in case something sinister happens. The most effective to do a clean up of your site if you have made an identification of the suspicious links and codes is to find and download the affected sites first. This will be made easier by using an FTP application. Using the app to make the necessary modifications and consequently re uploading them back to the site therefore doing a replacement of the infected files with new ones. On completion of the uploading, do a thorough scan to make sure nothing was missed during the site repairs.
After having done the scans and the results are assuring that a complete removal of unnecessary files have been removed then be sure to change your entire password like admin account passwords, WordPress passwords as well as the FTP passwords and not forgetting SSH accounts as well as Hosting Control Panel. As a result this will increase the security of the site and will make it secure and will help in preventing hackers form gaining access to previous passwords and access to your sites. Scheduling on your server may be made possible from an installation made by a malware. This applications can continuously infect your recently cleaned system over and over again unless you entirely remove scheduled apps like Cron Jobs and in case your website server uses Cron Jobs then it will be paramount to delete any suspicious activities by accessing your scheduler which can be made possible through your hosting control panel.
How to guard your site against future attacks
Precautionary measures are essential in keeping your site with a clean bill of health. The following pointers can act as guidelines in ensuring your site remains in a top notch performance:
- Doing a regular monitoring of your site. In a case where your hosting provider offers site monitoring then it is a viable option to consider the services. Additionally Google Analytics can also monitor your site for any suspicious behaviour and patterns in terms of traffic to your sites. Running a scan will ensure your site security has not been compromised. In an event that you see traffic from unexpected places, spike in SPAM, a suspicious number of comments or even old content that has unexpectedly been revitalised then it is a good idea to do a full examination of your site files for problems.
- Be anticipatory with your site security. This can be done by regularly changing your passwords, using a strong password generator, formatting unnecessary content and keeping administrators accounts to a manageable minimum can go a long way towards ensuring your site safety from hackers. Offer protection to sensitive files and folders which also include databases with enhanced security features such as strong passwords. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the security setting of your site remain optimum as much as possible while still making visitors enjoy using your site with no much complexity. A site that has been hacked can be as source of major headache not only for you and your visitors but also for the unfortunate servers that have been malware infected with viruses or SPAM. Thereby it is necessary to take an ample time as well as an effort to do regular scanning and monitoring in order to provide a clean bill of health to your site on a regular basis.