How to Avoid Website Downtime Due to Hackers

No matter how large or small your site may be, no site is invulnerable to hacker attacks. As Twitter member EventOracle tweeted in June, "Our website is down due to spotty geeks malicious hacking, again." If every minute of downtime costs your company money, and it does, then hackers are a serious threat to your business's profits. Here are some steps you can take to protect your site from hackers and protect your profits from malicious hacker attacks.

1. Keep Your Software Up to Date

Keeping your site's software (both the server software and any site software itself) up to date is crucial if you want to keep your site secure from hackers. If your software is not up to date and your site has security holes due to this fact, hackers are going to be very quick to make use of those holes and wreak havoc on your business. Whenever a security patch is released for any software you are running, make sure you apply it immediately.

2. Word Your Error Messages Properly

The wording of your site's error messages can actually give away information to hackers who would wish your site harm. For example, if your login form responds with the wording "The password you have entered is incorrect" when the wrong password is entered, the hacker knows that they have half of the equation right. Instead of using wording such as "The user name you have entered is incorrect" or "The password you have entered is incorrect" think about using wording such as "The username or password you have entered is incorrect" so the hackers can't glean any info from your error message.

3. Don't Get Lazy with Your Passwords

Everyone knows that passwords should never be too easy to figure out, but some are very lax when it comes to actually implementing difficult passwords. When creating passwords for your site, make sure you use a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters as well as numbers randomly placed throughout the password.

4. Install Security Plug-Ins

Whenever possible, install security plug-ins onto your site. This will enhance the security of your website. When you have your software up-to-date, your error messages worded properly, and your passwords properly created, look into security plug-ins that work to protect your site from hacking attempts.

While your site will never be completely foolproof when it comes to hackers, the above tips will help you minimize your risk of a hacker successfully taking your site down.