As the owner of a small business, you may be surprised to discover that website hackers are interested in all websites; however big or small your business may be. It is commonly thought that running a small business with an online presence, does not leave you open to the possibilities of hacking, as website hackers must have ‘bigger’ fish to fry!
It does makes sense that bigger companies will hold more information for the taking, and more money to steal, making them much more vulnerable to being hacked.
We are however, going to share with you 5 important reasons why you should ensure you do not leave yourself exposed to hackers, and the all important secrets to protecting your site.
1. It’s not who you are, it’s who you know…
It is possible that some hackers will have a interest in your business specifically, but many will be interested in those who visit your website. If your website has security weaknesses, a hacker can insert code which runs every time someone visits your site. This code can then install corrupt software on that individual’s computer leaving them, and their data vulnerable. This can have serious repercussions for your business. Not just in terms of your reputation with existent and potential customers, but it could also lead to being blacklisted with google, and therefore a drop in search engine traffic.
2. Are my valuables safe?
Information such as; passwords, bank details, names and addresses are all of interest to a hacker, as these can be used to commit identity fraud and gain access to online accounts.
When running a small business, you are likely to build a collection of personal data which you need to store securely. Failure to do so, could not only severely damage your business reputation, but could also land you in hot water with the Information Commissioner’s Office for breach of data.
3. I’m not an ‘easy target’…am I?
Security weaknesses in your website will determine whether or not you are an ‘easy target’. Hackers are using bots to crawl websites, which means they do not need to have a specific interest in your business to exploit it. If your website is not secure, it is likely that you will be automatically attacked at some point.
Unfortunately not all hackers have a well considered motive behind their actions, and so sheer amusement can be the reason for being hacked. This is obviously no fun for the person who has been hacked, and the repercussions are likely to be similar to that of someone who has been hacked with malicious intent.
5. ‘Spamdexing’…what’s that?
Spamdexing refers to the use of deceptive tactics to manipulate search engine results. If your website is not secure, a hacker my be able to gain access and add their own links on your website, in an attempt to improve their search engine ranking. Your links may then be viewed as questionable, and visitors to your site may consider it to be untrustworthy.
How to protect your website against hacking
At an absolute minimum, you should be using long and complex passwords for access to the administration area and these passwords should be stored securely. Login details should never be sent via email or any other messaging service, but if necessary you should send the username in a separate message to the password.
Here at Kenilworth Web Design, we predominately build WordPress websites. To secure your WordPress website, we will install the WordFence security plugin, which is basically anti-virus for your website. The plugin will scan your website for any malicious code, it will block any user that has more than a certain number of failed login attempts and much, much more.
In addition to this, we strongly encourage our clients to keep their website up to date, to ensure the latest security patches are installed. We even offer to carry out the updates free of charge.
For further information or to find out how we secure websites that aren’t built in WordPress, contact us.