How do I protect my website against hacking? This is the most common question asked by businesses and individuals who are thinking about setting up a website. There is nothing scarier than the thought of seeing one’s site wiped out entirely or altered by nefarious hackers. Having worked so hard and spent money on developing a website, one should take the time to protect it by putting into place some basic hacking protections. Some people do not think that their websites contain anything worth being hacked for. However, most website security breaches are not meant to deface or alter a website, or to steal data. Rather, they are attempts by hackers to use another person’s server to set up a temporary server, or as a relay for spam of an illegal nature.

How do I Protect my Website against Hacking?
Hacking is often done by automated scripts written to search the internet for known website software security issues. Most website developers and owners are aware of the threat posed by hackers. There are many ways of protecting a website from hacker attacks, ranging from strong to weaker security measures. Although site developers and owners implement such measures to keep their servers secure, individual user accounts can still be maliciously hacked and exposed. In addition to regularly backing up their files, website owners should take the following easy steps to keep their websites safe:

• Keep software up to date.

One of the best ways to protect a website is to ensure that any software installed is up to date. This applies to the server operating system as well as any software one may be running on the website. When hackers find any website security holes, they quickly attempt to abuse them. Individuals and businesses using a managed hosting solution do not need to worry much about applying updates for the operating system. This task is carried out by the hosting service provider. However, people using third–party software should quickly apply the necessary security patches.

• Install security plug-ins

After updating the platform and scripts, one should look into the security plug-ins that actively protect the website from hacking attempts. People running a WordPress website should look into free plug-ins such as Bulletproof Security, Better WP Security, or other similar tools available for websites built on other systems. Such tools address the limitations that are inherent in each platform.

• Lock down file and directory permissions
All websites are made up of a series of files and folders stored on the web hosting account. Besides having all the data and scripts needed to make the website work, each of these folders and files has a set of permissions that determine who can open or alter them. As one might expect, a file with a permission code that gives anyone on the web the ability to open, write, or execute is less secure than one that is locked down to reserve all rights for the website owner alone.

Other ways of protecting a website against hackers include removing the install script, maintaining strong passwords, keeping one’s computer virus free and up to date, and never logging into one’s account via unsecured wifi.