A Couple of Ways Your Website Can Get Hacked
A good many of the clients who come my way are small business owners whose websites have been hacked. A typical scenario is that I’ll receive a frantic call indicating that their website is down or that it’s displaying all manner of messages warning visitors to return from whence they came. In other cases, they’ll report that their site is suddenly displaying links to pharmaceutical or pornographic websites.
How do websites get hacked? More often than not hacking occurs when website owners have failed to keep their website maintained and up-to-date (see my post on The Importance of Regular WordPress Maintenance for additional info). In some instances, however, it’s a simple matter of using a password that’s easy to remember and therefore easily guessed by hackers. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s easy to remember then it’s easier to hack.
Always Use a Complex Password
What most website owners don’t know is that their websites are constantly being visited by hackers attempting to gain entry to their websites. Typically these hackers guess at passwords using sophisticated scripts that allow them to generate hundreds of passwords in the blink of an eye.
That said, whenever I launch a site for a client project I always provide my client with a complex alpha-numeric password and urge them to use it, so that we can maximize the security of their site on all fronts. Occasionally a client will bristle at the notion of using a password that holds no meaning for them and I understand entirely. Try remembering this: p&4ftDDaA9wpnj2cpPA&. Impossible right? Fortunately, that’s where password management applications come in.
Using a Password Management Application
For the past several years I’ve used a tremendous application called LastPass. Given the huge number of login credentials that I have to manage it’s an absolute necessity that I have a system in place, not only for keeping everything organized in one place, but also keeping all of my client’s information up to date, and to that end LastPass has been a lifesaver.
Past that however is the issue of website security. Given that most website these days are built on content management systems like WordPress, it’s a given that you’re going to need a username and password in order to log-in to your website and even though it would seem easier to use an easy to remember password, it isn’t, particularly when your website has been hacked. Use of a complex alpha-numeric password is critical to maintaining the security of your website.
To that end I always recommend that clients use a password management app like LastPass to manage their passwords, particularly where it’s related to the security of their business’ website. Given that most folks these days keep their passwords scattered across spreadsheets, printed emails and Post-It Notes, it just plain makes sense to consolidate everything into a password management application. For a quick look at what LastPass has to offer check out the video below:
Help Make the Web a Safer Place for all of Us
Tools like LastPass can be installed to your browser and will prompt you to save new usernames and passwords, as well as generate new complex passwords for you. Another great benefit of using a password manager like LastPass is that there are apps for both iOS, Android, Windows & Blackberry devices as well, which allows you to reference and access your various online accounts while on the go.
That said, in this day and age where maintaining one’s security online is paramount, there’s really no good reason not to use a password manager. Don’t pass on password management folks, unless of course, you want to get hacked! Ready to step up your security? Then head on over to lastpass.com and purchase an annual subscription, you’ll be glad to you did! No sneaky affiliate linkage here, just a plain old fashioned plea to step up your online security and help make the web a safer place for all of us!