No business owner wants to be on the receiving end of a cyber attack. All businesses, including privately owned businesses, need high-traffic websites to stay competitive in today’s market, and one hacker could take down your website or do even more damage in a short period of time. Increased website security will reduce the likelihood of getting hacked, and an accomplished digital marketing firm like JumpSIX Marketing can help you boost your security. But first, let’s talk about the reasons why a hacker would attack your website.
What Do Hackers Gain From Attacking You?
This question can have self-evident answers for some companies. A bank’s online presence will surely attract hackers. An online attack could give a cyber criminal access to bank accounts and money. Small business owners might find it more difficult to understand why they, of all people, find themselves on hackers’ radars. Most hacks, however, are automated. Cyber criminals create bots to scan search engines in order to find vulnerable websites. From the moment you create your website, harmful bots attempt to compromise your data. JumpSIX Marketing keeps your website security in mind with all we do because we know that these bots will compromise all insecure websites. They attack all websites they can for a few simple reasons that we cover below.
Blackhat Search Engine Optimization
Hackers often use automated bots to infiltrate websites in order to increase their visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). They embed links—sometimes visible, sometimes not—that siphon traffic from your site to their own. In this way, they use your positive organic ranking in their favor. This gives them more traffic and allows them to sell more of their products or to trick people into giving away information by filling out false forms.
Shutdown Another Website
When a hacker accesses your website and, potentially, your computer, they can then control your website or computer without your realizing it. Hackers often collect a large group of computers into what we in the industry refer to as a botnet. Your website or desktop becomes a foot soldier who follows the orders of the hacker. When a cyber criminal gets a large enough botnet, they can send the entire botnet to a website. This traffic overwhelms the server and crashes the website under attack.
Let’s say you sell a product online or offer a way for your customers to purchase your services through your website. At JumpSIX Marketing, we consider this not only a perfectly reasonable idea but also a lucrative one. A hacker, however, sees this aspect of your website as an opportunity to steal your customers’ information. If they gain access to your site, they can make pages designed to look like a checkout form. Customers unknowingly give their information, and now hackers have access to their credit card information.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Don’t worry. It isn’t all doom and gloom out there for your online presence. Hackers need a weakness to exploit before they can wreak havoc on your website and your customers. If you protect yourself by both hiring a proactive digital marketing agency like JumpSIX Marketing and engaging in safe practices, you will keep yourself protected from online hackers. Let’s go over some of the simple steps you can take toward securing your website.
Update Your Plugins & Software
Cybercriminals can and will exploit any bugs or faults in the coding of your software and third-party plugins. If you use a content management system, you should check regularly for updates. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and other well-known CMS regularly provide patches or updates for their software to help protect you from cyber attacks.
Keep Your Passwords Secure
This simple but effective security measure is easy to perform by just about anyone these days. You can find password generators and programs that randomly change your password for you while allowing you to use a master key password that never changes. If you write your own passwords, make sure you use 12 characters and a mix of numbers, symbols, and both uppercase and lowercase letters.
Change Your Admin Folders’ Names
Sometimes your web server gets hacked, and bots scan for folders that contain administrative information. Since most of these attacks are automated, bots will look for easy titles such as “admin” or “login.” Give these folders names that are less likely to indicate the important information they contained.
Protect Yourself with JumpSIX Marketing
Ultimately, your protection depends on vigilance and an attentive eye for detail. Not every small business owner has the resources, time, and expertise to keep up-to-date on all the latest security necessities. JumpSIX Marketing can take care of you. We will go the extra mile to ensure you stay protected. Should an attack occur, we quickly resolve all issues and get you back online, back on track, and back to running smoothly in no time. If you would like more information on website security or want to know more about our services, contact JumpSIX Marketing today.