It is every business owners worst fear – being hacked by some pirate half of a world away. The feeling that accompanies the experience of being hacked is unexplainable; fear, vulnerability, and uncertainty.  The ranges in which one can be hacked varies completely across the board.  Sometimes it can be just a simple defacement, which can be taken down with the click of a mouse.  Other times, the purpose of hacking into a website is much more serious, and painful.  Hackers can inject malicious code into your website which can gather visitor information, and store it so the hacker can then go in, and track every single key stroke you, and your visitors make on their computer.  Not only does it make your company look unprofessional, but it raises fears in your customers, causing them to wonder if it is even safe to work with you, let alone give you their information.

small business website hacked

These types of fears are absolutely validated within the small business owner field.  Sometimes the fear is so great that it prevents businesses from coming online, into great communities, and sharing their knowledge, as well as increasing brand awareness.

But fear not, there are many preventative measures one can take to stop a hacker before they even try to break into your website or blog.  One of the easiest changes to make is to change your login information – and I mean ALL OF IT. Not just your password.  That is just making it way too easy for a hacker to return and wreak havoc on your website.  You need to change your username, password, the URL to which you login, and any other measures to which you have control over.  This prevents them from coming in the front door, and symbolically lighting your office on fire.

Some other preventative measures you can take would be to include a captcha on any kind of entry form you have on your website.  The main purpose of a captcha is to prove that you are not a machine, or a bot looking to spam a website.  This prevents a lot of irrelevant data from being uploaded to your website, and it also saves you the hassle of having to delete entries, comments, and fake emails, all of which could contain information that hackers look for.

locking out hackers

Installing a type of firewall protection on your website is another great feature to have.  Doing this will protect a bunch of highly private files that your website needs to function properly. Some firewalls will limit upload sizes, and also prevent certain strings of data from being uploaded which may contain harmful information.

Would you like to know the easiest way to scan to see if anything has been updated or changed on your website without you (or your webmaster)’s knowledge? You can easily look at the timestamps on the files of your website to see if changes have been made.  A very recent time stamp could signal that something is off, and may require your attention.  If you see this, and you can’t figure out what is wrong with the code, have your host do a manual scan of all of your files to ensure no malicious code has been injected into your site.

And if all else fails, give Hut Marketing and Design a call, and we will see what we can do to help you out.  We have the experience to look into the matters for you, and either take care of them, or suggest options on what measures you should take.