Ah, yes! The thing that gives several people sleepless nights. With the world turning digital, one of the growing concerns is the safety of user’s data. Or what happens when someday you find yourself locked out of your online accounts because someone hacked their way in. For business owners, the question would be, “Will my website get hacked?” We all have that one friend that has black tape over their laptop webcam because ‘someone must be watching them from the other side.’ All these worries have an aspect of forceful or deceitful entry into someone else’s digital property. Let’s focus on businesses for now and see what threats their websites contend with and if all the worry is really necessary.
What is hacking?
Hacking has been defined as identifying weaknesses in systems and networks in order to exploit and gain access. This takes quite some skills. The average Joe won’t be a threat to your website.
How often do websites get hacked?
A recent study says that the average website could be attacked 39 times a second. However, here basic English comes into play. There is a difference between an ‘attempted hack‘ or ‘attack‘ and a ‘successful hack‘. Successful website hacking is far rarer than attempted hacking. Our very own site has been attacked several times but luckily none has succeeded.
Why your website might be hacked
There are a few reasons why your website might get hacked. One of the most worrying is malicious intent. In this case, the website hacker targets your website with various hacking methods in order to do harm. For example, the hacker will gain access to your website and just take down the website until you pay a fee to have your website back. If you have a website that stores customer personal data, they could also be after that too.
Another reason could be just for fun. Yes, there are people out there who will just test the security of your website for their own enjoyment. If they try and hack your website and get in, fine. If they don’t succeed, fine as well.
Your website could also be hacked for educational purposes. There could be someone out to sharpen their hacking skills and they, accidentally or intentionally, land on your website and use it as a live target.
Lastly, to earn a living. In an online world, some people make a living by ensuring businesses are as safe as they can be from malicious hackers. They will attempt to hack your website and if they succeed, they approach you with a report on what the problem was and that they can help you fix it. If you turn them down, they just walk away and leave you at the mercy of malicious hackers.
Safeguard your website against hacking
As we conclude, the first steps of ensuring your websites are safe are straight forward.
- Use a secure password – There are several lists on the internet of the most insecure passwords. Some of these insecure passwords keep being used because people think they’ll never be attacked. That might be true until you actually get attacked.
- Good hosting – Choosing website hosting from a reputable provider is always recommended. Also, do your background checks like asking what backup solutions they offer. Or how they may help if you wake up one morning and your website has been compromised. Some of the cheapest hosting solutions leave you out in the cold. After all, they’re cheap for a reason.
- Choice of web design agency – If you’re a big business and have a dedicated in-house team for your website, I’m assuming they are already under an obligation to take care of any mishaps. If you had to outsource, choosing a good web design agency is key. Prevention is better than cure. Before you commit, ask if they will support you in case something happens to the website.
- Logout of public browsers – If you don’t have your own computer, its advisable to always log out of your accounts before closing the browser.
The average website might not face any serious hacking attempt because there will be little (if any) incentive the hacker will gain even if they succeeded. However, it is best to exercise caution.