Make a Strong Password for Cpanel and FTP
The easiest way hackers can get access to your website is by guessing your password. Keeping a strong password is crucial and is the first step in protecting your website.
Use a password with Upper case and lower case, numbers and symbols or characters. The longer the password the better. Change your password every 3 months at a minimum. Lastly, if you give your programmer access to your control panel always change your password once they are done working. Passwords can easily be stolen if your computer is infected with a trojan or virus as well so have a current virus scanner and Trojan software.
Keep Your Software/Scripts Up To Date
Installing a script such as WordPress or Joomla and then leaving it to run itself is a sure way to invite hackers. Having a website on the Internet requires maintenance and up-keeping. You should ALWAYS check your software or script provider for updates, patches or new versions. When software is released not only are their new features but security is always tightened and bugs are also fixed. Making sure your script is up to date is critical is maintaining a safe website.
If you run a CMS or forum be sure to avoid too many random plugins. Plugins are a very easy way for hackers to attack as they are not verified by the original script provider in most cases. Use them at your own risk.
If you use WordPress then make sure you're using the latest version. You can update WordPress from the WordPress Admin Dashboard. Keep your themes and plugins updated as well and make sure you only download themes and plugins from reliable websites.
Keep Your PC Clean and Virus Free
Keeping your local PC secure is crucial. A high percentage of hackers gain access to your website by placing a trojan, virus or key logger on your computer. I cannot stress enough on how important it is to keep your computer secure and safe. Use a good virus scanner and keep it up to date.
Backup your website!
We cannot stress this enough. Backing up your website is a must. You should always have a current copy of your website on your computer. I have seen too many people lose files or even there own website because they did not have a website backup. Always, always, always have a full site backup.
Keep the files on your PC or a USB Key or External Hard Drive, it can save you from a major headache.
Avoid putting All Your Websites on One Hosting Plan (Get separate plans)
Yes, it can cost more but there are many security risks when you put all your website on one hosting plan. With unlimited Addon Domains we understand it is tempting but personally, it is much safer to have a separate control panel for each of your website. This way when you give a programmer access to your website they do not have access to all of your websites. Also, if your site gets hacked they can only access that one account, not all of your websites. You can prevent this by purchasing a Reseller Account or buying more than one Web Hosting plan even if you have unlimited space and bandwidth on your current plan.
Research and Read
No one expects you to read all the tech new and virus info. With the search engines at your fingertips, you can find a vast amount of valuable information and tip on how to have a safe home for your website on the Internet. Just check your script providers forums, read some articles and general knowledge of what you’re doing can be very beneficial.
Secure Your File and Folder Permissions (CHMOD)
Many scripts these days require you to set 777 permissions on files and or folder. This is NOT safe in any way and we highly recommend you do not do that. 777 allows users to read/write/execute meaning they have full access to that folder and file. To remedy this always use 755 or 644 permissions. Your script should still operate without any issues at all. This is a very important piece of advice in my mind and I highly recommend you check your website and use 755 or 644 file and folder permissions to keep secure.
No one can guarantee that their website is hacker free, however, being proactive and knowledgeable can go a long way!