Basic Tips For Website Security
Since you have worked so hard to get your web site up and running, you are probably going to be a little worried about website security. There are many different ways that hackers can exploit loopholes and so there are a few things you are going to want to do to make sure that you reduce the possibility of attacks.
The simplest way of protecting your web site is to ensure that your web hosting server is located in a secure data center and is fully managed. This means that the hosting company will keep the server up to date with service packs, security patches, etc. This is the most important way to protect your web site. It is also very important that they use software and hardware firewalls to prevent a hacker’s access to your website data. The server that your web site is hosted on should also have anti spam and anti virus protection installed on it. You are also going to want to have the ability to trace the origin of emails so that you can prevent spam relaying.
Now that you have gotten a secured and managed server for your web site, what more can you do to prevent attacks? Well, it is a good idea to start by disabling the ability to browse directories using HTTP. This can give a hacker a good idea of the structure of your website, allowing them to see parts of your file structure that was never meant for public eyes. This can be easily enabled and disables on specific directories if you have the need for some directory browsing.
If you are using PHP scripting in your web site, it is a good idea to encrypt your PHP files using a tool such as Zend Optimizer. PHP files cannot generally be viewed by an internet user, but if a hacker accesses your files through a different security loophole, you are not going to want to risk the possibility of them inserting malicious code into these PHP scripts.
It is also a good idea to turn off the error reporting for your PHP scripts and use error logs instead. The error messages can sometimes contain information about the inner workings of your server configuration that you are not going to want a hacker to see.
Cookies are commonly used to maintain a particular state in a web application, but be careful that you do not store personal data in them. Instead of holding this information in a user’s cookie, keep it on the server and then store an ID in the cookie to allow the web server to refer back to this information the next time they visit.
For added protection, you can install the mod_security module if you are using the Apache web server. This can help to provide extra protection against hacker attacks over HTTP.
Now that you have successfully implemented techniques to protect your web site from attack, you can check the security of your site by using one of the tools that are available online. These tools can scan a server or web site for common weaknesses and provide information about how to correct any that are found. These tools are usually updated frequently so that they include the latest exploits used by hackers. For this reason it is a good idea to use one of these tools regularly to ensure the security of your website.
A static site is a boring one. If you want your visitors to return, you should update all the time. Website maintenance is part of the job.
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