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5.1 Ways to Keep Hackers at Bay

Even if you’re not a high tech company, cybercrime is still one of the biggest threats to your business. Phishing, brute force attacks and ransomware are increasingly affecting millions of businesses of all sizes. Cybercrime is everywhere, so much so that there’s a digital blotter detailing activity. Cybercrime is even a huge business in itself, which makes it highly attractive to malicious coders.

  • Current statistics show that there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds, with thirty thousand websites hacked daily.
  • In 2022, the rising cost of cybercrime was nearly six trillion dollars globally, leading to billions more being spent on cybersecurity.
  • The average cost of a data breach is $4.45 million.
  • In 2021, ransomware cases increased by 92.2% over 2020.

But you’re a small business owner and your site is not popular or even worth hacking right? Wrong.

In fact, almost half – 43% – of all Cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses, and that number is on the rise. Yet, only 14% of those businesses have taken measures to protect themselves. Often, small business owners think that their businesses are too small to be worth getting hacked. Yet, that’s exactly why they are being targeted.

Another reason hackers are increasingly going after small business sites is because they know many of them may not have proper cybersecurity measures in place. But, you know that hacking is not going away, which means you must find effective and affordable ways to protect yourself.

If you want to add your business to that 14% who are doing something about cybercrime, good news! Websites that have a WordPress website (or other CMS) allow for effective measures you can implement that will not incinerate your operating budget. Some of these are outlined below:

1) Use two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is a simple yet effective method to make it more difficult for hackers to breach your login page. With 2FA, all users need to provide login details for two different components, such as a regular password and a secret question, code or set of characters. If you are the only one logging in to your site, then an even better option is the Google Authenticator app, which sends a secret code to your phone.

2) Rename your login URL. By default, WordPress names your login page with the extension /wp-admin or /wp-login. Obviously, hackers look for these names all the time. Changing the name of your login page can help eliminate up to 99% of brute force attacks. To do this, use the iThemes Security plugin.

3) Change your passwords. Often. And when you do, make sure to make them as complicated as possible. This sounds like a no brainer, but sadly, the most used passwords last year are embarrassingly easy to hack. Most people have problems trying to organize and remember complicated passwords, but there’s a solution! Password managers are growing in popularity, and here is a list of the best ones.

4) Install an SSL. An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) will keep the data transfer between your browser and the website server secure, so hackers trying to breach the connection or spoof your content will find it tough going. Most hosting companies will offer an SSL as part of their hosting packages at no additional cost.

5) Whoever laughs last has a backup. You probably made a substantial investment in your website and rightly so as it’s the most valuable tool you have to market your business and make money. That being said, you simply must have a backed up clean copy of it in the event something bad happens to it. Consider the alternative: no website, no rankings, no accessibility – and no business. A costly scenario indeed. Again, check with your hosting provider to see if they offer website backups as a service (FYWN does!). There are also many plugins available that can make backing up your site a breeze.

5.1) Update, Update, Update. With WordPress, it is absolutely essential to keep all the elements of the backend up-to-date or you are risking a situation where security flaws can develop,  opening opportunities for hackers to infiltrate. Find out more here about keeping your site’s backend up-to-date .

The above actions aren’t difficult or expensive to implement, and the benefits are worth the effort. Taking these few, simple actions can mean the difference between having a profitable website and a debt-ridden business. Hackers are always looking for (and developing) new ways to take from you. It’s time you gave them something they have long deserved – dashed hopes.