A Guide To Conducting A Website Safety Check
Most people will think that hacking will never happen to their website until it does. Most people only think about their site’s security once their site has been compromised.
But, security is something you’ll want to take seriously from the beginning. You never know when hackers could be trying to force their way into your website.
To ensure that your site’s security standards are up to date, and you don’t have any existing security issues it’s important to do a website safety check.
Below we’ll walk you through the process of doing a site security check.
How Your Website Can Be Attacked
Simply having a website live on the internet means that it’s prone to a lot of risks.
Here are the most common forms of attacks you’ll want to be aware of and protect yourself against:
- DDoS — This type of attack will flood your site with traffic and service requests, which will overwhelm your site and bring it offline.
- Brute force — This attack uses an application that cycles through password combinations until it finds one that works, and the hacker will have unlimited access to your site.
- Malware — Malware covers things like viruses, worms, spyware, and more. This type of attack and can steal your information, erase your website data, and even infect people who visit your site.
- Injection — An injection uses malicious data or some kind of command that will make your site give the hacker access to sensitive information.
- Scripting — Cross-site scripting lets hackers hijack your website’s traffic, or change it in some way.
Simply having knowledge of the above types of attacks isn’t enough. You need to proactively protect your website and any users who are interacting with it.
Below you’ll learn how to conduct a website safety check to ensure your current site is secure, and take steps to protect from any future attacks.
Conducting a Website Security Check
The goal of a security check is to identify any security vulnerabilities before they become actual issues. After all, you can only fix security issues if you know they’re there in the first place.
Follow the steps below to find and fix and existing security holes.
1. Update Your Current Site
Before you begin doing any security checks it’s a good idea to update your current website. If you’re running WordPress, then make sure your WordPress core, themes, and plugins are all up to date.
This will help keep you safe from existing vulnerabilities that the updates have been created to protect against.
2. Remove Any Older Accounts
If you’ve been running your site for a while, then you might have some user accounts that are no longer in use. These accounts might have weaker passwords and be easier to crack, or they might belong to people no longer associated with your site.
Go through any accounts that have access to your site and delete them, or change the user permissions, so they don’t have access to the entire backend of your site.
3. Do a Security Scan
Now, it’s time to run your site through an online security scanner to check for any issues.
There are a variety of both paid and free tools you can use. If you’re just getting started with optimizing your security, then you can use one of the free tools below:
Input your URL into any of the above tools. The software will check your site for any known security issues and give you a report that shows things you can fix.
4. Fix Any Issues
If any issues are detected, then fix these as soon as you can.
The free tools above will only give you a quick check to known errors. If you want a detailed report, then you’ll have to pay for an in-depth security screen. If you use HostGator for your web hosting, we recommend Sitelock.
However, the free scan will be enough for most website owners.
5. Use an Ongoing Solution
Even if the scan above revealed that your website is secure and free of malware and other issues, it’s still a good idea to take the steps for ongoing site protection.
There are a variety of tools out there that will regularly protect your site, and do regular malware scans, and backups in case something unfortunate happens.
If you’re a WordPress user, there are a few security plugins you should consider:
Secure Your Site. It’s Important.
Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the common ways your site can become compromised, and the steps you can take to improve your site’s security.