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Internet search giant Google has launched a campaign to help website owners protect their content against malicious users.

Called “NoHacked,” it puts website security firmly in the spotlight and encourages everyone to take steps to avoid their site failing victim to a hacking attempt.

The situation is serious

The number of sites getting hacked is up 180% over the past year, prompting Google to begin the campaign by releasing some basic tips on how to keep a website safe.

What you can do 

Make it strong

With a strong password, your site will be better protected against malicious software and internet trolls.

This is because stronger passwords typically take longer to crack and are hence one way to discourage hackers. A strong password contains a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t be tempted to check password strength using an online resource. If you’re convinced you need to perform a check, enter a password that’s similar and you will get an idea of how strong yours is.

Also, you should have a unique password for every service you use. If you don’t, attackers will use leaked password lists or hacked services to gain access to as many of your accounts as possible.

For services that offer two-factor authentication, be sure to turn this feature on. It demands your password and another source of verification for account access. An example is your bank account, which probably demands your password as well as a code from your phone or chip card reader for access.

Stay up to date

Outdated software on your website might contain security flaws. As part of your website security strategy, you should therefore regularly check for software patches.

If you use a popular content management system like WordPress, it’s important to keep your plug-ins and add-ons up to date. You want to download these from a trusted source, like the plug-in’s developer.

If there are add-ons or plug-ins on your website that you don’t need, be sure to remove them. They are not only a website security risk but might negatively affect site performance.

Do your research

You need to know what support you can expect from your online service provider in the event that you suffer a website security breach, so be sure to ask.

If you use a virtual private server but don’t want to handle server administration, find a web hosting provider that offers a managed services option.

Set up alerts

You’re going to want to act as soon as possible if a website security breach occurs, so use tools that monitor and alert you to issues.

Google recommends website owners sign up for its search console. It’s how the search giant communicates with you if it detects website security issues. There’s also an option to set up alerts, so you get notified if anything suspicious comes up.

Here at Zen Hosting, we highly recommend a nifty service called CodeGuard.

It not only alerts you to website changes but automatically takes regular backups of your website and database. This means in the unfortunate event that you’re hacked, you can easily restore a backup and avoid the nightmare of site downtime, costly repair bills and lost revenue.

CodeGuard is available to our web hosting clients.

You can sign up for web hosting or drop us a line for more information on how this can boost your website security strategy.

Thanks for reading. We hope these tips show you how to stop hacks and help you build your website security.

– The team at web hosting provider Zen Hosting