You might not think that your site holds potential value for a hacker, but if you think you run a secure website, you might want to think again. Cyber criminals hack websites every day, and they are becoming more sophisticated with their techniques, making website security of paramount importance. Many website security breaches are out to get access to your email to send out spam or to create a temporary web server to circulate illegal files. If you want to be proactive and safeguard your domain and online reputation, here are five essential security tips you should follow:

1. Ensure Your Software Is Always Up To Date

This applies to server operating systems and any software your website’s content management system might use. If there are security holes in your software, it is much easier for criminals to gain access to your site. If you use a CMS or third party software, you should be particularly careful about your updates.

2. Pay Attention and do Routine Checks

A hacker could use scripting code to run malicious code on your website, send your data and do routine checks to ensure the validity of your pages and other data within your site.

3. Don’t Give Too Much Information Away

This is especially important when it comes to password-protected access areas of your website. Your error message should not indicate whether the user got the email or the password wrong, otherwise the hacker has a better chance of working the right combination out.

4. Maintain Your Passwords

Every website user must use a strong and complex password as part of your website’s security protocol. The minimum recommended requirement is usually at least eight characters, incorporating a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers, if you want the passwords to provide a decent level of protection. All users should also change their passwords on a regular basis.

5. Beware of File Uploads

Allowing website users to upload forms to your website could compromise your website security in a significant way. Even if the file itself seems safe, it could contain scripting which could make your website vulnerable to security threats. Image files pose one of the greatest threats and should be treated with care. As a website owner or manager, the question you should be asking yourself if whether the risk is worth the benefit. While there are steps you could take to minimize your risk and handle the files carefully, the safest route is not to allow them to be uploaded in the first place.

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