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Websites these days are prone to many security threats and so are the networks to which web servers are connected. Whether your website is an E-commerce website or a business one, hackers can find a number of reasons to make an assault. These reasons could be different ranging from an attempt to steal your data and defame your website to simply using your server as an email relay for spam. Moreover, hackers may even look to run malicious script to mislead your website traffic. A few security protocols when followed in this regard can certainly boost your website's security. This post discusses five simple tips that can boost your website’s security without breaking a sweat.
1 - Regularly Update Your Software
This is a crucial step in ensuring that your website remains safe from any unknown external as well as internal threats. By software, we mean both the server’s operating system and any open source Content Management System (CMS) that you might be running on your website such as WordPress, Joomla, Magneto or Drupal. Security related updates are normally provided on a regular basis for these softwares which should never be overlooked. Rather you should try to update them as soon as possible. You also have to keep your firewall updated to avoid any loopholes in your website's security.
2 - Stay Safe of SQL Injection
SQL injection attacks are pretty common but can be very lethal in their fall out. They come into play whenever there is a case of interaction between web applications with databases. A hacker in such a scenario can make an attempt to access your database or manipulate it through a web form or URL parameter. Absence of any data validation protocols can allow unauthorized personnel to send special SQL queries to the database. These queries can bring about unintended alterations in your system. Parameter queries can easily get rid of this issue as they are easy to implement in a number of web languages.
3 - Avoid Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
The hackers, in this type of attack, can pass undesired Java or HTML script into the website’s web form. This then redirects the visitor to a spam page and gets illicit access to the user’s information. Forums can be especially vulnerable to such types of attacks. Therefore, it becomes important that the input data from a web page is validated and any HTML is encoded or filtered using a function such as htmlspecialchars().
4 - Appropriate Error Messages
The error messages which your website displays should not give away any extra information to the hacker. Let’s take the instance of a failed login. In such a scenario, if you let the user know that he/she has got half of the query right, it could serve the purpose of hackers in implementing brute force attacks. So, you should prefer to use generic error messages.
5 - Password Protection
Strong passwords should be used for your server and website admin panels. Website users should also be encouraged to use stronger passwords which cannot be decoded easily. Password restrictions such as special characters, case sensitive characters and minimum number of characters can be helpful in this regard. Moreover, passwords should always be stored as encrypted values.
If you want to read more about SQL injection and Cross Site Scripting, please visit this page: http://www.dynamologic.com/security-vulnerabilities-in-php/ . Also, to learn more about password protection, do not forget to visit https://www.hire-php-developers.co.uk/blog/3-top-security-tips-for-php-developers-to-help-them-develop-safe-web-applications/