One of the fastest growing phenomena is hacking. The world is generally shifting towards an electronic system of transacting affairs, with e-commerce, e-government and other electronically conducted affairs taking centre-stage. Criminal activities are not to be left behind in this craze and have themselves morphed into online manifestations. Thus, the online world that is today has to contend with cybercrime. One of the grotesque manifestations of cybercrime that businesses, institutions and even governments have to contend with is hacking.
Just like computing and internet connectivity are global, hacking also takes a global face, defying geographical or categorical barriers. Hacking takes place every day. One of the most recent hacking incidents that shook the world is that of Sony pictures. Newsrooms have been awash with information on the hack while the internet has been abuzz with content leaked from the Sony pictures servers.
Closer home, we have not been spared either. A few days back the Star Magazine was hacked by alleged al Shabaab. A few years back, the Kenya police website as well as several ministry websites suffered a spate of hacks. What was even more amusing is that the culprits had the luxury of competing amongst themselves to display their hacking prowess. More recently, about 77 Chinese citizens were arrested and are currently under investigation over claims of hacking.
Hacking poses a serious threat to your business, especially if you store personal or financial data pertaining to your clients. Such information predisposes your website as a probable target for hackers, particularly for phishing activities. However, even if your website does not collect such data, it is still a target since there are numerous motives for hacking.
While it is always preferable to avert hacks, hacking is sometimes simply inevitable. In the very least, the best that one can do is to consider the hacks as an opportunity that exposes the weaknesses of your website
Here are 4 steps that you should take if your website ever gets hacked.
1. Update your Website and Computer
The very first you need to take is to update both your website’s CMS and your computer software or any other gadget that you use to access your website’s admin panel. Old and outdated software are the leading cause of infection. It is therefore important to seal this potential loophole by updating your software and website.
2. Changing your passwords
Once you have updated your software and website, the next step you need to take is to change all your passwords that have even the slightest connection to your website. This includes your email passwords, FTP password, web hosting account passwords and your database password. A thorough overhaul of your current password systems is necessary to ensure that you do not leave even the smallest window open. Moreover, ensure that your new passwords are more robust. This entails looking into two qualities, length and complexity.
3. Scan your Computer
This is a very important step since viruses on your local PC can easily compromise your website. Thus, it is essential that you scan your PC with a good antivirus program. Currently, Bitdefender is the leading malware detection software. This step may require you to spend considerably but if you are even remotely keen on protecting your interests then such expenditure should be considered as an investment to your business.
4. Backing up your Website
Once you have completed the above steps, you can then embark on backing up your website data. It is extremely essentially that this step follows the ultimate completion of the preceding steps. Otherwise, you may end up backing up viruses, compromised scripts or a compromised state of your website. Consider backing up your website data on a regular basis and on different platforms, since this reduces the risk of losing all your data in the event that one of your backup plans is compromised or crashes. Ideally, you should have trusted external backup plans such as cloud backup.
Finally, the above steps should be carried out at regular intervals. Ensure you, constantly update your website and software, change your passwords at regular intervals and backup your data. Above all ensure that you have a great Website developer and a good host.
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