Hacking and ransomware attempts have increased by tenfold since the pandemic has started. This was a huge issue even before the pandemic. However, this insane surge in the number of attempts has worried many website owners, which is why they wonder how to increase their website security.
Having your website compromised would bring a lot of damage, both reputational and financial. To ensure that doesn’t happen, you should follow recommended cybersecurity practices. In this article, we will go in-depth about what you can do to protect your website.
1. Update Your Plugins
Outdated plugins are one of the most common ways to exploit various websites. These techniques are used by hackers, which can cause a lot of damage to your website. Make sure to update your plugins frequently. Updates are important because they contain fixes and patches for flaws that are exploited by these hackers.
If your website gets hacked and user data is compromised, you expose yourself to some exceptionally severe GDPR fines. Many companies have paid millions of dollars because they allowed their systems to be weak, which was exploited by hackers. So, be smart and thorough with your plugin and software updates.
As a general rule, we recommend enabling automatic updates, so you don’t have to worry about it. This will ensure that your website is protected at all times.
2. Use Strong Passwords
This is probably one of those tips that you see everywhere. However, even though this fact is widely known, there is still an abundance of users who use weak passwords. Weak passwords are among the most common ways hackers manage to penetrate someone’s systems.
You might not have known this, but strong passwords can take decades to crack even with the most advanced software, while weak passwords can be cracked in minutes. By strong passwords, we mean passwords that contain a combination of symbols, numbers, and both uppercase and lowercase letters.
We also recommend using a password manager to store your passwords safely and securely. Moreover, many password manager solutions come with in-built password generators, so you can use these tools to create strong and secure passwords.
3. Use a VPN
Hidden messages, features or jokes in apps and websites are commonly known in hacker jargon as easter eggs, because they’re supposed to be found and enjoyed, but they’re not supposed to be immediately obvious.
One of the most famous easter eggs in commercial software history – if not the most complex – was the hidden flight simulator (really!) in Microsoft Excel 97.
How to fly in Excel 97. Open New workbook. Hit
F5. Type in
L97:X97 [Enter][Tab]. Ctrl-Shift-Click on the Chart Wizard icon. Fly using mouse. Hit
[Esc] to end.
Sometimes, amusingly, it wasn’t games hidden in business apps, but business apps hidden in games.
One of the most famous computer games in software history, the first IBM PC version of Tetris, had a hidden spreadsheet as its easter egg, or more accurately as its boss mode.
Boss mode, activated with the boss key, often
Alt-B so it was quick to type, popped up a more dubious sort of easter egg intended as a decoy.
Boss screens were meant to cover the display instantly with what might just about look like real work if your boss suddenly appeared on the horizon.
As you can imagine, hidden and undocumented code of this sort is not as common these days, because it’s not a terribly good cybersecurity look.
After all, if there’s a whole flight simulator hidden behind some sort of esoteric incantation involving the keyboard and the mouse (in Word 97, the easter egg was a pinball game), how well was it tested?
How thoroughly was the code reviewed? How official was the process by which the code was added to the source tree? What else was snuck in there by developers and never noticed at all? Did the person who approved the digital signing of the shipped software even know that easter egg code existed? Are customers entitled to official support and patches for the easter egg? If not, why not?
Having said that, even the very latest version of Microsoft Edge contains an openly secret surfing game that you can access by visiting the special URL
Website operators can consider a host of potential legal claims against entities that scrape their sites’ content without authorization, such as breach of a well-crafted terms of service agreement, copyright infringement, trespass, conversion, common law misappropriation, unfair competition, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, misappropriation of trade secrets, and trademark infringement, among others. Each type of claim has its limits, and multiple claims may intersect or overlap in significant ways, particularly when it comes to preemption or remedies. Accordingly, the nature and context of both the unauthorized web scraping activities and the scraped content should be carefully evaluated to determine an appropriate response.
For example, a recent complaint filed by Southwest against Kiwi illustrates how a data scrape may lead to potential violations of the Lanham Act where the material scraped includes or is used with protected logos and branding. In its complaint, Southwest alleges that Kiwi scraped its airline fares, and displays Southwest’s protected “Heart” mark in conjunction with promoting and re-selling Southwest’s fares on Kiwi’s online travel agency site. Southwest alleges that Kiwi is using its Heart mark in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection or association of Kiwi with Southwest, or as to the origin, sponsorship or approval of Kiwi’s goods and services by Southwest in violation of Section 32 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114. Southwest has also alleged claims of false designation of origin and trademark dilution under the Lanham Act.
Southwest has also asserted claims of breach of its website Terms & Conditions, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, violation of Texas Penal Code § 33.02 (Breach of Computer Security), and common law unjust enrichment. The case is Southwest Airlines Co. v. Kiwi.com, Inc. et al., 3:21-cv-00098, pending in the Northern District of Texas.