This month versus a how-to, I thought I might mention a little experience I just had that comes with a small bit of advice on website security.
The company I have oversee my WordPress website, handling monthly backups, updates and just, in general, keeping an eye on it, emailed me last week to let me know that my site had been under a “Brute Force Attack.”
Seeing those words I panicked initially until I read further where they noted that my website had not been hacked into and my site was fine.
What is a “Brute Force Attack?”
A brute force attack is when a hacker and/or the software he has created tries many times to guess your username password combination by repeatedly sending login attempts. A distributed brute force attack is when a hacker uses a large number of machines spread around the internet to do this in order to circumvent any blocking software you have in place. Many times blocking software does its work by tracking the IP addresses, so in doing a distributed attack this allows for many IP addresses attempting at one time.
My web company was also emailing me to double check and see if I was using a password that was at least 10 characters with symbols and numbers. I felt even better when I was able to reply, “It’s much longer.” Generally speaking, passwords are your first line of defense in regards to your website security.
I know what you are thinking because I use to think it too.
1. Out of all the websites on the internet, why would anyone try to hack my little old website?
2. I’ll deal with it if it ever happens!
Bit of a problem with that thinking.
In days gone by hackers were just going after big corporations, federal institutions, etc. and this is no longer true. The hackers of today have software that roams the internet looking for any website they can get into. Why would they do that you ask? Because often times getting into one website and obtaining your login information along with any other identification in it, also gets them into many more websites to obtain even more information about you and your business.
So, if you don’t have a company already overseeing your website, backing it up and updating it all regularly, it is time you think about it seriously. It is much more costly to you and your business to have a site hacked and brought down to its knees, then it is to have someone watching over it for you and staying on top of everything going on in the website world.
If you would like to talk to someone who knows much more about this, or see about hiring a company to do this for you, give mine a call.
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PS: Sometimes hackers not only bring your site down but erase it all too. Why? Who knows but would you do then?