The menace of the activities of cyber criminals is seriously on the increase as the days go by. I recently read Google’s bleak painting of cyber security trends as, according to the search giant, the number of websites hacked rose by 32 per cent in 2016.

This is a frightening development as one wonders what that figure would have risen by when the statistics for 2017 are taken at the end of the year.

Hackers can spend hours, scanning for vulnerable sites that they can break into and commit their atrocities and online users need to learn how to stay safe online.

Note the word ‘vulnerable’ in the last sentence. Your site has to be vulnerable for it to be hacked into by a cybercriminal. How then do you reduce the vulnerability of your site in order to keep cybercriminals at arm’s length?

Here are some tips that you need to imbibe to stay safe online:

Tighten Access Control

Obviously, the back-end or the admin panel of your website is an area where you do not want just anyone to operate, especially, hackers! You need to tighten access by having a secure password to your admin panel.

You can generate a secure password, using Lastpass password management platform. However, the password to your web admin page must be secured enough. More importantly, avoid sending your website login details by email, no matter who is involved. Someone can quickly gain unauthorized access to the account.

Also, try to limit the number of login attempts within a certain time frame. This also includes the password resets because email accounts can be hacked as well. Lastly, wordpress users should change the default database prefix from “wp6_” to something that would be difficult to guess.

Install a Web Application Firewall

Installing a web application firewall is imperative. It could either be software or hardware based. It usually reads every bit of data by setting it between your website server and the data connection.

Meanwhile, modern Website Application Firewalls are cloud based and provided as a plug-and-play service, (not free). Once successfully installed, the WAF will provide complete peace of mind by blocking all hacking attempts and also fishing out other types of unwanted traffic like spammers and malicious malware.

Update Everything

It baffles me to see bloggers jettison software updates. This is not good. The updates cost software companies money.

What you need to do is to install the updates immediately; there is a reason for the upgrade. You need to update and upgrade your site as often as possible so your site does not become — Finish Reading on the Punch