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Keep your computer safe from hacking

Heard a lot of hacking this year and you are actually scared if your website is next in the queue. Here are few simple ways proposed by Riva Richmond in entrepreneur.com to help you make your website hacker-proof and avoid the suffering. I have added on step in the end.

Each day, Google identifies 9,500 malware-infected websites, about 4,000 of which are legitimate sites compromised by hackers. About half of these victims learn they’ve been hacked when they see the same browser and search-engine danger warnings their customers see, a sign they’ve been blacklisted, according to a survey by StopBadware, a nonprofit anti-malware organization in Cambridge, Mass. Some 45 percent are notified of the problem by one of their technology providers — a much better scenario.

Small businesses are especially vulnerable to hacking because they usually lack the technology expertise and site security that larger companies have. They also suffer more if their lack of expertise slows repairs and their ability to get back to work. Business owners can lose significant online traffic and sales if their site lands on blacklists operated by Google and other search engines.

Keep your software up to date: Hackers aggressively target security flaws in popular Web software such as content management systems and blogging programs so they can attack websites en masse. Use latest versions of software and applying security patches promptly. “Sites that get infected and clean up, but don’t fix the vulnerability in their software, just get re-infected,” says Lucas Ballard, a software engineer with Google’s Safe Browsing team. He urges webmasters to address the underlying weakness that enabled the hack, as well as remove hackers’ malicious code from site pages.

Use strong passwords and keep them safe: Using strong passwords is crucial because hackers frequently attempt to crack or steal passwords for web software and FTP servers, which are computers that use the File Transfer Protocol to move web pages and other files to another computer, such as a Web-hosting server. Default, common or predicable passwords can be easily broken. Mmake sure to protect your PCs from a virus infection since that can lead to the theft of site passwords.

Register with Google’s Webmaster Tools: Getting on Google’s blacklist, which is used by the search site and the Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers, can reduce traffic to your site. By registering with Webmaster Tools, you can receive notifications of malware infections immediately, sometimes before blacklisting occurs, so you can get rid of them faster. The service also provides details about the precise problem Google is seeing. That can speed your clean up and your return to Google’s good graces.

Get expert help: Companies that are heavily dependent on their websites may want to hire expert cyber security services. Others could go for a better Malware detection software.

Use Linux: 60 percent of all the servers in the world including Amazon, Yahoo and many are hosted on Apache, the Linux-based server and till date there has been no instance of hacking into these websites. One could of course, use a safer environment.

(Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223967?cam=Dev&ctp=Carousel&cdt=13&cdn=223967

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