Google continued its #NoHacked campaign today with some tips on how to prevent sites from getting hacked.
This past year saw a 180% increase in the number of sites getting hacked, Google says, and in order to ensure your site isn’t targeted the company recommends taking the following precautions.
By now it’s practically common knowledge that a strong password contains a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols — but Google says there’s more to it than that.
Length is also a factor, the longer the password is the harder it is to guess. It’s also recommended to avoid using the same password across multiple services.
In addition, Google recommends turning on 2-factor authentication, which can significantly strengthen your account’s security.
Keep your site’s software up to date, Google says, because outdated software is one of the most common ways a hacker can take control of your site.
This includes keeping your web server software patched and your CMS’s plugins and add-ons updated.
If you use a hosting provider, Google recommends you contact them to see if they offer on-demand support for dealing with issues related to hacked sites.
If you manage your own server, Google says you better be prepared to deal with any complex security issues that might arise.
Google offers a number of services that notify you if your site is compromised. Signing up for Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) is one of the most obvious recommendations since it’s Google’s direct connection to site owners.
In addition, Google suggests setting up Google Alerts to notify you of suspicious results for your site:
“For example, if you run a site selling pet accessories called www.example.com, you can set up an alert for [site:example.com cheap software] to alert you if any hacked content about cheap software suddenly starts appearing on your site.”
Setting up alerts for spammy terms following the method described above is also recommended.
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