Do I need website security?

Written on 18 November, 2013 by Georgia Leaker
Categories SecurityWeb Design & ContentWeb HostingTags hackedsecurity

Did you know that over 9500 websites are hacked every day? Hackers and spammers either force entry into your secure web-server or sneak in through out-of-date software, bad permissions and poorly written code. Then, they insert infected code into the back end of your website. This can cause issues for your business, either through offensive images or viruses that infect the computers of customers that visit your website.

Not only can this negatively impact your business when customers begin to avoid your website due to spamming or viruses, it can also cause you to end up on various internet and search engine blacklists. There are several kinds of blacklists, which collect websites that show signs of Malware, DNS, Spam and Phishing and most search engines and web hosting providers have their own versions of each list.

But wait, there's a lot of foreign words there, what do they all mean? Well, look no further than our nifty guide to website security:

Malware

Short for malicious software, Malware is used to disrupt your computer or website's operation, it might also collect sensitive information (such as passwords, credit card details, etc) or seek access to a private computer.

DNS

DNS stands for Domain Name System. If you end up on a DNS-based Blackhole Blacklist, it's because your IP address has been blacklisted due to a proliferation of spam which is spilling from your IP address. If you aren't behind the spamming, you need to run a security scan to see if you've been hacked.

Spam

Named after the canned mystery meat, Spam usually takes the form of unsolicited bulk emails, usually advertising, indiscriminately sent both by legitimate companies as well as malicious hackers. Spam can also take several other forms, including social networking spam and blog spam, where the comments are just links to the spammer's commercial website.

Phishing

The attempt to gain access to usernames, passwords, credit card details through electronic communication, phishing takes its name from the recreational sport, as it's still a game of chance.

A great example of this recently happened to me: someone pretending to be Westpac emailed me, informing me that I needed to update my account details. I don't have an account with Westpac, never have and if I looked closely at the email address, it was a random collection of letters and numbers that certainly wasn't from anyone who legitimately worked at Westpac. If I had been a Westpac account holder, clicked on the link thinking it was real and typed in my account details, the phisher would've gained access to my bank account.

What can you do?

You can be blacklisted for any or all of these things and in most cases, it isn't your fault, it's because you've been hacked. If you are blacklisted, you will need to clean up your website and then ask the company who has blacklisted you to review your case again and hopefully clear it.

Hackers can also change your domain to redirect to another malicious website, deface your website with inappropriate and offensive content and use your hosting account to serve as a phishing site, mimicking companies like PayPal to obtain your customer's information. If you believe you are a victim of any of these, you will need to pay someone to clean up your website.

However, you can avoid all of this hassle by installing a comprehensive website security package which will scan your website for any viruses, bugs or unusual looking code and clean them up for you, without you having to barely lift a finger.

Netregistry offers a comprehensive website security package for only $29.95 a month. If you're interested in installing a higher level of security than you already have, or have further questions, please contact our service team on (02) 9934 0501.