I own and run my own website, and I have to admit that sometimes it’s not easy at all. My website is over two years old. It is what I consider an online marketplace, some would refer to it as an auction site; But it’s much more than that. I have also opened my site to members from all over the world, which may have been a mistake. Whether it was or not, I’m not going to let some people ruin it for others. During the time my site has been up and running, it has been hacked numerous times. My site has nothing to offer in the way of financial gain and yet these people continue to feel the need to hack my site. For the security of my site, I do not mention his name in this article. There is no reason to provide more incentive for someone else to hack it.
And that is the sad truth behind why people are hacking my site. No credit card information or other financial information is stored here. My site and its members use PayPal and other forms of online payment services. Those independent companies handle the financial information. Therefore, they do not enter my site for those purposes. It’s hard for me to understand why anyone would want to hack a site without any financial gain. They could be hacking my site to try to steal someone’s identity, but I don’t see why they would want to do this either. Members do not have to register using their real names. The only useful information stored on my site by members is their mailing address. What good is that to a hacker? You certainly can’t do much in the way of identity theft with just your mailing address. So I don’t think my site is getting hacked for that reason either.
No, the sad truth is that my site is good practice for a hacker in training or they just have nothing better to do. Keep this in mind when trying to figure out why someone hacked your site. Sometimes they don’t look for anything at all. Their only goal is to cause you trouble, and they derive some satisfaction from this. It reminds me of the line from Batman The Dark Knight that says; “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” The basic meaning is that some people just do things to be bad. That’s the only conclusion I could come to as to why people seem to enjoy hacking my site. So if you have your own website like I do, there are a few things you can do to make life more difficult for them.
1) The most important thing you can do is make sure you’re using a top-notch program. This is of no use to me, because my site is already up and running. However, if I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen a better program for my website. The better the program, the better the measures to prevent people from pirating that program.
two) Use a web hosting service that handles security for you. I’m going alone, because fortunately I have access to my own server. I have a relative who is in the IT business and we own a server. So my site is on this server, but we lack the manpower and resources to monitor our servers like larger companies do. So if you are going to have your own website, host it with a good company. The bigger the company, the better the security and the more secure your website will be.
3) Make sure your admin panel username and password are more complicated and less predictable. Many of us like to choose passwords that are easy for us to remember. The problem with that is that we usually choose names, dates, and locations in some combination to form those usernames and passwords. This makes it easy for a hacker to gain access to his account, if he used family information when he created his username and passwords. Try to choose something that is not so obvious for the username, although it is not as important as your password. Make sure your password is long and contains numbers and letters. Make sure to use uppercase and lowercase letters.
4) This is probably the most important of all. Do not store your information on your computer! If someone gains access to your computer and you have all the information written down, then the secrecy of usernames and passwords is lost. I know it seems like a good idea to write this information down and save it in case you forget it. If someone hacks into your computer, they will have the keys to your website. They won’t need to hack, all they have to do is go to your website and use the information they took from your computer. I would recommend writing down all the important information that has to do with your website in a notebook. I have one of those daily planner books to keep all my information. At least if someone steals this information, it’s close. Someone you can call the police on. Not some guy sitting in front of his computer in Nigeria or somewhere else.
I have reported to the FBI people who have hacked my site over the years. The reality is that there is not much they can do about it if the hacker is sitting somewhere in the Middle East. That was the region where the latest hacker on my site came from. Somewhere in Pakistan, I think. I reported it simply so the FBI would have a record of the incident. If this hacker does enough on my site and other people’s sites, maybe something will be done about it. I’m not holding my breath though. However, I would recommend that you do the same. The FBI handles computer fraud and has a section on its website for reporting Internet crimes. If someone hacks your site, report it. This is how they build the cases and come to deal with these people.
In the end, our website is 100% secure. The sad truth is that as long as there are websites, there will be hackers. Using smaller websites like mine as practice until they feel ready to move on to bigger and better fish. The only thing website owners like us can do is do everything we can to make our sites as secure as possible. Improperly continuing the damage done to our sites when we are hacked. Giving up is too easy. I can imagine that any of the hackers who hacked into my site are disappointed every time they log in and see that my site is still there. I could just shut everything down and let them win, but I can’t do that. I will not stop doing business online simply because someone felt the need to create more work for me. So I will continue to repair the damage done. An advice. Anything you have written on your website should be backed up and saved to your computer. I am referring to things like the Terms and Conditions, Legal Policies, help text, etc. Save this material once you have written it and posted it on your website. I learned this the hard way. When my site was hacked this last time, the hacker felt the need to remove all this text from my site. I had to rewrite everything. So be sure to save any part of your web text that you don’t want to have to retype. So if your website is ever hacked, at least you’ll have what you need to undo the damage on hand.