Protection from hacking

These days, more and more websites are being hacked due to several reasons.  Being hacked can cause your site to lose all of it's data if the hacker get's full control of your site for long enough.  Each backup replaces the last one so if the hacker has your site for long enough, the new backups will be of the hacked site and you will not have any original backups left.  Thus all the available backups are useless.  Please follow the advice below to keep this from happening:

1. If you haven't already, please immediately install one of the available Antivirus programs. If you use Microsoft Windows, we suggest you install and use Microsoft Security Essentials or Microsoft Defender (it depends on the Windows version you own). You can get it for free if you havel Microsoft Windows from here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download
Take care to update it daily with the latest update available. It usually happens automatically every time you connect to the internet. Do not forget to perform a full scan at least once per week using your antivirus, including all of your hard disks (internal or external) and on USB sticks.

2. No matter which antivirus program you use, please download this free software: http://www.malwarebytes.org/ from this location: http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free/
Install it on all your PCs and then update it to the latest version. This program will not cause a conflict with your installed antivirus. It works in addition every time you perform a full scan with it. You have to remember to update it at least once per week and then perform a full scan on all of your hard disks (internal or external) and on your USB sticks.

3. If you are using free site software such as WordPress or Joomla, Drupal, SMF, etc, you have to update this software immediately to the latest version every time it becomes available. Usually every new version of these software closes some 'holes' which hackers are using to attack your site. So if you leave an old version running on your site, it is very likely that you will be attacked by hackers. Please check often for new versions and update these.

4. In case you use free software such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, SMF, etc, it is wise to avoid using free templates, modules/plugins/components because some developers leave backdoors in order to offer access later to hackers. It is better to buy templates/themes/plugins so you can have support from their creators and update to new safer versions. Often hackers gain access from free templates or plugins/modules/components.

5. Another common method of hacking is to 'steal' FTP or cPanel passwords while you type it in order to access your site using keyloggers or other malware that may exist in your computer. The password for FTP/cPanel has to be very strong with numbers, letters, special characters, etc. Also you need to change your passwords from time to time.  Randomly generated passwords are best and please avoid using simple words. We suggest using a random generator to change it once per month or ask us to change it for you.

6. Although we keep 4 levels of backups (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly) if your site has been hacked for a while, we will only be saving copies of the hacked site!  So we suggest to keep your own backups generated from cPanel. After logging into your cPanel, please click on "Backups" and then click on "Home Directory" to download a zip file of all your files and then click on any database if you use any. You have to take as many backups as you can and keep a history of them safe on your computer.

We hope this article was helpful to you and if you remember nothing else, please run your antivirus/malware software and backup your site once per week.


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