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Being a business owner is stressful enough without worrying about your website being hacked. Hackers exist to cause trouble. If you or someone you know has ever had their website hacked, then you know exactly how much trouble they can cause.

Hackers hurt everyone, but especially small business owners. Small business owners lose time and money. Not to mention the serious amount of stress and anxiety getting hacked can cause.

How can you secure your website from hackers? There are many ways to do it. Some are simple. Others require a few steps and some of your time. In the long run, it’s worth it if you can avoid being hacked.

#1 Passwords
This is a simple step. Create unique passwords that use a combination of letters, symbols and numbers. It should be a password no one could guess. Avoid names, birthdays and anything else that reflects any portion of your life.

Protect this password passionately. Although there are password respositories available, your most imnportant ones (bank account, merchant accounts, etc.) should be stored inside your head. Passwords need to be changed regularly as an added security precaution. And change it regularly.

Also password protect any sensitive information, databases or scripts. This may seem like a tedious step; however, it’s also the simplest way to protect your website from hackers.

#2 Robots.txt

This simple little line of code accomplishes something quite effective. It tells search engines to index certain pages and to not index others. If your pages are not indexed, no one – including hackers – will be able to easily find them. So what pages do you want to keep private? Any webpage that is meant for webmasters only.

#3 Email Addresses

As a business owner You want your email address to be available for your customers and prospects. Unfortunately hackers can use these email addresses to break into websites. Many experts recommend NOT publishing your email address anywhere. Instead, they recommend using a contact form. Contact forms can be generated through your autoresponder program or, if you use WordPress, through a variety of plug-ins.

#4 File Permissions

Make sure the permissions on your uploaded files are set to chmod. If you’re not sure how to do this, check with your web host. It’s generally a simple setting choice on your server.

#5 Protect the Source

Protect your source code from hackers who can simply cut and paste it to create a new site. There are simple scripts you can use to protect your source code and to keep it invisible.

#6 Files

Keep your files up to date. That means staying on top of any updates to your programs, plug-ins and website platform. Developers are constantly changing and updating to protect your website and information. Stay sahead of the hackers by keeping your files up to date. Also remove any old or unused files.

If you’re unsure how to manage any of these steps you have a few options. You can contact your website developer or host. They should be able to guide you through the necessary steps.

Protecting your website is also one of those tasks that can be outsourced to reputable companies who will perform backups, updates and alert you to potential threats.

Protecting your website from hackers is a hassle but not nearly as much as a hassle as recovering from being hacked!