Semalt Expert: Surefire Ways To Protect A Site From Hackers

Most people think their website has nothing important to be hacked. A website may be compromised by a hacker to use the server to transmit spam or use it as a temporary server to host illegal files. Hackers target website servers to mine bitcoins, act as botnets or demand for ransomware. Hackers use automated scripts to breach the internet in an attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in the software.

Below are some of the tips prepared by Igor Gamanenko, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, to safeguard you and your website.

Up-to-date software

The server operating software and any support software should be regularly updated. Any vulnerability in the software gives hackers an easier loophole to manipulate and manifest their ill motives. If a hosting company manages your website, then you have nothing to worry as the host firm should take care of the web security. All third-party applications should be regularly updated to apply new security patches.

SQL injection

Hackers use injection attacks to manipulate a website's database. Using standard Transact SQL makes it easier to unknowingly insert malicious codes into a query that could be used to manipulate tables or delete data. To avoid this, always use parameterized queries such as the one depicted below:

$stmt = $pdo->prepare ('SELECT * FROM table WHERE column =: value');

$stmt->execute (array ('value' => $parameter));

Cross site scripting

These forms of attacks inject rogue JavaScript codes into the web page, which runs on internet browsers anonymously, and can change the web contents, or steal sensitive information to send back to the hacker. A website administrator must ensure that users cannot successfully inject JavaScript contents on your page. Using tools such as the Content Security Policy directs the web browser to limit on how and what JavaScript runs on the page.

Error messages

The website administrator should be cautious on the information displayed in your error messages. Only provide limited errors to you users, to ensure that they don't give out secretive data on your servers such as passwords or API keys.


It is extremely important to use complex passwords to access your servers or websites admin section. Users should also be encouraged to use strong passwords to secure their accounts. A combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters constitute a secure password. Passwords should be stored using the hashing algorithm. Website security can be enhanced by using a new and unique salt per password.

File uploads

To prevent a hacking attempt, it's advisable to avoid direct access to uploaded files. Any file uploaded to your website should be stored in a separate folder outside of the Webroot. A different script should be created to fetch the files from the private folder and avail them to the browser.


It's a protocol, which provides security over the web. It guarantees users that they are accessing the server they expect and that no hacker can intercept the content they are transiting. A website supporting crediting cards or other payment forms should use authentic cookies sent with any user request. This helps to authenticate the requests thus locking away attacks.

Use website security tools

Once you have performed all the above measures, testing your website security is crucial. It's best carried out by use of penetration testing tools, which include Netsparker, OpenVAS, Security and Xenotix XSS Exploit Framework. The results of using the tools present a broad range of potential concerns and possible advanced solutions.