While hackers’ intentions are unknown, most hackers don’t discriminate between a small website and a large one, or a personal blog and an eCommerce business website. This implies that every online website is a target for a hacker.
Types of Hackers
There are 3 main types of hackers; black hat hackers, white hat hackers and gray hat hackers. The difference between them doesn’t matter to you and me because they are all hackers and we should do our best to stop all of them from entering our sites.
But if you want to understand the difference, this is a short description of each.
Black hat hackers are the bad guys who want to steal information from your PC or your website and use this information against you.
White hat hackers are those good hackers that are employed by the government or some companies to fight black hat hackers.
Gray hat hackers are those who hack websites for educational purposes or for fun in order to prove to themselves or their friends that they are good hackers.
Unfortunately, most of the hackers in the world are of the black hat type.
Our Job is to prevent all types of hackers from entering our computers, smart phones and websites. In order to do so, you first need to know how they get into your websites.
How do hackers get into websites?
Hackers use several methods, techniques and tools to attack websites. Their goal is to get access in some way so they can control the website, steal information or delete the website completely.
Some of the methods that hackers use are:
- Password guessing: where they use automated programs to guess the user name and password of websites. Any weak website will be an easy target for hackers. This last sentence is not very clear maybe “Websites with weak passwords can easily fall victim to cyber-attacks.”
- Password stealing: By intercepting packets sent through non secure connections (http).
- Implanting spyware or key loggers to steal passwords, credit card numbers and any important information from computers and smart phones.
- Online automated scanners that crawl the internet and search for websites with security holes. Once they find a way to enter a website or a PC, they can create all sorts of damage to computers and websites.
- Email spoofing and phishing.
- Extracting information from browsers
Your job as a blogger or a business owner is to learn how to protect your website from all types of hackers.
What hackers can do to a website?
Once a hacker has control over a website, he/she can do all sorts of damage including the following:
- Steal user passwords, email addresses and credit card numbers.
- Collect email addresses
- Install viruses and malicious software
- Create links back to their website
- Distribute malware to your users and other websites
- Upload unwanted content on your website
- Hijack your website’s traffic
- Delete website contents
- Lock you out by changing your password
- Shut down your website
Worst of all, if you have a business website or invested a great deal of time and money building your blog, you may find yourself paying a high ransom to hackers just to regain access to your website.
Even if your hacked website does not contain much valuable information, it will be affected by one or all of the following:
- Google and other search engines will flag your website as a dangerous site which will discourage visitors from visiting it.
- You will lose the trust and the confidence of your clients.
- Your website will lose its rank in search engines.
- Your website can be used to spam other websites.
If you don’t want your website to become a victim to any cyber security threats, you must invest some time and money in to maximize the security of your website. In addition, you need to constantly monitor and update your security program, either on your own or with the help of a professional.