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The online world has become a more dangerous place in recent years. Hackers both foreign and domestic are targeting websites with increasing frequency for monetary gain, for political purposes, or simply to be disruptive.

Even commercial websites owned by small businesses need to be vigilant in protecting against unscrupulous hackers. Here are some tips to keep your digital intellectual property safe and secure.

Limit Access

Don’t allow anybody you don’t know administrative access to your website. Frequently change password protection to keep unauthorized people from logging into your Dashboard.

It’s also critical that you frequently check your website — weekly if not daily — to ensure that nobody has interfered with its content. All too often, hackers are able to infiltrate a commercial website and the owners don’t realize it until the damage has affected their business’s reputation and turned away prospective customers and clients. If you wait until somebody else tells you your website has been hacked, it’s probably too late.

Approving Comments

Besides stealing passwords, one of the most common ways hackers infiltrate commercial websites is by leaving comments that contain viruses or other malware. Don’t arbitrarily approve every comment, especially not if it looks generic, non-specific, or bot-generated.

Real comments from genuine website visitors can help boost your web page’s popularity with leading search engines like Google. But quality is far more important than quantity, especially if the comment looks suspicious, is unrelated to the content of the post, or especially if it is in a foreign language or from a market your business doesn’t serve. A good rule of thumb is, “When in doubt, knock it out.”

Hackers have become a real issue with website owners everywhere. When they gain access to your web pages, they can do irreparable damage that can cost you customers, prestige, and real money. But by remaining on guard and continually checking your pages, postings, and comments, you can protect your business, your reputation, and your livelihood.

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