How to Keep Your School Website Safe from Hackers

Every few weeks, there’s a story in the news about a hacked school or university website. It might seem hard to believe, but hackers will attack anyone—and that includes your school.

Implementing effective prevention practices is crucial to ensure you are completely safe from hack attacks.

Understand the types of hacks

Before you dive into prevention, you must first understand what you need to prevent. There are many ways that your school website can fall victim to a hacker, which means your prevention methods need to be multifaceted. Here are six of your biggest concerns.

#1. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service): Overwhelm your resources and take you offline

#2. Vandalism: Stealing account credentials and making changes

#3. Social Engineering: Hackers trick users into granting access to your systems

#4. Brute Force: Hackers force different passwords until they’re successful

#5. Man in the Middle: An attack where the attacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communication between two parties

#6. Security Hole: The use of a known vulnerability in software to plant malware

Develop a prevention plan

Once you have a good understanding of the ways hackers can infiltrate your website, you will also have a better idea of how to properly secure your data. The best starting place for your prevention plan is to build a checklist. Here are a few items to get you going.

  • Regularly review your users, and remove unwanted accounts
  • Create a password policy, and enforce it
  • Check permissions, and restrict users where, and when, necessary
  • Hire a professional to help
  • Restrict or shut down FTP sites
  • Have a solid update plan
  • Run backups when required
  • Secure your systems and all computers on your network
  • Use SSL whenever possible

Securing your website is not a one-time event. It is something that has to happen over time and should be an ongoing initiative.

You can also further protect your school or district website from hackers and malicious use through the same safety controls found inside the Gaggle Safe Classroom Learning Management System.

Gaggle Safety Representatives review content and notify you 24/7, 365 days a year if it appears someone has compromised your website. In addition, Gaggle can disable the user account in question and revert web page(s) to a previous version. Request a Gaggle School & District Websites demo.