basic tips in keeping your website secure

So you just got your website online and it is going well. Everything is working and everything seems good but how are you going to protect yourself from hackers and people misusing your website and server?

It's a commonly known fact that hackers automated their hacking, crawling the Internet for known vulnerabilities in websites and then exploiting them gaining access to your website, server or even your customer personal data.

This guide looks at the very basic things that anyone look at to help secure your website and protect it from hackers.

Joomla! since version 2.5 has this cool little features of where you can create a vanity URL or redirect a broken URL in a website to a proper working one.

The component that allows this is called Redirect.

It captures all of the broken links, of 404 errors that appear in the website and allows a website administrator to redirect them to the right or correct pages in a site.

Take this example, has a little typo in the address, but I've just sent it out to my entire email database list. Since it is in everyone's inbox now, there is nothing I can do in regards to changing the link in the mail out. Instead I can redirect that broken link on the website to the proper page,, a save the email blast that I just did.

When ever someone registers on a Joomla website an email notification will be triggered for anyone that has their account set to "Receive System Email".

This is really useful for when you want to know people are registering on your website. It will let you know when potential sales are coming in or when users are interacting with your website. It is also a good first initial point of entry for collecting user data as well for what ever you are trying to do or market.

Within Joomla you can turn this on or off depending on the administrators preference per user account.

Security! It is so important to keep websites safe and secure and one of the weak points that hackers can use to get into your website is your passwords.

Recently, one of my personal password combinations was leaked out to the world when a popular website was hacked. This happens all the time. Adobe has been hacked, Sony and many more. It's worse when the passwords are stored in the databases as plain text and the hackers can then see the username and password combinations that are being used.

Two factor authentication
Joomla default login screen with two-factor authentication enabled

This is where two factor authentication comes into play to help protect your website and data.

Joomla 3 now comes with two factor authentication shipped with it so it is worth while taking advantage of it and enabling the feature on your websites to keep things safe and secure.

For years I have always thought that the Weblinks component that came with Joomla was quite useless. Adding links, a description to a link and displaying it on a page for me was very 1997 and was someone a very old way of managing reference links, and for the 10 or so years that I have been using Joomla I had not ever used the Weblinks component until now!

More recently I've been getting more so into affiliate marketing and promoting other people and company products for a commission or fee and I've actually have now found Weblinks useful as an affiliate link manager. In fact, I think it might be one of the best affiliate link managers for an open source content management system that I've used in a long time.

Joomla has evolved quite a lot of the past few years as Joomla 2.5 series matured and gave way to the Joomla 3 series website. Now that Joomla 2.5 is no longer official supported by the Joomla project, it is now officially time to start moving any Joomla 2.5 website over to Joomla 3.

This may sound scary but the project as a whole has learn from its decisions in the past and has since made the upgrade process from 2.5->3 so much easier but there are a few hints and tips that will help you speed up the process and make things easier.

Many people have also actually written and provide vast amounts of documentation around it including official documentation from Joomla.

Joomla 2.5 upgrade migrate Joomla 3

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