All website owners need to be aware of the risk of hackers. As technology continues to advance, this becomes more and more of a threat. There are plenty of different reasons that a hacker might want to hack into your website, which is why it’s important to stay vigilant. Back in the early days of the internet, most hacking attempts were only done for the hackers to prove they could do it. Now, there are much more heinous reasons a hacker may target a website. Remember, hackers are actively looking for websites with vulnerabilities, which is why website owners must also know how to protect themselves. Why Hackers Want To Hack Your WebsiteTo Steal MoneyOne of the most popular reasons hackers hack into websites is simply to steal money. Online banking has opened doors of opportunity for hackers as they only have to find one data security vulnerability. Once that vulnerability is found, hackers can access any bank accounts connected to that website. To Steal Confidential InformationAnother popular reason a hacker would hack into a website is to steal confidential information. Hackers could steal your social security number, bank account information, credit card numbers, and more. They could also steal and expose valuable databases. Hackers could do this to undermine a competing business. To Steal BandwidthHackers will target websites to steal their bandwidth. This is because bandwidth is cheap, and can be profitable when sold. Stolen bandwidth is usually used for torrenting, VoIP, and more. To Disrupt the ServerHackers who attack by server disruption typically have the goal of rendering a website useless. There are a few different ways hackers can attack servers. The most popular form of server attacks is Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS attacks occur when a hacker gains control over a botnet, a network of computers. Each one of the computers in the network will repeatedly go to a targeted web server. This overloads a website and shuts it down. To Practice Blackhat SEO Techniques Website owners want to rank as highly as possible in search engine results, which can be done using a technique called search engine optimization, or SEO. They use certain keywords throughout their website that helps it rise higher in search results. Some hackers will practice blackhat SEO techniques, in which they will change the keywords on your website to reduce your search engine rankings, helping your competitors. Some hackers even charge your competitors for this as a service. Because They Enjoy Hacking For some individuals, hacking is seen as a hobby. Hacking is far from easy, so many consider it an achievement when they are able to successfully hack into a website. This is definitely one of the most annoying reasons one would hack into a website, but it’s more common than you may think. How to Protect Your Website There are several steps website owners can take to protect their website. Hackers will target website owners who don’t take extra steps to protect their website, so just taking these precautions helps keep you secure. All access control should be severely limited. If a hacker reaches the admin level of a website, they will be able to access all the confidential information you would want to protect in the first place. Usernames and passwords should be hard to guess, and the data prefix should be hard to guess as well. The number of login attempts allowed at one time should be limited. This is true even with email password resets because emails can be hacked as well. For this same reason, login details should never be shared via email.Installing a web application firewall is absolutely imperative for security. This firewall sits in between a website server and the data connection and reads all data that passes through.While some hackers target specific sites, others hackers are looking for little more than an easy target. Much like how a “Beware of Dog” sign can be enough to send a potential burglar to target another house on your block, implementing even simple measures to protect your website could be enough to send a hacker elsewhere.