Thanksgiving is over and everyone’s prepping for Christmas. Now might be the only time in the near future that you can pause, catch your breath, and maybe give thanks for your good fortune. Which makes now the perfect time to think about what it might be like to lose all you’ve worked for, and how that loss could impact you, your family, and your employees.

No one likes talking or even thinking about bad things around this time of year. It goes against the holiday spirit! But you may not have any choice. Bad things can happen to your business at any moment, and may even be happening as you’re reading this. Every day, millions of small business websites are being prodded and probed by automated hacker tools looking for unsecured websites they can hijack. It’s almost like a thief walking along a row of cars and nearly invisibly checking each door handle to see which ones are unlocked. Except hackers have an additional layer of secrecy. They don’t have to leave their homes to check websites, and they can see many of them – all at once.

These tools are looking for any weakness they can exploit to use your business and website as part of their criminal enterprise. And as selfish as it may seem, they don’t care what harm they do to your business and your customers as long as they achieve their financial goals.

Hackers are now infecting small business websites at the rate of thousands every single day. They’re planting malware that will infect visitors to your website. They’ll try very hard to steal any information that comes through your website, especially customer credit card information. They’ll also try to steal employee and customer email addresses and passwords, either to use them in future attacks or sell to other hackers.

If that makes you mad, then it’s time you get even. Your website is probably the weakest point in your business. For starters, it’s on the internet, 24 hours a day. That means hackers from all over the world can spend as much time as they want looking for weaknesses.

And remember, hackers don’t come looking for your particular business to pick on. Instead they use sophisticated tools that will test millions of websites for vulnerabilities. If your website has vulnerabilities, chances are they’ll be found and exploited pretty quickly. Then you will most definitely have the attention of hackers.

It reminds me of a security product I was selling years ago, a personal firewall that not only prevented hackers from attacking personal computers, but put the computer in stealth mode so that hackers couldn’t even tell it was there. If they couldn’t tell the computer was there, they simply browsed straight past it, like something from a sci-fi movie.

That’s the kind of website security you really want, and it’s the kind SiteLock provides. We look for vulnerabilities and plug them before these automated sniffers find them. If your security holes are patched in time and protected by a web application firewall, these tools will just move on to the many other business websites out there that are not secure. You will be invisible to them.

And that’s the best way you have to ruin a hacker’s day. Every secure website is money lost for hackers. And it’s money in your pocket. You can worry less, your site will remain security compliant, you’ll avoid being blacklisted by search engines, and you’re likely to dodge an embarrassing and costly security breach.

The holidays are all about giving. So why not treat yourself to the gift of peace of mind.

Google Author: Neal O’Farrell