Robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct web robots ( search engine robots ) which pages on your website to crawl or not to crawl.
The robots.txt file is primarily used to specify which parts of your website should be crawled by spiders or web crawlers. It can specify different rules for different spiders.
Googlebot is an example of a spider. It’s deployed by Google to crawl the Internet and record information about websites so it knows how high to rank different websites in search results.
- Example of Robots.txt file URL: https://www.xyz.com/robots.txt
- Blocking all web crawlers from all content
Using this syntax in a robots.txt file would tell all web crawlers not to crawl any pages of the website, including the homepage.
- Allowing all web crawlers access to all content
Using this syntax in a robots.txt file tells web crawlers to crawl all pages of the website, including the homepage.
- Blocking a specific web crawler from a specific folder
This syntax tells only Google’s crawler (user-agent name Googlebot) not to crawl any pages that contain the URL string.
- Blocking a specific web crawler from a specific web page
This syntax tells only Bing’s crawler (user-agent name Bing) to avoid crawling the specific page.
There are two important considerations when using /robots.txt:
- Robots can ignore your /robots.txt. Especially malware robots that scan the web for security vulnerabilities, and email address harvesters used by spammers will pay no attention.
- The /robots.txt file is a publicly available file. Anyone can see what sections of your server you don’t want robots to use.
Malware is software created for malicious purposes. While it is commonly associated with computers, malware can also be used to attack and infect websites. In order to keep your site safe, you’ll first need to know what you’re up against. As such, it’s vital to understand the different types of malware, and how they can infect your site. Once you’ll know what security measures you must take to prevent them. It’s easy to assume that you’re safe, but there are no sites that are 100% secure against malware. Even if you’re only running a basic site, it could still become infected in ways that could cause you to lose content, and even hurt you financially. As such, it’s best to be prepared and knows what you’re up against, so you can take the appropriate measures to protect yourself against malware infection or a hacked site, and then remove malware appropriately. For site owners who are prepared to overcome attacks as soon as they happen, though, being exploited is simply not a big deal. Being prepared can help you get your website back up and running quickly. By following these tips, you can minimize the damage or even prevent it completely.
Follow These Best Practices to Protect Your Sites!
Update Software Frequently
When it comes to open-source systems like WordPress, keeping your core software and plugins updated is one of the first lines of defense against bots and hackers. We always stress to our clients that keeping your website software up-to-date, like your cell phone, is the best defense against it becoming exploited.
Disable File Upload on Your Site
There is no need for outside parties to be granted the ability to upload any files to your directory. By keeping this ability disabled you ensure that no hackers can exploit your sites by uploading arbitrary code.
Protect against SQL Injection
In order to defend against hackers that inject rogue code into your site, you must always use parameterized queries and avoid standard Transact SQL.
Install a Firewall and Antivirus
Most updated antivirus software programs automatically update with new information and safeguards against new and evolving types of malware.
Scan Your Site Frequently
Scan your entire site for potential vulnerabilities, malware changed files, and check if your site has been blacklisted. What’s more, you will also be able to see where potential vulnerabilities are because this feature will flag site errors and outdated software so you can act on time and fix them before hackers take advantage of it.
Use SSL and HTTPS
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP and it makes all communications between a visitor’s browser and your website encrypted. HTTPS is activated once you install an SSL certificate on your site and is identified by a green padlock or a green bar in your browser’s address bar. SSL certificates create a foundation of trust by establishing a secure and encrypted connection for your website. This will protect your site from fraudulent servers.
Use Website Security Tools
Website security tools are essential for internet security. There are many options, both free and paid. In addition to software, there are also SaaS models that offer comprehensive website security tools.
Use Plugins Wisely
Plugins bring amazing additional functionality to your web application. Unfortunately, many are developed by individuals or small teams that may have very limited time to put towards them. The unfortunate side effect is that secure coding practices and penetration testing against the code may not have occurred in full due to the time or talent constraints, Choose plugins that are regularly maintained by their developers.
Rename Your Database
Renaming your database prefix from the stock naming-scheme will help protect bots from automatically detecting your database tables and attempting to inject them with code.