Proper structure is important when building a website. Including an index page in each folder is one of the basic steps to both design and security. By default, if a visitor lands on a subdirectory without an index page, they will see an “Index Of” page that lists all files and folders under that directory. This can be at the least embarrassing and unprofessional and at most a security risk. Follow the instructions below to learn about preventing the “Index Of” listing page using the Index Manager in the cPanel.
How to prevent displaying the “Index Of” page via cPanel
- First, log into your cPanel interface.
Look through the categories listing on the right hand panel of the main cPanel page and find Advanced category. Click on the Indexes icon to continue.
In order to select a domain, you will need to click on Settings. Click the drop-down arrow in order to select a different domain. Once you have selected your domain, click on Save changes.
Next is a page that lists all folders under the domain you previously selected. You can select any one folder to protect by clicking the name. If you select the root folder, the setting will cascade down to all other folders, protecting them all. In our example, we will select the public_html folder as it is the root for our primary domain and we want to protect all folders in the domain.
You are now brought to a screen where you can select the Indexing style you want to present. To prevent any index listing at all, simply select the No Indexing radio button. Click Save to activate your selection. Now you can visit your site and enter a subdirectory without an index file. You should receive a 403 Forbidden page instead of a list of files. Below is a before and after shot demonstrating how the No Index setting prevents the display of the file list.