Your website is the virtual representation of yourself online, so it’s important you keep it safe from infiltration. Hacked sites pose a lot of risk to businesses, reputations and security, so to help prevent your site from getting hacked we’ve created this handy list of ways to keep your site safe. You are probably one of the millions of other people who have a site built on WordPress, one of the world’s most popular CMS’s (content management systems). With such large numbers of users and sites, there is a very real danger of millions of sites getting hacked, should WordPress have any security oversights. So, here are some simple ways to protect your WordPress site from getting hacked:
Review and Update Your Technology
From web browsers to web servers, there are many possible places where a hacker can find a loophole into your system. Make sure to update everything from your laptop password to your antivirus software to ensure they remain fresh and up-to-date. Do frequent malware checks, and use sufficient firewalls on your operating system, your router and ISP. You’d be surprised how hackers can use third party systems to gain access to your site, even if your WordPress site is completely secure.
Stay On Top Of WordPress Releases
WordPress regularly releases software updates for download through the CMS backend. Make sure to download the new updates as soon as possible. Hackers usually try and use this window of opportunity to hack into websites, as older versions of WordPress often lack security patches. Also make sure to check the compatibility of the new WordPress release with your web servers’ version of PHP and MySQL.
Help The WordPress Community
You can help the WordPress community and staff by reporting any bugs or violations you find in the system. If all WordPress users worked together, there would be a huge amount of security issues avoided and the security of everybody’s sites would be much higher. Report any security issues you find to email@example.com, with as much detail as possible.
Plugins Are Your Friend!
There are tons of useful plugins that help protect your sites security, such as ‘Exploit Scanner’, which provides detailed reports of hack attacks, and ‘WP Security Scan’, which advises on how to protect your site. Other useful security plugins worth checking out include ‘Login Encryption’, to encrypt your WP password, ‘Admin SSL Secure Plugin’, to secure your dashboard and ‘Stealth Login’, to create unique URLs to default away from the standard yourdomain.com/wp-admin login page. Check out WordPress.org for a lot more safe security plugins for your site.
Don’t Look Like The New Kid On The Block!
A new WordPress site will be obvious to hackers, especially if there are still default posts displaying on the homepage. Make sure to remove any predefined content and to fill out your site as soon as possible. Newer sites are not likely to have all the necessary security precautions installed yet, so hackers will try to maximize on that. Other indicators of new sites are the ‘Powered by WordPress’ text link in the footer. Most new sites will ignore it and leave it there, however hackers specifically look for these types of mistakes, to take advantage of. Make sure to remove this and any other texts, such as the one displaying the version of WordPress you are using.
One of the things that a lot of people forget to do is back-up their entire site. Just because your site is online, doesn’t mean you can’t lose everything, especially if your site get attacked. Plugins like ‘WP-DB Manager’ is great for backing up your website, helping to keep your mind at ease. You can also use the ‘Online Backup for WordPress’ plugin, which conveniently creates an email or downloadable back-up of your site, just in case you ever need to restore your website.
As you can see, there is a lot of work involved in keeping your WordPress site secure from hackers, and this article only scratches the surface of the possible ways you can prevent your site from getting hacked. However, if you follow these rules and exercise simple precautions online, your WordPress site should remain safe and you can get on with the important stuff, like creating great content.