If you own a website, the recent spate of hacker attacks on several high profile sites probably got you anxious, and with good reason too. If you were not worried, then it means that you have most likely taken some serious steps to protect your site from hacking, and even at that, you should be worried.
Anyone who has ever had a site hacked knows that it is not a matter to be treated with levity. The impact can range from terrible inconvenience to a heavy loss of income. Whether you have your site on WordPress or on any other content management system, it pays to be wary of hackers.
Securing your site should not just be for WordPress users, it is a subject all website owners should look into. However if you own a WordPress site, then learning how to secure your site and keep it safe from those who would forcefully break in is simply the prudent thing to do.
WordPress is one of the best CMS options out there and they do a lot to enhance the security of your site. But the truth is that as much as they try, they cannot stay completely ahead of the hackers. Therefore if you want to ensure that your site remains safe, you have to take the responsibility for keeping it secure.
The thought of securing a WordPress site can be scary, particularly if you are not a techie. But you can’t afford to bury your head in the sand and hope that the hackers would somehow, miss your site. You can learn what you need to do to keep your site. These tips are designed to get you started in the right direction.
Always Update Your WordPress Software
WordPress frequently releases new updates for the software. This is not simply a matter of vanity or a desire to make their platform more robust, although that is also a part of it. The primary reason for the WordPress updates is to protect the software from security risks and fix bugs that were noticed in the previous version.
Updating your WordPress site can be a pain especially since it almost seems as though just when you have finished one update, another one is ready. But this is not something that you should compromise about.
If you are worried about the functionality of your WordPress theme after an update, you could always backup the site. That way, if something goes wacky with your site, you still have the old version which you can reinstall.
Make Use of Strong Passwords
Too many people do not realize how important it is to have a strong password on their sites. There is a science to creating really strong passwords, but what is the purpose of going all the way to create a strong password only to use that same password for your email account and you WordPress?
It’s one thing to create a strong password; you need to ensure that all your accounts have different passwords and that they are all strong.
A strong password is not ps12345. It should never be anything that can easily be guessed. A strong password should have letters, numbers and symbols and should also have uppercase and lowercase letters. Check http://strongpasswordgenerator.com/ for help in creating a strong password.
Protect Your WordPress DashboardFrom Brute Attacks
Another tip for keeping your WordPress site secure is to protect your WordPress dashboard. This means changing your username from the default admin. New WordPress accounts come with a default username which is admin and anyone who is familiar with the platform knows that, especially the hackers.
After you change the default username, delete the default account. This is the part that most people skip and that’s because they do not know about it. It is not enough to simply change the admin username, get rid of that account also.
Changing the default username and deleting the account are all good ideas and they do help in keeping your WordPress account safe, but you should know that it’s not particularly fail-safe since a determined person can always find the new username.
Use Themes and PluginsFrom Sources You Trust
This is another area that can make your WordPress site vulnerable to hackers. Themes and Plugins can contain code which leaves your site open and is often a pathway for hackers. Some of them have malware and spam bots.
Before you use a theme or plugin on your site, make sure it is from a trusted source. Another thing to look out for is when last it was updated. If it was not updated recently, then don’t install it on your site.
Change Your File and Folder Permissions
If you check your file permissions and they are set to 777, then change it immediately as that is an open highway for hackers to enter your site. Instead, set your permission to 644 for your files and 755 for your folders.
Make Your wp-config.php Invisible
This file is one of the most vulnerable and in almost all WordPress sites, it has the same location. You need to hide this file and make it invisible so that only you and your web host can read it.
Use Secure Webhosting
Your webhost is an important factor in keeping your WordPress site secure. If your webhost is not secure, your site is automatically at risk. Make sure that your webhost is not only secure, but that it also regularly scans of their servers.
If you are using shared webhosting you are still at risk because your site will be affected by the other sites on the server. The good alternative is to get VPS hosting or research your web host to be sure that you are not sharing the server with hundreds of other sites.
Back Up Your Site as Often as You Can
Some webhosts offer a way for you to back up your site regularly. This is important so that if your site gets hacked, you can delete the old site and reinstall the backed up version that was not affected. It is important to note that this service might be premium and you might need to pay for it, but if you can afford it then it’s well worth the cost.
There are several other steps you can take to ensure that your WordPress site is safe and it is a good idea to keep researching methods to enhance your site’s security. This is one area where it’s okay to be paranoid. Whatever you do, take the steps above seriously.