Considering how around 30,000 websites are attacked each day, the risk of waking up to find your website under attack is very real. If you are trying to grow your website or blog, you don’t want to deal with the lost data, reputational problems and the hassle of fixing your website after an attack.
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, but that doesn’t mean it is invulnerable. A cybercriminal or malevolent developer could hide malicious code in their software. You might accidentally install the wrong plugin or forget to update your website. Your account could possibly get stolen. You need to prepare for everything, and fortunately you don’t need to break the bank to do so.
You can secure your website easily and affordably by implementing the following recommendations:
Create Stronger Passwords
While using a robust and secure password is one of the most efficient and cost effective ways of protecting your website, many people ignore it and use the easiest phrase they can think of. When creating your password, remember that it should be at least 10 characters long and should not contain any words found in the dictionary. Additionally, change your passwords regularly and do not use one password for different websites. If you have issues managing multiple passwords, use tools such as Passwordbox or Lastpass.
Make a Copy of Your Site
If you have ever lost data either through hacking or computer failure, you know how frustrating that can be. If you are reading this post and do not have a backup of your site, I suggest you stop and do it right now. Regular backup of your website is one of the most critical of security recommendations for having a plan should there be a security incident. Having a copy of the website will mean that you can have your site up and running with minimal costs in case you lose any data. Even if you are just storing website files on a flash drive, it will help you greatly.
Frequently Update WordPress, Themes, and Plugins
The best way of keeping away hackers is to ensure that you update your WordPress version, your themes and plugins regularly. Hackers are always crawling the web for old vulnerable versions of software that they can hack so you need to constantly be on the lookout for updates and better solutions should your current setup not satisfy you from a security standpoint. Remember that many updates are security related and are specifically created to remove vulnerabilities on your website. This goes for any software related to your website.
If a theme or plugin has not been updated for a long time, you should find a new solution. You may even consider uninstalling unnecessary WordPress plugins. Just don’t be careless with your plugins. Hackers and cybercriminals won’t be merciful with your website.
Restrict Login Attempts
One of the easiest ways for a hacker to gain access to your website is by employing brute force attacks to hack your account.
An effective yet simple way to prevent this is by limiting the number of login attempts on your site. While advanced WordPress users might want to change some of the files for their website, some plugins limit the number of times a person tries to log in before blocking any more attempts.
Another way to protect your website from brute force attacks is activating two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication offers an extra layer of security to your site in addition to your password by requiring either a code sent by phone call or text message or some other form of verification. While apparently simple, it is one of the most effective and affordable methods to protect your website (or any type of account).
Invest in Affordable Security Software
Investing in security solutions such as an internet security suite or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect your computer and website may seem like basic advice. Yet it may be the weakest link in your security strategy if you not use the best options. These two solutions are also much cheaper than some of the expensive web tools you’ll see advertised online.
An online security suite will allow you to eliminate any malware that comes your way while you work on your website, keeping your information and computer safe. A VPN will be especially useful if you access your website on public WiFi. If you have a good VPN, you could safely surf the web on any network since it encrypts your data and routes it through secure offsite servers. This makes your connection not only anonymous but also impossible for hackers to intercept, keeping your website safe.
There is a lot to making sure your WordPress site is safe from hackers, but if you stay vigilant, you will be able to focus on growing your readership and your website. How are you protecting your WordPress website in 2016? Leave a comment below so you can share your strategies with your fellow readers.