WordPress Sites Under Attack – Is Your Site Safe?

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Whether you are simply blogging for a personal site, or are in charge of a corporate account, security measures matter for WordPress. The content management system powers around 20% of all sites on the internet, so it of course has security measures in place to keep content secure. The people that use it, however, often fail to implement the changes and new upgrade downloads on offer, making it more vulnerable to malicious intent. These five tips for handling WordPress security will put you on the track to a safe, more secure site.

Pick Your Password Carefully

A password should be a hard-to-crack code. Using your own name, birth date or favorite band is never the way to go. Those pieces of information are easy to find out about you and will be the first words someone tries when trying to hack your site. The best thing to do is come up with a completely random sequence of numbers and letters that will be nearly impossible for someone to guess. Many programs can help you with this. One I like and feel pretty confident recommending is LastPass. Not only will it securely store information and passwords for you, but it’ll create unique, hard to guess codes for you on the fly if you tell it to. And even if you don’t want to actually install and use the program itself, they offer password creation here.

Update Versions Regularly

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Whenever a new version of a plug-in or theme becomes available, it should be downloaded immediately. Using the older version leaves you more susceptible to hacks. Vulnerabilities within these plug-ins are often the way outside sources break in. The FBI even noted that groups like ISIS are using these vulnerabilities to choose their targets. It is not only large corporations that the group interferes with, but even regular people simply using the site for personal blogging

Use the Site in Safe Mode

Most websites use Hypertext Transfer Protocol, otherwise known as http, when searching. In order to search safely and ensure the site is secure, WordPress users are urged to operate under Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, or https. It is a safer option that does not allow data to be transmitted in plain-text format, which makes it more difficult for hackers to access

Choose Plug-Ins Discerningly

Plug-ins are often made by third parties. Before these additions are made to your site, you need to know what you’re really installing. Who made the plug-in? Is it a popular choice? Are there known vulnerabilities? No plug-ins should be chosen before you know what they are and what they will do. InfosecInstitute has a good list of plugins you can use that will even monitor your site’s safety and alert you to any possible problems – even with other plugins.

Check Folders and Files

You may have had a hacker and not yet realize it. A hacker doesn’t have to be someone who steals information. They can simply interfere with folders and cause damage to files. To ensure no files have been messed with, Web Hosting Secrets Revealed says folders should be checked often, at least every two weeks (They also have more good tips for securing your WordPress site). As soon as a damaged or suspicious file has been detected, it should be removed immediately

As the owner of the WordPress site, you are not the only one affected by a security breach. Anyone who has accessed the site, especially one that sells products, could have their information compromised. An attacker who gains unauthorized access to a website has the potential to cause severe damage.

Whether they manipulate data, install malicious software or create new accounts with full privileges, the hacker could wreak havoc on the site and cause problems for both you and your visitors. Be proactive and start taking steps today to secure your site to prevent personal and business loss, as well as to protect your visitors.

Veronica Davis is a former Marine, now a mom of two boys who has found a passion for freelance writing. She loves cooking and rarely misses something in the food industry, but she also enjoys writing about business, home and anything interesting.