Written by Jocelyn Brown
Don’t Fall Victim to Hacking: How to Secure Your WordPress Site
About a third of Irish internet users have discovered malicious software on their device, according to a Eurobarometer survey. Furthermore, sixteen percent of Irish survey respondents said they had their social media or email account hacked, yet only half of them have installed anti-virus software.
This is a lot lower than the EU average, where 61 percent of internet users are fully protected with anti-virus software. Therefore, it is important that you and your organization do everything to prevent your WordPress site from being hacked.
Maintain the Latest Version of WordPress
A survey conducted by SSL found that 49 percent of WordPress sites are not running the latest and most secure version of WordPress, and about 33 percent are multiple updates behind. Many organizations forgo the update because they feel like it will add downtime and interruptions to their business.
However, you’ll be offline for longer if you’re hacked. When WordPress puts out a security update, it means they created patches to fix security holes.
It also tips off to hackers that there’s a security vulnerability in the original installation. This allows hackers to target the older versions and work to find it. Therefore, the longer that you don’t download the latest update, the more vulnerable your site will be to a potential hacker. If you haven’t had the time to download the latest update, you should hide your current version by using security plugins.
Change the Defaults
When you start hosting on WordPress, your default login is “admin”. Most hackers know this fact and it gives them a head start to access your account. Instead, you should delete the default admin and create a custom login.
Make sure that this login is something extremely difficult to guess. Don’t use your name or something very common like your business name. Also, use numbers at the end of your name to make it even more unique.
You should also use strong passwords that include both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not use anything about yourself such as birthdays, your children or spouse’s name, hobbies, or pets.
Identify the Signs
You and every admin users on your site should know exactly how to spot signs of hacking. Some of these signs include a sudden drop in website traffic, bad links added to your site, new suspicious users, unknown files and scripts on your server, and an inability to log in.
One of the most obvious signs of a hack is that your homepage no longer looks like the page you designed. This might mean that a hacker replaced your site with their own message to potentially redirect your customers to their page so that they can obtain personal info or extort money.
You should be constantly monitoring for these signs and backup your site so that you’re ready for any disaster recovery.
With so many Irish internet users without anti-virus software, it is up to you and your organization to protect your customers. Take the time to update your site, change your defaults, and learn the signs of hacking.
About the author: Jocelyn Brown is a professional freelancer writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelancing and the versatility it allows her in covering many different topics and themes. When not at work she enjoys running, hikes in the country and making the most of family time.