Website Security 101: Keep Your WordPress WebSite Safe
Are there security concerns keeping you from enjoying the power and flexibility of WordPress for your website?
If you’ve bought into all the hype that WordPress is not secure, then you are missing out on all the great features WordPress has to offer, for no good reason.
The fact is, while WordPress sites can get hacked, they are no more dangerous than other php-based websites. The problem is that WordPress is open-source, which means that anyone can read the code. This even includes the bad guys who spend their time looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit. Combine that with the enormous popularity of WordPress, and it’s easy to see why you hear about hacks regularly.
But that doesn’t mean that WordPress is unsafe by any means. By implementing just a handful of security best practices, you can significantly reduce your risk of being hacked.
Keep Your Site Up to Date
This is by far the highest risk when it comes to website security. New weaknesses are discovered in WordPress and its plugins and themes regularly, and if your site is out of date, then it is at risk. Hackers actively search for outdated sites they can attack, so make it a point to keep your site up to date. That includes your plugins, themes, and WordPress software.
Use Strong Passwords
Second to out-of-date installations when it comes to inviting hackers is weak passwords. They are regularly exploited with “brute force” attacks. Simply put, this technique is when a hacker sets a computer program to repeatedly attempt to log into your website using thousands of commonly used passwords and what are known as “dictionary” words.
This common type of vulnerability can be easily avoided by choosing better passwords. Ideally, your passwords should:
- Be longer than 12 characters
- Contain an upper and lower case letters, numbers and even symbols
- Never be used for more than one website
- Never be stored as plain text on your computer
- Never be sent by email
Also, consider using a password manager like as LastPass to generate and securely store good your strong passwords. You will never have to worry about remembering your crazy passwords, and you’ll greatly reduce the risk of being hacked.
Be Smart About Your Hosting
Unlimited domains! Unlimited space! Unlimited bandwidth! And all for around $5 per month. You’ve probably seen the claims and maybe even have a hosting account with one of these inexpensive companies.
Here’s the problem. This type of shared hosting is inexpensive because they tend to overload their servers with thousands of websites. Just as a close proximity in crowded classrooms allows sicknesses to spread quickly, close proximity of lots of websites on a shared server means one infected site can be a risk to all the others.
Rather than looking for the cheapest (and riskiest) hosting option, choose a web host that allows you to isolate each website on its own cPanel. While it is more expensive, doing so will significantly improve the security of your site.
In the end, the security and safety of your website and its data are entirely up to you. Always keep your software up to date, use strong passwords, and choose a secure hosting company, and you’ll be way ahead of the curve on this.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs grow their business with Smart Marketing. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, international speaker + trainer, and the CEO + Creative Director at Lake Shark Media. She also teaches entrepreneurs how to create a business and life they love at toriemathis.com
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