5 Do It Yourself Steps That Protects Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Malicious Attacks
You’ve finally finished your website, and it’s been up an running for a few months now. The traffic to your site is at the point of your satisfaction the design is looking all nice a fly. One day you pull up your website, and you get this red warning below. This is a sign that your site has been hacked.
As a business owner there is nothing more terrifying than the thought of your website being attacked and all of your hard work has been changed or has to be updated. You’ve spent a lot of time, and you’ve invested too much money into getting your brand and site to where it is now.
Take the extra step and protect your website like it’s your home. Here are 5 quick do it yourself steps that protects your WordPress website from hackers and malicious attacks
Step 1 Use HTTPS
HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, is a secure communications protocol that is used to transfer sensitive information between a website and a web server. Using HTTPS adds an encryption layer of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to your HTTP, which makes your own, and your users’ data extra secure from hacking attempts.
If you have an eCommerce site and you sell products, from a store on your site, this requires users to hand over sensitive information such as their credit card number, home address etc. Investing in a SSL Certificate is a no brainer. It will cost is minimum and that extra layer of protection for your customers goes along way to making your site more secure and trustworthy.
Another added bonus to using HTTPS is that Google has security as a top priority, and sites that use HTTPS has the highest potential to rank higher in the search engine.
Step 2 Use Strong Passwords and Update Regularly
It’s so tempting to make your password something that you’ll remember like your last name with your birthday behind it or 1234 but these passwords just won’t cut it. You need to really take this step into consideration and thought.
Brute force attacks that try guessing username password combinations have multiplied at alarming rates over the last couple of years with thousands of attacks being detected on a daily basis across the web.
Make sure your password is long, and it has a good mix of letters, numbers, and characters. Stay away from the easy to guess passwords especially those that are personal as described above. If a hacker were to get access to your personal information, those would be the first guess.
Step 3 Install Security Plugins
Installing the right security plug in can actively prevent against hacking attempts. Once your site is completely up and running, you’ll want to ensure you go the extra step to secure your site.
Having a WordPress website you already know that there are hundreds of plug ins out there but not all of them may do want you want them to do. One great and FREE security plug in for WordPress is iThemes Security. iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site.
Another avenue that is great for not just WordPress sites, but HTML sites as well is to simply use Sitelock. SiteLock monitors your website daily for malicious activity and then alerts you to any potential threats. It even goes above and beyond to remove these threats as well.
Step 4 Keep Software Updates
No matter how your website was built, you want to ensure that you’re keeping your software up to date. Platforms like WordPress work day and night looking for loop holes, and updating their platform as needed. They send out these updates along with a description and a video on what the updates includes. When you see these updates come through, you want to ensure you update your WordPress to the latest version to keep your site secure.
If your website is using third party plugins, you want to go in on a daily basis and check to see if they need updating as well. If there are any old plug ins that you just simply don’t use, delete them. Leaving them installed and active only opens up your site to be more vulnerable and they are gateways for hackers to enter your site and have fun.
Step 5 Build A Wall Around Your Site
I mentioned earlier that you want to secure your website just like it were your home. I meant that. When you leave home, you lock your doors, and if you have an alarm system installed, you arm it. Well you need this same security on your website to serve as the first line of defense against hackers. A Web Application Firewall is that first line of defense. These solutions are designed to inspect incoming traffic, provide and weed out malicious requests – offering protection from SPAM, brute force attacks, SQL Injections, and Cross Site Scripting.
In conclusion, don’t think that it can’t happen to you, because if you’re not taking the necessary steps as described above to secure your website, in due time, a hacker will sneak in and have fun doing what they do….and that’s stealing you, and your customers sensitive information.
A successful attack on your site not only leads to breach of users’ data and your own information, it can also lead to a blacklisting of your site by Google and other search providers as your infected site risks spreading malicious content throughout the web.