WordPress – a Hacker’s Dream?

If you run your own blog or website, then internet security is probably the last thing on your mind.

You write about a subject you’re passionate about. You look forward to comments. You like to respond and interact with your fans – so why should you care about hackers?

Problem is, more and more blogs are being taken over by cyber pests who love nothing more than injecting malicious code, viruses and all those other nasties which make a website a danger zone, rather than an info zone.

The good news is that there’s lots you can do to prevent your blog from being targeted.

If you don’t want your precious blog becoming yet another internet no-go area, or sending a lovely little virus to your visitors, then you need to make sure you have some security measures in place… so here’s just five ways you can secure your WordPress site and your precious content.

Tip #1 – Backup Backup Backup!

This goes without saying, but your first step should be to back up all of your content and do so regularly. You can do this manually, or download a plug-in to do this for you – something like Backup Buddy will do it automatically. You can even schedule backups to a time that suits you.

Tip #2 – Update Update Update!

WordPress is a funny old thing. As soon as the latest version is released, hackers get to work almost instantly, looking for ways to exploit it. As such, it’s incredibly important to update your WordPress as soon as updates occur. This is because it will contain all the security fixes identified, and keep your content safe…for the time being.

Tip #3 – Change your password regularly

Yes, we know, changing your password should be good practice for anyone who has a PC. But for bloggers this point can’t be stressed enough.

If you use the same password time, and time, and time again, you could soon find that it’s stolen and your blog compromised. Most hackers will try and ‘brute force’ your password – so always use a combination of Upper and Lower case letters, and numbers too.

Tip #4 – Scan all plug-ins

Widgets and plug-ins can be a great addition to your blog. You can put ones on which show in real-time where visitors are, or upload ones which allow your visitors to follow you on social media.

But you have to be careful.

Always scan plug-ins for malicious code and always check for reviews from other bloggers. New plug-ins should come with a big health warning – unless it’s an official one (from twitter for example), then proceed with caution before installing it!

Tip #5 – Watch out for custom themes

Fed up with boring old vanilla themes? Want to use something a bit slicker? Don’t blame you!

There are some amazing themes out there, but did you know that some contain malicious code?

If you’re not clued up on PHP, then you could be making a big mistake for opting for a theme which isn’t listed on the official WordPress site – as these are scanned for nasties.

The message is simple – if you own a website or blog, you are a target. People want great links to their website, they want access to registered email addresses – hell some people just hack for fun. Get clued up. Go and back up your site. Update your WordPress to the latest version. Change your password. Scan all your plug-ins. And whatever you do, never ever use a theme without checking it’s either approved or has rave reviews.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you – protect yourself and your precious blog today!
This guest post was written by Liam.
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