A guest post submitted by Paul Taubman
3 Easy Things that You Can Do To Make Your Website Safer!
If you check the Search Engines everyday, you will find at least a story or two about websites and hackers. Unfortunately, hackers like to break into websites, usually cause some damage, and then just leave your website. This damage can be completely debilitating to your site or it can be an injection of links of items you would not want on your site!
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to prevent hackers from breaking into your site. Regina and her team have discussed these before, but sometimes hearing from someone else, in a slightly different way, can make you take some action. I see a lot of folks that come to me to help them learn about WordPress. Unfortunately many of them come AFTER they have been hacked and had to have their site cleaned up. And, unfortunately again, many of the same underlying causes are found time and time again. Based on this experience, I would like to share my Top 3 Easy Things That You Can Do To Make Your Website Safer.
1. Use Strong Things
To start things off, I present a Double Tip. You already know to Use a Strong Password (but do you use one?). The “sister tip” to this is that you should also use a Strong Username. What does strong mean? A strong password/username is a 15-character Upper and Lowercase password that also has numbers and special characters in it. An example would be: QkjSR^[email protected]#AN. Many people realize this is a good password. What many people generally miss is that it is also a good Username! If you use a Username like ‘admin’ (gasp!) or your firstname, then you are practically giving hackers half of the info they need to break into your account. Don’t do it! Use a Username of cY5n#I#oGtxW1G! and a password of In0D0#jJQmewfbS. If you do that, you will be so much more secure than many other folks with websites! Of course, it should go without saying that your username should be different than your password! Do not make them the same!
2. Different is Good! In Fact, it is VERY Good!
When I start to work with folks, I need their account info – I ask for their hosting account as well as their WordPress account. I CRINGE when they are both the same! Please NEVER, EVER use the same username and password or multiple accounts. If a hacker gets your credentials for one account, they can try it on multiple accounts that you have.
3. Backup Early And Often!
There is nothing better than having insurance. It is the kind of thing you don’t want until it is too late! The same hold true for backups! No one really makes backups until they need it – but then it is too late! Make it a practice to make back ups of your site – not only of your database, but also of all your files! This is important in case you need to restore your site because:
- You mess something up making a change and you cannot log into your site any more;
- When you update a plugin, it conflicts with another plugin and you cannot get into your site;
- Your hosting account crashes and your hosting site’s backup is 2 weeks old!
- You do get hacked and you need to restore it from a safe point!
Having a back up of your site is ONLY a good thing. You can never go wrong by having a back up – like I said, it is like insurance – no one wants it until it is too late. Make it a habit to have a back up made of your site on a regular basis. Only good things can come from it!
There you have it – nothing new, nothing spectacular. BUT… If you follow these 3 simple things, you will certainly be in a safer place than the average person. Let me know if you have any questions!
Paul has learned how to teach all this “technical stuff” to non-techies! He is a master instructor at taking the obscure and complex and explaining it in a simple, fun, and educational way. Within the past 5 years, Paul has turned his attention to teaching website development to folks looking to take control of their website. Your stress levels will melt away after working with Paul as you take control of your website and turn it into a profit machine. Visit http://INeedHelpWithWordPress.com for more information.
Faiz Muhammad says
Securing our wordpress site is very need of today.
thanks for sharing this post , I will follow these steps to secure my site from being hacked.
Paul B. Taubman, II says
Great job – just doing these 3 little things will make your site more secure. Keep in mind, it is just a starting point!
Congrats on taking this first step!
Terry Loving says
Geez. I host many client WP accounts and tonight my hosting service was under attack! As I cleaned up one, another was being hacked. What is with that? And then I went back to check to make sure I’d gotten them all and one had been hacked again? !! Don’t these guys have a better way to spend their time?( Funny but I do not imagine a female on the other end of the vandalism and the images they leave are usually male. All of my accounts had recently been updated to the new WP version. I have security plugins on most and have taken precautions.
OK – I am going to bed and will check again in the am. Perhaps it is time to move to a more secure hosting service…. This is such a waste of time. So far I do not see malicious links etc. I will attempt a deeper security tomorrow. Thanks for the tips.
Regina Smola says
Sorry to hear the sites got attacked. Did you get them cleaned? FYI: If you have them all under the cpanel (for example: add-on domains) they all get hacked. It’s best to have separate cPanels for each site. I suggest you get at a minimum a reseller account with Hostgator so you can separate them. Check out this post to save 50% on HostGator.
Stuart M says
I made the mistake and got hacked I didn’t have backup ouch! Set up with admin so after that re-install and going in google and loading the info from my pages and posts. I was able to copy and paste it back. So I changed all the passwords and logins on 5 other sites that I had made . It was a nightmare thanks again !
Regina Smola says
Wow! Sounds like you had some work to do to recover. Good thing that Google had a cache to copy from. I’m glad to hear you got your site fixed.