WordPress provides a simple and convenient way to keep your own website updated without knowing any fancy computer coding or advanced technical knowledge. It’s no wonder that almost 16 percent (or roughly 70 million) of published websites use WordPress. But with the ease of being able to log in to your website from any internet-connected computer or device comes a few extra security risks.
Because WordPress is commonly used, some hackers specifically target websites that use it. They often do it for fun because they can. However, with a few commonsense techniques, you can give your WordPress website a little extra protection.
Use strong passwords
It goes without saying that weak passwords can compromise any computer system, and WordPress is no exception. It’s not just that commonly used passwords are easily guessed. Hackers often use their own computer programs that randomly generate passwords at lightning-fast speeds, hoping that one will break into your account. With each extra character you add to your password, you exponentially make it less likely your account can be breached with someone guessing your password. Mixing capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols also greatly add to the protection.
While this technique can help protect your WordPress website, it is smart to apply it to all your passwords across the board.
Make regular backups
Think of it as insurance just in case something does go wrong. Not everyone does it, but everyone should. Your website should have its files and database backed up regularly. If you are hacked, and the hacker takes over your website, deletes all your content, or corrupts your files, these backups can be reinstalled to make your website as good as new. Without them, you may have to start from scratch.
Most web hosts do not make regular backups for you. It is usually your responsibility. You can talk to your web host to see if you can purchase a backup service, or your web developer may be able to set something up for you.
Update your software
One of the advantages in using WordPress is how easy they make software updates. If the WordPress team discovers a security hole, they patch it and release an update. Most WordPress websites are then able to apply the update with one click. Other updates include new features that add functionality to your website.
Making sure that your WordPress software and all the plugins you use are running on the latest versions can help provide extra security to your website. However, there are some rare instances where an update could unintentionally alter something on your website. If that’s the case, apply your latest backup to return your website to its former condition, and contact a web developer to help you get your site up to par.
Keep your computer safe
Your online accounts, whether WordPress, your bank, or your email, are only as safe as the computer or device you use. If your computer or device has malware, spyware, or some kind of keylogger, you are putting everything you access at risk. Your usernames and passwords for each of your accounts could be recorded and, therefore, compromised.
Make sure you use your computer safely. Keep your antivirus software updated, and use a firewall to help prevent intrusions on your network. To be on the safe side, you probably want to access WordPress only on a secure network, not in open wifi spots.
With these commonsense tools, you can help protect your WordPress website from unwanted hackers and other intrusions and run your website happily for years to come!