If you blog for any amount of time you will have to deal with your blog being hacked. I’ve had my blogs hacked and let me tell you – it’s not fun to deal with. Luckily I found a service called Sucuri that fixed everything and currently monitors my websites.
I am not an expert in web security by any means and it happens to even the best bloggers and the biggest websites. So completely preventing it from ever happening is quite hard to do. I am however, pretty paranoid about having my blog hacked and losing it, so I now back up my blog often and try to keep on top of things that could lead to it being hacked. Here are a few tips that can help prevent it from happening:
Blog Security Tips
- Make your password strong. Generally your password is your first line of defense. If it is your name or something easy to guess then you won’t be putting up much of a fight against the attack. Choosing an obvious password is like setting yourself up to be hacked. In fact, choosing any dictionary word without anything else won’t take long to crack. You want a password that won’t be easy. Make sure you use a complicated password that includes upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Protect your password login. Even after making sure you have a strong password you might want to consider an extra step of security surrounding your login password. You can use a WordPress plugin like Login Lockdown or AskApache Password Protect. These types of plugins will protect your blog from hack attempts that are automated or from beginner hackers.
- Keep up to date with everything. When WordPress software is updated, you need to update WordPress. The same goes for all of your plugins. You want to be using the most up to date blog software. Every time an update is issued an alert will show up at the top of your Dashboard when you login to WordPress. Plugin updates will be displayed under the plugin on the Plugins page. You will have the option to upgrade automatically without ever logging out of WordPress. They issue updates often for many reasons and one of which is security. Continuing to use the older versions makes your blog vulnerable. Also make sure you are using the most up to date software on your computer, including internet security programs. Basically – keep everything updated to keep your security as up to date as possible.
- Pay attention to unused blogs. If you have started multiple blogs but stopped updating one or more, still update the blog software and protect those old blogs. They are another point of vulnerability for your main blog if they are not kept updated and protected. Even if you don’t plan on updating the blog, update the WordPress software and security measures on unused blogs.
- Backup your blog! This is in case it does happen. This is for WHEN it happens. If you blog long enough it is probably inevitable that your blog will get hacked or have an attempted hacking. If you’ve take the above measures you will have prevented most problems but no blog is completely safe. If you have regular (daily or at least weekly) backups of your blog then restoring it when you do get hacked won’t be as terrible. It will be a pain, of course, but you won’t worry about losing anything. I recommend sending a backup to your email address (you can even setup a special gmail account just for your backups if you don’t want them in your inbox) because it will be easier in case your whole hosting account is hacked. Also note that if you use a plugin to backup your blog you might also want to occasionally download a backup of all the files that are on your hosting account. Your web host probably does this automatically every once in a while but it might not be often enough and you might want to do it yourself as an additional backup. I use and recommend VaultPress for this.
- Use Sucuri. It is a paid service but it’s what I use and it’s saved me countless times when my blogs were hacked and losing traffic because of malicious files on my servers. I highly recommend Sucuri for malware removal and for fast response and excellent work keeping your blog secure.
Hopefully you will never get hacked but beware that it is a possibility and something that does happen.