"This page is temporarily unavailable". These dreaded words were back! This was the fourth time my site has gone down and I was mad.
But it was mostly my fault.
I thought all I needed to do when I got my first self-hosted blog was to write the content and leave it up.
Wordpress is one of the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in the world. It's easy to use, powerful and free. But as a result, it's a favourite target for hackers.
Due to my lazybones attitude towards website/wordpress maintenance, this site was down for nearly four days thanks to a malware infection (hah, I didn't even know that could happen!). After deleting hundred over files, an upgrade and much wrangling with my host's support team, it is finally back.
You don't realise how important Wordpress security is until you lose it.
Don't go through what I did. Here are 7 things you can do to make your Wordpress site more secure:
1. Update, update, update, update!
And I'm not just talking about Wordpress. This includes plugins and themes - even those you do not use! Because old versions often have security holes that hackers and malwares can slip through.
2. Make sure your hosting package has security features
Mine didn't, and I wasn't aware of that. If a package comes with functions such as Sitelock, it scans your site for threats regularly and some may even fix it for you automatically. Don't do without this feature. If a hosting package doesn't have it, look elsewhere. Trust me, you'll regret it if you don't!
3. Don't open suspicious e-mails and avoid unsafe websites
They can hop over to your website.
4. Use strong passwords
Use alphanumeric passwords, preferably with unique characters such as $,! or *. Don't use obvious passwords like your name or birthday. Here is Norton's useful password generator.
5. Don't use admin as your log in
Wordpress generates this for you. Hackers aim for that. Delete the admin user name and create one that is difficult to guess. No log ins that mirror your real name or the name you use on the blog. For example: byt76
6. Install Wordpress security plugins
7. Monitor, monitor, monitor!
Do this weekly. Daily if you must. You can put out the fire before it becomes an inferno. Oh yeah, and don't forget to back up!
Photo by Linder6589