The way to Protect Your WordPress Website From Hackers

From the nightmare scenario.
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You go to your website learn a nasty message from a hacker boasting about hacking your site. And not more than that. As far as you can tell your content is gone and you can’t even find a way in order to log into your WordPress dashboard.

Might your business survive your website being turn off, even temporarily?

It Happens

That is exactly the situation that my friend associated with mine found herself in lately.

Fortunately we were able to help her out, rescue (most of) her files and get her back up plus running relatively quickly. But that isn’t always the case.

Turns out she might have done some things to better secure herself. Fortunately she learned the girl lesson well and she’s within much better shape today than the lady was before the attack.

Have You Really Been Hacked?

A lot of times people come to me saying, “My site’s already been hacked, ” when it really has not. With WordPress sometimes plugin clashes can cause issues that seem to the user like a hacker has messed with something. This is most common when upgrading to some new version of WordPress if a plugin hasn’t been made compatible with the new version yet.

While that can trigger your site to crash, it’s not caused by hackers.

Not only that, but most of the sites I’ve seen that have been hacked were unable just taken down by them. Most of the malicious hacks I’ve seen included injecting some code into the web site, usually with the end goal to redirect site traffic to some other website.

The Symptoms

Without going into the gory details, my friend’s case was a small different. Her site actually demonstrated an all white screen with an error message along the lines that a wordpress plugin conflict might produce and the hacker just wanted to crash her web site. Turns out he was into stealing something else.

When I did some maintenance I was able to get her site back up and running in fairly short order. In her words:

I have to add here, that it only got Chris 45 minutes to decipher and fix what was a rather sophisticated hack!
While I’d never promise to be able to recover a hacked site that will quickly, I do have a good track record recovering hacked WordPress sites.

Protecting Yourself

Here are some things you can do to minimize the probabilities you’ll end up getting hacked and increase the chances to fully recover quickly should your site crash (for whatever reason).

1 . Use Strong Passwords.

We honestly think this was my friend’s biggest mistake. Again in the girl words,

This is what got me — I just used numbers and words and the password was – well – kinda obvious.
Make your passwords not only hard to guess, yet make them more difficult for sophisticated cyber-terrorist to break as well. Randomly mix in special characters (found on the number secrets with the shift button) as well as figures and upper and lower case letters. Strong passwords make a huge difference.

Both Wp and cPanel will tell you how strong your password is. Stronger passwords offer better protection.

The trouble is, having strong passwords also makes it harder to type in. That’s why I use 1Password to manage my passwords on my Macs. I can use actually strong passwords and I don’t have to keep in mind them or type them within. 1Password will auto fill web forms for me. It’s the best of each worlds: good security & user-friendly.

2 . Keep Your WordPress Updated.

Probably the most common ways WordPress websites obtain hacked is because their owners no longer keep their software up to date. What happens is that older versions of WordPress can have known security weaknesses. These weaknesses are fixed by newer releases of the software.

But if you don’t need to update your software, you leave yourself exposed.

This also holds true along with plugins and themes. Besides, the particular newer versions of WordPress create keeping everything up to date remarkably simple. There’s not much of an excuse to help keep you from updating things.

several. Backup Regularly and Often.

A good back-up can cover for a ton of other issues by making it probable to revert back to how points were before your site crashed. With regards to WordPress you need to back up your

Database
Theme Files
Plugins
Media Uploads
There are several different plugins and providers to handle backups of your WordPress site.

But the point is backup earlier and backup often!

Bottom Line

I don’t believe any site is completely “hack proof. ” A determined hacker with enough resources can break into most anything. Just watch an episode of NCIS!

But if you need to do these three things you will decrease your risk of being hacked and make it much easier to recover if you do encounter a problem.