While many bloggers already use the WordPress platform as their content hub, quite a few bloggers who use the Blogger platform are making the shift over to the WP, probably because of the ease of use and flexibility, among other fabulous elements.
But…what a lot of people seem to leave behind is WordPress security…you know…the part that actually keeps your site safe from hackers, malware, spam and other threats out there…
It can be a pain to deal with if you become a victim, trust me I know. And as you run your business, you’ll want to keep your information as safe as possible.
But where do you begin?
Now, WordPress does have some security risks (nothing is perfect), most of these are fairly easy to fix as long as you know where to look. I’m going to give you some straight up tips about what to be aware of and how you can avoid the nonsense of bozos trying to get into your site, but overall, how to keep it secure.
Research Your Hosting Provider
First off… WordPress security isn’t all about WordPress itself. There could be some weaknesses or vulnerabilities in your hosting account, so make sure you research the security of your hosting provider thoroughly before choosing one.
Years ago, I was using what I thought was a decent hosting provider but had to pay hundreds of dollars just to fix my hacking issue. Your best bet is to look for hosting providers that have great customer service, are willing to discuss security concerns, and offer the most recent stable updates to server software.
Many bloggers are seeming to like Siteground for their hosting provider these days. I’ve used the host for some of my own clients and they love it too. Hosting is a big deal!
Check What’s on Your Computer Mama!
This is just another way for hackers to get into your information and do what they do best… steal. If you have malware on your system (or before it gets on your system), check into using an antivirus software such as Malwarebytes. You can get a free trial to start off and then it’s about 40 bucks for one year.
It will protect you from threats and infections that you can do without. Keep your passwords in a safe place and change them every so often just to be safe. Also, make sure your security software is up-to-date and that you do regular scans.
Keep Up With Your Updates
Many vulnerabilities exist in WordPress itself and the plugins that you install, but as long as no one finds them, you’re safe. The problem is, people do find them and when that happens you can be briefly vulnerable.
In the vast majority of cases, the developers of WordPress or the plugins will identify the flaws in their security very shortly after they come to light. They will then issue an update to fix them. This is why it’s so important that you update not only WordPress but also all of your plugins every time a new update is issued. If you don’t, then you might be leaving well-publicized flaws in your security for hackers to take advantage of!
Get Rid of Plugins You Don’t Need
Boy oh boy…
I use to be on plugin overload! You don’t need every plugin that’s out there to run your blog. Keep in mind that every plugin you install has some new potential security flaws that will leave you vulnerable to a number of possible attacks and can also slow down your site.
Read the reviews first.
Do your research on the quality of the plugins. Don’t use more than you need to. Trust the plugins you see most people already using.
Install and Set Up A Security Plugin
I’ve outlined some plugins that would be great to use and they aren’t complicated to set up either. I love simplicity so it makes all the sense in the world to just install and let it rock ‘n roll. You can read about them here.
Create a Strong Password
Yup…I ignored this and one day I went to create a post and saw that someone else had erased my post and put theirs in, with links to other sites and all. So, I learned my lesson with this one. It’s simple and easy to do, so please don’t be careless and ignore it.
If you have to, create a password so strong that you might have to write it down and keep it in a safe place because you won’t remember it. And make sure that you use a strong username coupled with it just to be on the safe side.
That about sums it up when it comes to WordPress security. If you are selling products or services directly on your site, you have the option of securing the site with an SSL certificate which will have your customers feeling safe to give you their credit card information. It really does the job with keeping all information on lock.
The lowest rates I’ve found so far for this is from Godaddy for about $60 for the year, for one site. If you check around and find more options, I’d love to know about it. And if you have any suggestions for WordPress security, I’d love to hear about that too!