How websites get hacked: 3 things you can do to protect your WordPress Website

Website hacking is big business and it doesn’t discriminate. Whether you are a multi-national company, a sole trader or even a Government, your website is open to being targeted by hackers. Their main aim is to render your website inactive sometimes for payment of money to release it and sometimes purely for the sake of doing it. Either way, it doesn’t end in your favour.

When it comes to keeping your WordPress website out of the hands of hackers, there are a number of ways to ensure your site stays safe. Below are three ways you can increase your website security:

1.    Update Themes and Plugins

The beauty of WordPress is the flexibility to change themes and add/delete plugins whenever needed to give you greater functionality. Unfortunately, themes and plugins are also perfect ways for hackers to infiltrate websites when they are not being updated regularly. The developers of the themes and plugins regularly update the software and issue updates to ensure they are one step ahead of hackers. If you are not following this through with regularly updating them in your WordPress dashboard, then you are leaving your site open to hacking. WordPress even gives you the alert at the top of your dashboard when there are updates available. Please act on the alerts to keep your site safe.

2.    Add an SSL Certificate

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard technology that establishes an encrypted connection between your site hosting and your clients’ computers. The encrypted connection makes sure that all the data passed between host and client remain private and can only be viewed by decrypting the code.

SSL is mainly used by websites with e-commerce functionality to protect their online transactions with their customers, however, they are now a must to rank better with Google. If you have ever noticed in the address bar that a website is using https:// in the address, that means you were linked via a secure connection using SSL.

3.    Security plugins

There are many security plugins to choose from that can raise your level of security on your website.  Security plugins such as Wordfence are crucial to blocking hacking attempts and anyone that has used Wordfence knows how often you get a report saying someone has been blocked from logging into your site. The attempts can be random or can be repeated time after time. Security plugins will stop the hackers after a certain number of attempts at trying to guess your login details (all the more reason your login details should never be admin or your name as they are easy to guess).

Any one of the above steps will assist in keeping your site safe from hacking, however, using them all together will give you the best form of defence against those whose sole purpose is to extort money from business owners.

If you need help updating and maintaining your WordPress website, contact me for assistance.

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