Are you worried about hackers?
Nobody ever thinks it will happen to them. Until you wake up one morning and your site has been hacked. It can have a huge impact on your business, as well as your sense of security. Hackers can install viruses on your website and you might not even know. They can steal any information you have, including your subscriber’s email addresses, and they can redirect users to a site that you don’t want to be associated with.
Ultimately, getting your WordPress site hacked can injure your reputation and hurt your business.
Even if you just have a very basic blog, security should be important to you. And if you run a business, it should be vital to you to have a good security plan in place.
How can hackers break into your WordPress website?
The easiest way is if you use a weak password. You know, the password that you have that’s “password” or “123456”, or even the one that’s your birthdate.
Here are some password best practices:
- A combination of letters and numbers
- Contains a special symbol like $%!#
- Isn’t anything that means anything to you
- It also shouldn't be the same as any other password
The other simple way for hackers to get into your website is if you avoid doing updates. One time, I did a WordPress update and all of a sudden I lost my “add media” button. It took me forever to figure out that it was a problem with one of my plugins, so i was understandably nervous about running the next update - but I did it because it’s important for the security of my website to run all of the updates when they are available.
Here is a pretty comprehensive piece on how to setup a strong password from our friends at Cloudwards.
How can you protect yourself?
There are some good plugins that you can use for security. Wordfence is one of the best. It’s been downloaded over 22 million times and has a great rating.
Wordfence scans your WordPress website for vulnerabilities, and it alerts you if there is anything that looks out of place. It also locks users out after too many tries. This is great for the hackers that try to get in using brute force.
Back up your blog
It’s important to backup your website periodically. If you do get hacked, you can restore from a date before the hack and you should be able to be up and running right away. You may lose any posts from that backup date and the date of the hack, but at least you won’t have to reinstall a bunch of themes and plugins.
If you are having trouble, WP Website Help takes your website’s security very seriously. Contact us to see if we can help you before the hackers get to your website!
What can you do if you get hacked?
Need a professional?
If you need to get back up and running quickly, you can get a professional to do it for you. WordPress Website Help can help you in a few hours so you can get back to business. They can also help you to ensure that you don’t get hacked again with their monthly subscription service.
Fix it yourself
If you have a small blog that doesn’t make any money, or you are bootstrapping it, you can fix the problem yourself.
If you are going to fix it yourself, make sure you can get into your site. If the hackers changed all login information, contact your web host right away. We’ve found that Siteground has excellent support during these types of problems.
Restore from backup
If you are fortunate enough to have backed up your site, restore it from a day before the hackers got in. Then change your password.
Scan for Malware and Remove
Hackers often get in through the backdoors in unused themes and plugins so remove any that you aren’t currently using, Backdoor is a method of bypassing normal authentication and gaining the ability to remotely access the server while remaining undetected. Once you’ve removed the unused themes and plugins, run the security scan.
Sucuri WordPress Auditing is an excellent free plugin that will tell you where the files are that are have been uploaded by the hackers.
Theme Authenticity Checker is another free plugin. If it finds malicious code in any of your themes, it will let you know. You can then either remove the code or remove the theme and reinstall without the added malicious code.
If you have to reinstall your theme, you will lose any of your added code that you used to personalize your site. Remember to add that back in when you reinstall.
Check User Permissions
Check your settings to ensure that only trusted administrators have access to the files. If you see a suspicious user, delete them.
Change your Security Keys
WordPress generates a set of security keys that encrypts your passwords. If anyone steals your password, and they are still logged into the site, then they will remain logged in because their cookies are valid. Here is a great article about the WordPress security keys and how to install a new one.
Change your Passwords again
I know, you just changed your password, but do it again. Use a difficult one that nobody is going to figure out, or use software like Password Generator.
Unfortunately, getting hacked is one of the potential landmines that comes with running a website. It’s worth it to do a bit of work before you get hacked. If you just aren’t interested in worrying about it, we can do the work for you. Our monthly service plan covers all of your security needs.
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Patti @ The WP Website Help Team