You may think to yourself, “Why would anybody want to hack my site? What is my website worth to them?” Well, believe it or not, the hacker’s mission isn’t to steal your data or deface your site.
Here are some of the main reasons hackers hack:
- To use your web server to share, or distribute illegal files
- Use your server as an email relay for spam
- To steal services, valuable files or your personal login credentials in order to access your accounts
- Personal reasons such as spying on friends, family, coworkers or for revenge
1. Update Your Password Every So Often
Strong passwords are crucial for the admin user. Without a strong password you are basically opening the door into your website for hackers. Using passwords such as “123456“, “qwerty“, “abc123” or “09876” are weak choices. Here’s a few tips you can take into consideration when creating your password.
- Use at least 1-2 numbers
- Use upper and lower case characters
- Use special characters such as !@#…
It will also help to have a plugin such as Limit Login Attempts. By default WordPress allows unlimited login attempts. This allows passwords to be cracked with relative ease. This plugin will limit the amount of attempts someone is able to try. Make sure you don’t forget your own password!
2. Back Up Your Site
Before doing any further changes, make sure your site is backed up, whether you do it yourself or your Web Designer manages it. Backing up your site is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent your website from getting completely wiped out. If your website did get hacked or something went wrong, there is a backup you can re-upload without losing any important data. You can do this manually using an FTP program or use an available plugin. If you are doing it yourself, I recommend Backup Buddy which backs up your entire wordpress blog and files.
3. Keep WordPress Updated
You should always make sure that your WordPress version is up to date. The WordPress team creates patches to help resolve security issues from the previous version. If you do not regularly update WP, hackers may find security holes from a previous version leaving your website more vulnerable for an attack. According to www.wpbeginner.com, 83% of WordPress sites that are hacked, are not upgraded.
4. Make Sure You Are With A Secure Hosting Company
Choosing a reliable hosting company is crucial because a good hosting company will be backed by a powerful data center, advanced technologies and quality hardware and software. Try not to look for the cheapest price/month when looking for a hosting company. It’s always worth paying a bit extra for the peace of mind you get from knowing your site is in safe hands.
Also, you may want to ensure your hosting company offers various security options. For example, if you have an eCommerce website it’s crucial get an SSL Certificate from your hosting provider. This is a simple and cost-effective way to protect the private information such as passwords and/or credit card numbers submitted to your website.
5. Use Security Plugins
On top of all the measures stated above, there are plenty of plugins you can use to increase your sites security and reduce the chances of being hacked.
Here are 3 of the top Security Plugins:
What happens if my website gets hacked?
There will be a slim chance your site will get hacked if you follow the advice above. Just in case, however, you do become a victim, you should immediately contact your web hosting company. The hacker has likely changed your passwords and maybe even the email addresses that are linked to the account. Your web hosting company will verify your identity and send you a new password.
When you’re able to access your site again with your new password, don’t stop there. Replace all of your existing passwords with stronger, quality passwords. If you followed step 2 and backed up your site can re-upload all of your existing content, and your website will be good as new.