Simple Tips For Keeping Your Website Secure
It doesn’t matter if you’re only running a small, personal blog or you’ve got a high turnover e-commerce website; having your site hacked can be an extremely stressful and frustrating experience (particularly if your main source of income is your website). Having your site hacked can in some cases only be a mild inconvenience if you know how to sort it out, but at its worst it can cost you search engine rankings, customers and brand trust, seriously affecting your business.
So how can you help keep your website more secure? If you don’t have a technical team you can rely on, then it can be really tough to highlight and fix vulnerabilities in your site, and even tougher to recover once you’ve been hacked. However, there are some simple steps you can take to help keep your website secure, particularly if your site is based on the WordPress content management system. So to help you avoid the hackers in the future, here’s a handful of simple tips for keeping your website secure:
1. Keep Your CMS & Your Plugins Up To Date
When you see a new update available for WordPress or one of your plugins, be sure to hit update. These updates often close security loopholes or offer increased security against newly discovered vulnerabilities – running an out of date version of a CMS or not updating plugins is one of the most common ways for a website to get hacked, so be sure you’re always running the most recent versions wherever possible.
2. Don’t Install Plugins From Third Party Sites
When you install a plugin to your website, make sure you’re only installing via the official CMS platform (such as the WordPress Plugins site), as installing a plugin via a third-party website can often result in your website being open to hackers or containing malicious code (which can cause you to get deindexed from search engines in severe cases).
3. Use A Security Monitor Service
There are numerous security monitor services available, which will regularly check your website for vulnerabilities, malicious code and hacked websites. In many cases they won’t just scan and check your website, but they will fix any problems they find for you. Securi and StopTheHackers are both excellent choices, although there are many more available if neither of those appeal to you.
4. Install Anti-Spam and Security Plugins
There are numerous excellent plugins available for helping to keep your site free of spam and tougher to hack – spend some time looking through the WordPress Plugin directory and you’ll find a host of excellent options.
5. Always Keep Backups
If you know your site is clean, make sure you take a complete backup of the website. This way, if your site is compromised, you can remove all the files and reinstall a clean backup, making recovering far easier – just be sure to try and get the vulnerability fixed once you know your website is clean again.
6. Keep Up To Date Of Common Hacker Techniques & Exploited Vulnerabilities
With a bit of reading and research you can find the most common website vulnerabilities exploited by hackers, which will not only allow you to be more proactive in keeping your site secure, but will give you a headstart if your site does get hacked and you need to figure out how to close the vulnerability.