wordpress security
May 29th, 2015
Jennifer Web Design Tags, , ,

Stay Calm and Change Your Password: Surviving the WordPress Security Rollercoaster

Cybersecurity headlines often make it seem like the digital sky is falling. Billion dollar corporations crumble under attacks from teenagers working in their basements. International cyberterrorists seem unstoppable as they loot credit card numbers and steal medical information. If giant companies with IT security teams can’t protect themselves, what hope is there for the little gal or guy?

For many small companies, cybersecurity anxiety reached a boiling point as news of multiple WordPress security vulnerabilities hit the headlines over the last month. As the platform that powers the vast majority of the small business internet, the security and stability of websites built on WordPress is of prime concern to business owners.

The good news is that making a few simple changes can protect your website and bring you relief from security threat anxiety. Let’s go over some simple steps large and small companies can do to keep WordPress websites more secure from threats.

Your Password Sucks, Change It Now

I know it’s like hearing your doctor tell you to exercise more or cut out fried food, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Do not allow any passwords on your website that are not long, complex, and unique. That means random numbers and letters with special characters. Do not use words as part of your password unless you know how to type in hieroglyphics. Having a strong password is not only simple to implement it is also one of the strongest protections against hacking. Stop reading this article and go change your password right now. Don’t worry, we will be waiting here until you get back…. All done? Great, let’s continue

Stop the Conversion, Kill the Comments

Once upon a time, the internet pioneers imagined a golden age where digital scholars would debate and answer the most challenging questions of life within the comments of a blog post. Now the only answer you will find is where to order Viagra online from Asian pharmacies. It’s ok to admit that no one comments on the pages of your website. It’s not ok to leave comments active. Comments are an unlocked back door through which hackers can insert malicious code. Unless you are using security plugins for protection, turn off blog comments and make sure they are turned off for every page.

Move On and Uninstall Old Plugins

Finding a new WordPress plugin is like starting a romance. A cute logo catches your eye. You have so much in common. You need to import spreadsheets, the plugin loves to import spreadsheets. You talk to your friends and read the online reviews and the plugin seems to be everything you are looking for in a partner. You nervously hit the download button, hoping you will be a match. Then the magic dies, your file formats just aren’t compatible. If your old plugins aren’t doing it for you anymore, you’ve got to ditch them. Unused and out-dated plugins are a giant neon sign for website invaders. Keep your plugins updated and clean out the old ones you are not using. You’ll feel better and be safer once you move on.

Learn to Love Updates and Security Plugins

You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to website security. The good people at WordPress and the thousands of dedicated plugin developers work tirelessly to update their systems to defend against the latest security issues. All you have to do is press the button and apply their hard work to your website. (Of course, make sure you have everything backed up before applying any updates. Backups save lives and websites.) Keep WordPress, your themes, and your plugins fully updated and you will protect your website from multiple threats. There are also several powerful security plugins that will defend your WordPress website and the keep the international invaders outside your borders.

There is no need for WordPress security issues to keep you awake at night. Follow these few simple tips to secure your website and you can rest easy. Have more questions about WordPress security? Contact Jennifer Web Design today and one of our online security experts will be happy to help you.