I want to start by saying Merry Christmas to those of you who happen to celebrate Christmas. I decided to go ahead and schedule this post for those who will be online because I know there are those who do not celebrate Christmas who may still want to read my posts.
When you start a blog, security is the last thing on your mind. Trust me, I have been there. You think you will never have a large enough following to make your site appealing to hackers. Until one day you do, and the security of your blog is still in the back of your mind because you are busy with everything else related to running a blog. Then all of a sudden, your site is down, you can’t log in, and you realize you have been hacked!
If a large company can be hacked, which has happened many times this year, you can be hacked as well. If your blog is a major source of income for you, then you can lose out on a lot of money. That is why it is important to protect your blog from hackers before it is too late.
1. Keep your blogging software up to date
You know those updates that seem to pop up almost daily, well they are there to protect you. If you ignore those updates it can leave your blog vulnerable to hackers. Most bloggers use wordpress, meaning that it is the platform that most hackers will target. The developers take security seriously and are always on the lookout for holes in the system.
2. Don’t use “admin” as the username
The default username is usually admin, meaning that if a hacker wants to try to get into your blog, they don’t have to guess the username, just the password. Set the username to something that a hacker can’t guess. You can use an email, try to use one not advertised on your blog, a nickname, or anything else that you can remember that a hacker wouldn’t know.
3. Use a good password
You want a password that is hard to guess. You can use a password generator if you want, but make sure it is a strong password. It is good to use something that is not in the dictionary and includes special characters. For some tips on creating a good password, visit LifeHacker.
You also want to make sure you are not reusing the password. If someone ends up getting your password somehow and you use the same password for everything, all of your accounts are now at risk. It is hard to remember all of those passwords, so signing up for a password manager like LastPass can help. It will even generate strong passwords for you. You can store your passwords for free, but keep in mind that this system can still be hacked.
4. Use plugins to beef up security
There are plugins that are specifically designed to help increase the security of your blog. One plugin is LoginLockdown, which registers the IP address of failed login attempts and after a set number of failed attempts, blocks that IP address from logging in for a set number of minutes. Another plugin is WP Security Scan which scans your site and makes suggestions to you on how to improve your security. A quick search can show many other great security plugins to help protect your blog from hackers.
5. Backup your site often
This one won’t help you protect your blog from hackers, but it can make it easier if you do get hacked. Backing up your site ensures that once you have recovered from a hack you can revert back to the last time you backed up your site. Without backups, you can lose weeks, months, or even years worth of work. It only takes a few minutes to do, but it is well worth it. You can even set up for automatic backups so you don’t have to think about it.
6. Only log into your blog from a secure computer
I suggest only logging into your blog from your own personal computer and not a computer at a library. Logging into anything on a public computer can make it easier for a hacker to log into your site by looking in the computer’s internet history. Also make sure your computer has antivirus software installed and up to date to make sure you don’t accidentally download spyware.
7. Don’t allow guest registration
If you allow guest posts upload the posts yourself. If you allow guests to register on your site for any reason you are opening yourself up to an increased risk of being hacked.
There you have it, 7 simple tips to help you protect your blog from hackers. There is no way to have your blog 100% secure because if a hacker wants into your site they will do everything they can to get in, but taking these steps can help you better protect your blog from hackers.
When you started your blog did you think about security and how you could protect your blog from hackers? What do you do to protect your blog?