WordPress faces many hacking attempts. On average 7 out of 10 bloggers either experience malware infection or some form of hacking. So, how can you protect your site from spam, hacking and malware?
Max Bell, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, says that at the most basic level, there is no much difference between malware infection and hacking. Ordinarily, hackers will not target your site unless there are some personal differences between you and cyber criminals or you have a very popular website. After all, any hacker can engage DDOS and botnets to bring down your site within a minute.
Naturally, blogs hosted on shared hosting are especially vulnerable to hacking attacks, and there are few webmasters that can do something against such attacks. By now, you are probably sitting on the edge of your seat and checking your site every few minutes to make sure that it is not hacked or infected with malware. Relax, your site will rarely get hacked or infected unless it has certain vulnerabilities.
Now that you know hackers target sites with certain vulnerabilities, what are these weaknesses? To begin with, many bloggers and webmasters use shared hosting as they start out. While shared hosting is a less expensive arrangement, it has the potential of attracting spammers and hackers.
Since there are many blogs owners on shared hosting using the same server as your site, there is always a possibility that some of them are novices. This means that a couple of these newbies might have a weak password, their computer may harbor a Trojan or have not protected their site against hacking. In such circumstances, a hacker just needs to access the server via the vulnerable site, install a virus which quickly spreads to all the sites and blogs hosted on the server.
On the other hand, if you are a marketer or blogger, there is a possibility that you hang out in some online forums. What you may not know is that some of these sites are infected but do not know they are spreading malware to their users or are built by ill-intentioned people.
Ordinarily, hackers do not target your site unless you have some unfinished business with them. However, cyber criminals are always scanning for weak sites to compromise. Once they identify blogs that are vulnerable, they infect their servers with malware, which spreads to other sites hosted on that server. Unlike .htaccess mod hack which is easily eliminated by modifying specific codes and files, malware is harder to get rid of since it can corrupt your themes, scripts, and database.
So, how can you protect your site from malware?
If your site is infected, there is a possibility that your password was compromised. To rectify the issue, go to your cPanel and change your password. To make sure your password is hard to compromise, use numbers, special characters, lowercase and uppercase letters.
Once you have modified your password, consider changing your login password too. Just like in cPanel, use characters that are hard to guess.
Backing up your site is one of the critical ways of preventing loss of content when a site gets compromised. For a full backup, consider getting Backup Buddy, a handy plugin for WordPress blogs.
Install security plugins
Apart from backing up your blog, consider installing security plugins. These include:
- WP Security Scanner
WP Security Scanner is a light security scanner designed by a Website Defender. The plugin allows you to change the database table to something hard to guess.
- Better WP Security
The plugin takes WordPress security features and techniques and presents them as a single plugin. Better WP has most of the features required by bloggers and should be the first port of call for bloggers.