Actionable Tips to Keep Your Website Safe and Secure

Filed as Website Security on June 12, 2014 8:36 am

Your site is not that big that it would attract the attention of hackers, is it? That’s what some people think, and thus they don’t spend all that much time putting measures in place to ensure that their website is safe and secure.

website safe and secure

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But surely you’ve heard of that massive DDoS attack on almost 200,000 WordPress sites not so long ago? For all you know, you could have been one of the targets. These days, hackers don’t always target just the big sites. Every website is at risk.

Why is website security important?

IT expert Neeraj Tewari says it clearly: “Many people use their blog to communicate with friends or family, or for work purposes. If your blog is compromised, it puts those critical relationships at risk. Your blog or blog profile may contain important personal or identifying information. If your blog is vulnerable, so is this info.

Having established the importance of keeping your website safe and secure, here are some actionable tips to help you.

1. Use a secure password, and change it regularly.

website safe and secure

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This is a piece of advice that is as old as time, or well, as old as when security became an issue. To quote Neeraj Tewari: “Your password is your first line of defense. Make sure you use a strong password, and change it up every so often.

While it is easy to use a password that is easy to remember (your birthday, your children’s name, etc.), it really isn’t a good idea. If you are worried about remembering your passwords, why don’t you use a password manager software like LastPass? It not only keeps a record of all your passwords (if you prompt it to), but it also generates secure passwords anytime you need them. Trust me, LastPass has saved my life more times than I can count.

2. Update. Update. Update!

No matter what website builder or blogging platform you use, there will always be version updates. Technology evolves so quickly, that software providers also have to be on their toes to ensure that their product remains competitive with new features, not to mention security updates.

That’s why, with all his experience, Neeraj Tewari says, “It’s also important to update to the latest version of the blogging software you use. These have the latest security updates.”

With how user friendly platforms are these days, updating to the newest version is usually just a click of a button, so you don’t have to put it off.

3. Use plugins.

website safe and secure

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There are so many plugins to be found, many of which aim to tighten your website’s security. And when we talk about security, it’s not just some hacker out there wanting to gain access to your account. There’s also the issue of spam comments, which can be more than a pain in the bum. Check this article out for a good list of anti-spam plugins.

4. Keep a tight lid on user permissions and account information.

For certain platforms, of which WordPress is one, you have a lot of flexibility in terms of user permissions. You can have an admin account, which is basically the “God account” – it can do anything. You can set other user accounts with limited permissions so that sensitive information and settings cannot be messed with.

Also, if you have several users, make sure that they keep their account details to themselves AND do not give them admin access (or the admin account) unless absolutely necessary.

5. Go private.

Is there anything really private on the Internet? Well, if you’re working on a personal blog which is really only for your own purposes – and you do not need others to read it – then here’s some good advice from Neeraj Tewari:

If you’re not using your blog professionally, you should consider making it private. Your personal info is not necessarily what you want getting out there. Back up your work elsewhere just in case the worst happens. Only allow registered users to comment to cut down on spammers.

At the end of the day, hackers will try to get around security measures when and if they want to. That doesn’t mean you have to make it easier for them to get to your website, right? So, put these tips into action, and keep your website safe and secure.

Got any other tips? Share them in the comments.

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  1. By Joe Manna posted on June 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm
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    This is a good start for people to understand the basics of securing their websites. I recently wrote up an entire guide on how to approach security with WordPress. It’s intended for beginners, so I walk through all the ways to secure their WordPress sites.

    Check it out and feel free to mention it to readers in the future: http://blog.joemanna.com/guide-wordpress-security-tips/

    -Joe

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