Picture this… you’re immersed in your daily blogging life… photos, editing, writing, answering emails… (aka the endless to-do list that is the life of a full-time blogger) and BOOM… your site is down, inaccessible and basically gone. Whoops, in all of the daily to-do, you weren’t paying much attention to your security. Now what?
In terms of your website being hacked, it’s best to be preventative, rather than wait for it to happen and frantically look for a solution, thereby losing valuable time.
First and foremost, choose a secure user name and password. The best way to do this is to combine upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. The more complex , the tougher it is to hack. If you use a self-hosted WordPress make sure you change your generated “admin” user name to something more unique, since most hackers are aware of the automatic user name that WordPress provides.
If you have self-hosted WordPress, make sure to always download the latest version. Typically, these updates will fix any holes in security. Follow WordPress to stay current on their latest maintenance and development. You can also download a plugin called Login Lockdown, which will block logins after several failed attempts from the same IP range.
Take care when implementing third-party scripts and code, such as widgets, plugins, free templates and themes. You don’t know the people writing these codes, so why throw the future of your site to them on a whim? Mistakes happen and you don’t want to risk using an older plugin with holes any hacker can sneak into. A simple Google search on the code will educate you on the positives and negatives so you know which ones to download and which ones to stay away from.
Finally, you absolutely must–without a doubt–need to backup your database. If you use WordPress, you can use plugins to automatically backup your blog (such as BackupBuddy and blogVault), or you can also do it manually via your FTP. For Blogger blogs, simply go to Settings – Other – Blog Tools – Export Blog. This will put all of your posts and comments in XML format. Google gives you more information on this here.
What steps do you take to prevent your blog from being hacked?
This post has been reviewed by Chloé Watts, our in-house tech guru.
Have a question for Chloé? Use the ask chloédigital contact form.