The virtual world is no stranger to criminal activity – and like homes and businesses, websites and blogs need to be armed and protected against theft, vandalism, and other types of mischievous crime. With no one watching, hackers have the benefit of time on their side – and before you know it, your website can fall victim to one of many cyber crimes difficult to clean up after and prosecute. Here are several things you can do to keep your blog safe from internet hackers.
Choose Impossible Passwords For Your Blog Admin Area
The first thing you need to do to protect your blog from hacking activity is to password protect your pages with passwords that are next to impossible for anyone to guess. Never assume that hackers aren’t privy to personal information. With identity theft crimes on the rise, it’s obvious that private information isn’t as private as we’d like.
Never select a password that contains words, names, or dates that are significant to you–a simple internet search can turn up all kinds of information that can give hackers clues and suggestions. Birth dates, anniversary dates, and family or pet names should all be avoided. Instead, use an alphanumeric password that has no rhyme or reason to it, memorize it, and share it with no one. If you need to password protect multiple pages, use a different password for each one.
Invest in Antivirus Software
Antivirus software might seem like just one more added expense, but when you think about what could happen without it–the benefits far outweigh the cost. Antivirus software is designed to protect your computer from a barrage of viruses, and this in turn can protect your website or blog. Hackers can send out all kinds of threats, and if you fall into one of their traps– keystrokes, passwords, and all kinds of personal information can be tracked and transferred in the blink of an eye. If your blog operates on a dedicated server, be sure your antivirus software program provides a secure firewall. Shared hosting services usually have their own firewalls in place to protect the multiple sites they host.
Update Your Computer Programs and WordPress Blog Regularly
Outdated programs and files on your computer are easier for hackers to crack, so it’s critical that you update them on a regular basis by downloading newer versions when they become available. If you’re storing old programs that originate from outside sources and you no longer need them, get rid of them.
Download and Install WordPress Plugins and Themes with Caution
Never download or install anything on your blog if there is any question about the original source. Web applications, widgets, plug-ins, videos, and even text can compromise the security of your website. If you can’t confirm where downloads are coming from, it’s best to avoid them and look elsewhere.
It’s also very easy to find free software programs available for download on the internet, and like web apps and widgets, they, too, may not come from safe sources. Hackers often try to lure in victims by dangling free download offers all over the net–and unfortunately many people fall for their tricks. Some of these free programs have been laced with bad code or viruses–once you download and use them, your blog comes under attack.
Keep Your Email Address Private
You don’t need to advertise your email address for customers or site visitors to be able to contact you. Replace your email address with a link that reads “email us” or “contact us.” It’s a simple way to reduce the amount of private information shared on a public website.
The web is crawling with hackers–and in today’s world virtual street smarts are just as important as real ones. Although there are many ways for hackers to penetrate the privacy of your blog, a few precautionary measures in place can greatly reduce your chances of becoming their next victim.