5 Vital WordPress Security Facts

If it can happen to Target Corp. and the director of the CIA it can happen to you.

Hackers, it seems, are hiding everywhere. They’re in the shadows of the Internet, overseas in Russia and maybe even sitting in your local neighborhood coffee shop, sipping lattes and looking for vulnerabilities on websites far and wide.

Don’t let them get into yours.

Maximizing WordPress security is part art, part science and always important. Here’s a look at five vital WordPress security facts that just might help you make your site a lot more secure:

Fact One: Passwords are your first line of protection

One of the simplest and most effective ways to improve WordPress security is to improve your passwords. If you’re familiar with “newpassword1,” “newpassword2” and “newpassword3,” you’ve got a major problem.

Passwords are the first line of protection against people with nefarious intentions. Make sure your passwords are at least 10 characters long, include capital letters and special symbols–and change them often.

Fact Two: Updates are important

Yes, it gets annoying having to constantly install updates. Yes, it can be frightening to update your site and have to worry about breaking the theme. Yes, it’s easy to understand why some people think the seemingly constant barrage of WordPress updates is just a clever ploy to produce Google News search results. And yes, updates are important.

WordPress does not release updates just for fun or to make online headlines. The company releases them to fix bugs, improve website function and fix security issues. All are good reasons to make sure you make the most of them. If you don’t imagine how annoying it’s going to be to fix all the problems the hackers cause (which can include messing around with your theme).

Fact Three: Malware is malicious

This isn’t an earth-shaking fact; everyone knows that malware is malicious. But it is certainly worth repeating because it’s a good reminder that you need to constantly be monitoring your site for malware.

Work with a vendor that knows how to do deep dives into your file structure and doesn’t just focus on your site’s vulnerabilities. Keep a constant eye out for malware, and then when you find it make sure you do something about it. Monitoring for malware is the first in a two-step process. The second step is cleaning up the malware once you find it.

Fact Four: WordPress security is an ongoing effort

Your WordPress website is just like your kitchen–the cleaner it is, the better it’s going to be for everyone. When dishes are piled up in the kitchen it creates chaos and clutter, and it’s only a matter of time before something spills or breaks. The same is true for your WordPress website. The longer you let old themes and plugins that you are not using anymore sit around, the more susceptible your site is to security breaches. If you are serious about WordPress security, you’ll be serious about keeping your WordPress site squeaky clean.

Fact Five: WordPress security doesn’t have to be complicated

If the idea of focusing on WordPress security makes you uneasy, don’t worry because you are not alone. A lot of people who aren’t necessarily IT professionals are positively perplexed by website security. The good news is that protecting your WordPress website doesn’t have to be vexing.

All you need to do is stay vigilant, partner with the right professionals and make sure you pay attention to the five facts listed here. If you do, your website should remain safe and secure from all the ne’er-do-wells hiding in the shadows of the Internet.

Dean Wolf