Wordpress Security - The Risks and How Piranha can Help.

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WordPress Security Issues – Is Your Website Secure?

By piranha

9th June 2017

There has been a lot of chatter recently regarding cyber security. Attacks on large organisations like the NHS have been widely publicised, but as we don’t all run enormous systems like theirs, instead we wanted to take look at practical steps can you take to protect your own WordPress website!

An Unpleasant Truth

Web security has always been an issue and always will be as long as the internet exists. There are malevolent people and malicious software everywhere online, many of whom would attack your website given half the chance.

The NHS is not alone in its cyber security woes. In recent years, web giant Yahoo has suffered several security breaches. Some of these incidents are believed to have been the largest (publicly acknowledged, at least) hacks in the history of the online world.

Don’t assume that because your website may be small, you’ll be safe; malicious entities will leap at any chance to harvest potentially sensitive information.

What Kind of Attacks Are Out There?

Unfortunately, there are thousands of different ways that hackers can attack a website. It would be much simpler if there were only 1 or 2, but online security is far more complicated than that!

In the infamous NHS attack, Ransomware known as WannaCry was employed to encrypt user files. Once a user’s machine was infected, files like documents and pictures were rendered inaccessible while WannaCry demanded currency in the form of Bitcoin. At the same time, users were threatened that failure to pay would result in their files being destroyed.

Another attack involving Yahoo’s email servers saw millions of people’s sensitive data; phone numbers, email addresses etc. compromised. The ultimate goal of any hack is to make money or simply wreak havoc. Gaining sensitive data (like credit card details) is an easy way to do both at the same time.

What Can I Do About it?

There are several basic steps you can take to make your WordPress site more secure. Following these guidelines does not guarantee protection from attacks, but it will make the chances of serious breaches much less likely:

  • Use strong passwords and change them often.
  • Ensure your WordPress software (including all plug-ins) is updated to the latest version.
  • Install a security plug-in (we recommend WordFence).

Strong passwords are a given. You need to make sure yours will not be guessed. To help with passwords, you should consider using a free program called LastPass. This software can auto-generate random alphanumeric passwords which are very difficult to crack. It will even remember them for you! All you need to do is remember your LastPass credentials.

Yoast’s Michiel Heihmans also recommends in his recent blog post that everyone should avoid using the default username ‘Admin’ when creating their WordPress credentials. It might sound too simple, but having rock-solid login details should be of paramount importance to every web master.

Software should always be kept up-to-date to maximise its innate security. The longer a software version is out, the longer hackers have to identify potential weaknesses!

WordFence is an excellent plug-in which actively monitors your site without you having to lift a finger. Suspicious IP addresses will be blocked automatically and there are other advantages, too.

Professional WordPress Management from Piranha

If you either own a WordPress website or would like a new one built for your business, please consider enlisting the expert services available here at Piranha.

Our talented and experienced web developers work with WordPress every day, creating dynamic and secure websites. We offer a comprehensive digital marketing service from design through to build and maintenance. Each Piranha client website is monitored and protected against malicious attacks.

To make an enquiry, please call us on 01772 888331 or email us at becreative@piranha-solutions.com. We’d love to hear from you!

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