WordPress security is becoming increasingly important as WordPress has been steadily growing in popularity. More and more freelancers and organizations are taking to the web in an effort to become part of the blogging community. As hundreds of new bloggers take to the internet virtually every day it becomes important to understand the need for protecting your WordPress account from the inevitable attack or hacking attempt. For anyone who believes that they are not significant enough to be targeted, it is important to understand that most hacking attempts are automated attempts seeking open doors. As a responsible blogger on WordPress there are a few essential steps that you should take to ensure that you are hack resistant and protected from unnecessary heartburn.
Must Have – Strong Password Selection
Picking a password that is strong is essential to protect a WordPress or any other account from hacking. A strong password consists of several features and all of these should be included to ensure maximum WordPress security. These are:
Upper case letters
Lower case letters
Numerals or Numbers
Special Characters (are found above the numbers on a standard keyboard and can be accessed by pressing “shift+character”).
In order to pick a strong password there are certain things that a user should avoid doing, like picking their name or a string of characters that are sequential or repetitive. Examples of these are 12345 and abcde, or 11111 and ghghghgh.
Must Have – A Change of User Name
Using of the default user name “admin” is the surest way to allow anyone access to the account. As of version 3.0 WordPress offers all its users the ability to change this login to a user name of your choice. Picking a username that you will remember and associating it with your WordPress security is an important step in protecting your WordPress account, simply because anyone attempting a preliminary hack will first attempt to gain administrative access by using the default login. Changing this is simple, and should be done at the first login or at the first available opportunity.
Should Have an Updated Software Platform
WordPress is constantly working on better programming, including better security options. It is not advisable to be behind the times, and frequent updates are recommended to continue to take advantage of the latest upgrades which often include enhancements to the WordPress security platforms. Plugin’s and themes are also upgraded on a frequent basis, and because this is an easy way to stay up to date, it is highly recommended that all users run the most current versions.
Nice to have – Login Lock Down
There is an excellent add on available for additional WordPress Security is called Login Lock Down which is for use with WordPress. Login Lock Down allows the computer to monitor the IP addresses and time stamp the attempt, when an unsuccessful attempt is made to log into your WordPress account. After three unsuccessful attempts the software will lock the account down for sixty minutes. This timeframe can be modified through the administrator options panel. An administrator can also release the login lock down earlier than the mandatory sixty minutes.
There are many tutorials and far more complicated ways to protect a WordPress account. Starting with the basics and some of the “nice to have” tools are a good way to ensure WordPress security for beginners. As your site grows however, you should consider some of the more complex ways in which to keep your WordPress security at optimal.