Many of us think of our website as our lifeline to the outside world. The World Wide Web is how prospective patients and customers research where to do business next and our websites are what convinces them we are the ones to do business with.
Like the light switch in our offices or the phones our desks, we expect our websites to work whenever someone looks for us. Whether you spent $500 or $50,000 on a website, the last thing you want to find out is your website has been hacked and taken out.
Did you know that there are upwards of 7,500 attacks happening every minute of every day to take over websites and spread malware, viruses, bogus links, spam pages, porn, ransom ware and more bad things? Robot computers are out there pinging every website and computer they can find and yours could be next.
While it virtually impossible to totally protect your computers and your website from being hacked, by those who truly know what they are doing and how to do it (Anonymous), there are some steps you can take to make it much more difficult for the spam and hacker robots to gain access to your website.
First and foremost, keep a backup of your website, or make sure your webhost includes backups as part of your hosting. Should you be taken over, you will be glad you have those files.
Next, let’s examine what you can do if your website is a WordPress website. Keep in mind, WordPress now powers about 30% of all websites. WordPress is powerful, flexible, and pretty easy to navigate. Since it is so popular, it is also a target of hackers. Similar security measures can be taken for other popular CMS systems as well. Here are a few plugins you should add to your WordPress site to help protect it.
Wordfence. The Wordfence plugin can help prevent brute force password attacks. We usually set the program to lock out a URL after 3 or 4 bad user name and password attempts for several days. Wordfence can also scan for DNS changes and malware. The plug in is free and there is a premium version if you want more protection and automated protection. https://www.wordfence.com/
AntiMalware. This plugin helps clean infections once they have been detected. This is another free plugin. http://gotmls.net/
BackupBuddy from Ithemes is a paid plugin that will enable your website to be backed up automatically to their cloud server or as a zip file for you to download. The plugin will copy the design pages as well as the MySql database and PHP files. https://ithemes.com/purchase/backupbuddy/