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How to Keep Your WordPress Blog or Website Secure

Critical Web Security Steps to Take Right Now

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If you use the self-hosted application from WordPress.org for your blog or website, then you're at risk of website security breaches from hackers and more. Most bloggers don't realize they could lose their entire blogs if they don't protect their blogs by performing backups and taking security precautions. Following are several ways you can keep your WordPress blog or website secure to get you started.

1. Use a Reliable Web Host

Your WordPress blog or website is only as secure as your web host makes it. If you're not using a reputable web host that has its own web security plans in place and regularly monitors for threats, then you need to find a new host. When a threat is detected, you want a web host that responds quickly. Using a dedicated server web host is the most secure choice, but it's also the most expensive. You can follow the links to learn more about types of web hosts, how to choose a web host, and popular blog hosts.

2. Always Update Your WordPress Installation, Plugins, and Themes

If a WordPress upgrade is released, click the button and upgrade your blog or website's WordPress installation as soon as possible. This is critical to ensuring your blog or website is secure. Also, upgrade plugins and themes when those updates are released and delete plugins and themes you're not using.

3. Use Strong Passwords and Change Them Often

Web security experts recommend never using the same password twice and always creating passwords that are at least 10 characters and include both letters and numbers. Furthermore, both uppercase and lowercase letters should be used in the password. However, creating a strong password for your WordPress dashboard is only the first step. You should also change your password frequently to increase your WordPress blog or website security. Learn more about creating strong passwords.

4. Limit and Protect Login Access for Users and Apps

How many people can log into your WordPress dashboard or FTP account and what privileges do they have once they log in? Delete users and reduce access privileges as needed and be careful who you give admin access to your site. Even the original admin account in your WordPress dashboard is a security vulnerability that hackers target. With that in mind, take the time to create a new account with admin privileges (be sure to give it a different name than "admin"), and delete the original admin account. When you delete that account, you'll have an option to attribute all posts, pages, images, and links from that admin account to a different account. Be sure to choose your new "admin" account for attribution so old content that was published under the original admin account isn't lost.

Not only should you limit the people who can access your WordPress dashboard but you should also limit the number of apps that can access it. What apps do you use to manage your blog, social media activities, mobile activities, and so on that can access your WordPress account? Stick with apps from trusted sources and delete apps you don't use anymore.

5. Backup Your WordPress Database

If a security attack does happen and your WordPress blog or website is compromised, the damage will be less severe if you've regularly backed up your site. The free WordPress database backup plugin, WP-DBManager is a great place to start. Within a couple of minutes you can set up automated backups of your WordPress database using the plugin. The WordPress database is where all of your blog's content is stored such as posts, pages, and comments. If your WordPress database is backed up, you can restore that content to the condition it was in at the time the most recent backup ran. Keep in mind, the WordPress database doesn't include your blog's images, theme customizations, plugins, and system files. To backup everything, you'll need to use a more comprehensive WordPress backup tool.
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