How to Improve Your Website Security

Websites are easy targets for hackers and adequate security is crucial in order to not only protect the site itself, but also any personal or business data.

Here are some practical tips to improve your website security:

Hosting

As a technical minded person, I can honestly say even I get confused and baffled by the world of hosting. But your hosting company is your first line of defense and how secure your site is depends on the type of hosting you have.

This of course is made harder by the huge choice of cheap hosting. However, the cheaper options more often than not mean you are sharing your space with tens, hundreds, if not thousands of other sites and, if one of them does something untoward (SPAM anyone) you’ll also be burdened with the consequences.

Not to mention the potential of being infected by a virus. So choose wisely.

Password

Password strength is something that is very often neglected, but is a vital first line of defense. A good method is to have several difficult passwords for different logins…

  • Bank
  • Blog
  • Email
  • Online Subscriptions

The ideal password should contain a mix of lowercase, uppercase, numbers and special characters, by doing this you can use names and numbers to create complex and memorable passwords. For example, a wife’s name and date of birth could be:

Helen1983

H3l3n_*_1983!

Here’s a link to check how secure your password is: https://howsecureismypassword.net/

Essential Plugin

There will always be attempts to break into your blog. If you have a WordPress blog there are several plugins to stop these attacks, the easiest of which is Login Lockdown. This simple plugin limits the amount of times someone can attempt to log into your blog before blocking them completely.

Updates

This is another simple yet all too often overlooked part of managing a blog. For those running a WordPress blog you will have seen the update plugin and update WordPress warnings. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not ignore them, these aren’t merely updates to some functionality issue or some additional feature; more often than not these updates contain security patches which if not updated will leave your blog open to attack! So please check your blog and keep it updated.

Security

How often have you gone for a coffee, logged into the free WIFI and typed away the username and password?! Did you know that someone could be snooping and picking up your passwords? My advice would be avoid public WIFI if you need to login to your site.

Further Measures

Please note that multiple plugins can and will slow down the speed of your site, so do take care when loading them on your site. However, as with your home PC, a firewall serves as a layer between your site and the outside world.

These plugins require a little more than a basic install and activation, but they are worth considering:

WP Simple Firewall:

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-simple-firewall/

This is a simple yet effective plugin. It is relatively new and the lack of a premium upgrade catch makes this one a good plugin to test and secure your site with. Note that if you do install this, you can uninstall Login Lockdown.

Dealing with SPAM…

Spam can slow your site down and fill your comments area with garbage! For this I would recommend one of two plugins:

1. Akismet

Built in wordpress plugin. Requires you to register a WordPress account.
https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/

2. Anti-Spam

Another simple and effective plugin that works really well at minimising spam.
http://wordpress.org/plugins/anti-spam/

Hopefully these tips will help you improve your website security.

Alex Street

Alex likes to write about anything related to technology, marketing and gadgets. He sometimes reviews the latest tech and also writes on other blogs.

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