6 Simple Tips for Maintaining the Security of Your Blog

Managing a blog requires a lot of time and energy, and while you’re keeping up with comments and writing new content it’s easy to put security on the back burner or out of mind entirely. This leaves many users of the popular blog platform, WordPress, vulnerable to attack from spammers and hackers. Here are 6 easy ways that you can protect your blog, most of which require minimal time, energy, and technical knowledge.

1. Regularly check your computer for viruses, malware and spyware

If you don’t maintain the security of your computer, nothing you do on it will remain secure either. Make sure you’re always running the latest versions of all software and regularly scan for viruses.

2. Always use the latest version of WordPress

This should be obvious from the previous tip, but it’s important enough to be worth reiterating: software gets updated for a reason. As hackers find vulnerabilities to exploit, software developers respond by releasing new versions without the security holes. As recently as last September, unsuspecting WordPress users who had failed to update were hit by a wave of malicious attacks. Those who had updated were not affected.

If you have trouble remembering to check for updates, WordPress now has a built-in automatic updates feature that makes it even easier to stay up to date. It’s as simple as clicking a button.

Also, make sure that the plug-ins you use are also up to date. Simply downloading the most recent version of WordPress does not automatically update plug-ins.

3. Report bugs

WordPress developers can’t fix security issues if they aren’t aware of them. Visit this section of the WordPress Codex for instructions on how to report bugs and other vulnerabilities that you become aware of:

http://codex.wordpress.org/Submitting_Bugs

4. Make sure your passwords are strong

This is a piece of advice that many users unfortunately choose to ignore. It can be tempting to create a simple, easy to remember password like your last name and date of birth, but these types of passwords are easy to crack. In addition, it’s also a good idea to change your password about every six months. Good passwords don’t contain common phrases, use both lower and uppercase letters, and include numbers.

If you have trouble remembering or creating passwords, 1Password is a great tool for both generating and securely saving passwords in your browser.

1Password for Mac: http://agilewebsolutions.com/products/1Password

1Password for Windows: http://agilewebsolutions.com/onepassword/win/downloading

5. Add a secret key to your WP-config file

This tip requires a bit more technical knowledge than the previous ones. The wp-config.php file stores the database information that WordPress needs to function. It basically contains the key to all of your blog content and user information, so any vulnerabilities in it are of major concern. Using a secret key will make it more secure. To create a key, go to https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/ and copy the code into this section of the file:

6. Keep track of your file permissions

A lot of WordPress accounts are hacked simply because the permissions to certain files and folders are left too open by the user. To learn what permissions are appropriate for your blog and how to change them, consult the WordPress Codex.

http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress#File_permissions.

This page provides even further explanation: http://codex.wordpress.org/Changing_File_Permissions

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. Some security measures require a higher degree of technical knowledge than others. If you would like to discover even more ways to improve the security of your blog, the WordPress Codex is an excellent resource.

You will find more tips and detailed instructions here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress.

As always, we wish you happy and safe blogging!

One Comment on "6 Simple Tips for Maintaining the Security of Your Blog"

  1. 120mm fan : October 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm ·

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