Over the past few months we have seen a noticeable increase in customers websites getting hacked. Most often this can be attributed to not keeping the site up to date and weak user passwords. It is absolutely essential to keep your website updated; you should never go more than three months without updating. Combined with a trusted WordPress hosting environment, this periodic scrutiny will ensure you are protected from the latest threats.
Types of Attacks
Hacks can show up in a variety of different ways. One victim that we recently helped discovered they had been hacked when a Google search result showed that they were now “selling” Viagra and a plethora of other prescription drugs. This was caused because many plugins, as well as the WordPress framework, were not kept up-to-date. The website was also susceptible to attack due to the fact it was not hosted on a secure WordPress-centric hosting platform. This hack was very extensive and it took many hours to fully recover the website. Even worse, it’s still recovering from the damage inflicted on its SEO.
The second type of attack we’ve been seeing all too frequently is of the extremist type. The FBI recently released a warning regarding ISIS and other extremist groups targeting CMS based websites. We’ve even seen a school hacked by an extremist group so their homepage displayed some not so nice images and inappropriate text for all the world to see (uh oh!). This was caused simply by weak user passwords.
Protecting your website begins by keeping all your plugins as well as your WordPress version up-to-date. Developers are always working to plug holes and patch vulnerabilities in their code; this is why WordPress updates are so important. Updating is usually a fairly straightforward and painless process but occasionally there can be hiccups, such as update failure, compatibility issues or possibly a site stuck in maintenance mode. It is also very important to ensure you have a backup before and after updating your website.
Always use strong Passwords
Another key component to keeping your site secure is strong passwords. We recommend that your passwords are at least 10 characters in length and contain two capital letters, two numbers, and two symbols (!@#$%&*). This will make it much more difficult for someone or some machine to guess your password.
We can help!
If you would like Crux Creative’s help in keeping your WordPress website updated, please feel free to give us a call or email at any time. We can update your site on an as-needed basis or you can sign up for one of our ongoing support plans. These monthly support plans include backups and additional measures to ensure your site is as safe from attack as possible. Given the difficulties even a minor hacking incident can cause, we recommend that you consider monthly support as part of the cost of doing business. To make it even more attractive to you, we’ll discount your hosting costs.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us. As always, we’ll be more than happy to help.