Given the recent news cycle, internet users may be bracing for breaches to their social media or email accounts. But it’s important to also be aware of potential threats to any websites that you host.
Hackers can target websites in efforts to glean sensitive information or host unauthorized content at a domain. If you aren’t taking that risk seriously, you may be leaving your website vulnerable.
A variety of content management systems (CMS) are available to host your personal website. Popular ones that have emerged include Wix and Squarespace. WordPress has also gained popularity as a reputable and secure option.
For those of you hosting sites on WordPress, there are some steps you can take to bolster your security. Check out some of our tips for doing so in the guide below.
Use A Unique Password
You’ll find this on the majority of our security guides for a reason. The first step to securing any online account is using a completely unique password that you’ve never used for a site before and won’t repeat again. If hackers obtain the password for one of your sites, all your accounts that use the same one could be compromised. Try a never-before-used password with a combination of cases, numbers and symbols. Some recommend using a minimum of 12 characters.
Use Two-Step Verification
WordPress also gives you the option for a second layer of login security, which you should absolutely take. This comes in the form of two-step verification, which adds an extra step to the login process. After you enter your password, you’ll be sent an SMS code you must enter before gaining full access to your site.
To enable this, click your profile icon in the top right hand corner. Then choose the Security tab on the left. Click two-step authentication in the horizontal list of options. Then click “Get Started.” Follow the prompted instructions.
Don’t Link To Social Sites
At some point in time, you may have enabled the WordPress feature that allows you to connect your website to other social media platforms for a faster login experience. For the safest security practices, it’s best to sever those ties. Valuable information is attached to each of your online platforms. Keeping them separate can at least make it more likely that security issues with one don’t end up affecting other accounts as well. To adjust these settings, click your profile icon again and head to the Security tab. Click “Social Login” and adjust any needed settings.
Be Wary Of App Connections
Similarly, you may have connected other third-party applications to your WordPress. To change those settings as well, click over in the same security tab to “Connected Apps” and adjust.
Adjust Privacy Settings
Aside from the threat of hacking, security comes up in the context of WordPress with site availability settings. In short, you have the option to make your site visible to everyone and show up in search engines, make it visible to everyone but not have it indexed by search engines, or make it private. If you want to make it harder to find your site, you can adjust those preferences by heading to your site and choosing the “Settings” tab on the left. Scroll down to the privacy section where you can choose to make your site Public, Hidden or Private.
Change Link Notification Defaults
Your default WordPress settings will “attempt to notify any blogs linked to” from your articles. If you’d prefer to increase privacy and not allow for these notifications, you can adjust your options. Head to Settings and then click the Discussion tab. You’ll see available choices in the “Default Article Settings” section.
Explore Deletion Options
If your site at some point begins to carry too much security risk, WordPress gives you two different kind of deletion options to consider. You can choose to delete your content, but maintain your web address and theme, or you can choose to permanently delete the account. To look into those settings, head to Settings, click the General tab and scroll down to Site Tools.