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Help, I’ve Been Hacked! How To Secure Your WordPress Site Against Hackers

Help, I’ve Been Hacked! How To Secure Your WordPress Site Against Hackers

Of the top 1 million websites, WordPress has a 65% share of all Content Management Systems (CMS) being used. There are currently around 64 million WordPress blogs and websites in existence, making it an incredibly attractive target to hackers.

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    Just recently, [pullquote position=”right”]WordPress made headlines when it was the subject of a massive botnet hacking attempt, which managed to compromise 90,000 sites.[/pullquote] It did this with a brute force attack, trying to log in with the standard “admin” username and a list of thousands of potential passwords.

    I myself have been the target of WordPress attacks in the past, but by following these simple steps, I’ve managed to thwart off potential attackers since.

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    • The number one most important thing is to make sure your WordPress version, themes, and plugins are all updated to the latest version. These updates often include bug fixes and patches to secure against attacks. Updating all of these is easy! When you log into WordPress, the admin bar at the top of the screen will alert you if there are any updates available. Simply click on the update button and you can update everything to the latest version in just a few seconds!

    wordpress updates
      • It’s also important to delete any themes and plugins that you’re not using. Every theme and plugin is another potential way that hackers could get into your site. If you’re not using it, get rid of it!
      • Change your default username. The username “admin” should be one of the first things you change. In fact, if you’re doing a new WordPress installation, just choose a different username to begin with. This default username is how 90,000 WordPress blogs were hacked recently. Unfortunately, it’s all to easy to figure out if someone has changed the default username or not. If you want to see, just look at the screenshot below. If you try to log in with the username “admin” and the wrong password, WordPress actually comes back with an error saying, “The password you entered for the username admin is incorrect.” If that username doesn’t exist, WordPress returns a different error: “Invalid username.” I’m not sure why it announces to the whole world which usernames exist and which don’t, but changing from the default username is one of the best things you can do to improve the security of your WordPress installation.

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      wordpress admin login screen
        • You should also change the standard log-in URL from yoursite.com/wp-admin to something else. It amazes me how many BIG websites haven’t even made these simple changes! Give it a try on some of your favourite websites; you’ll be surprised how many haven’t even covered the basics when it comes to security.
        • Set a secure password – don’t use dictionary words. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. This is not unique to WordPress; you should be employing this practice on anything that requires a password, like internet banking or computer passwords.
        • Enable 2-step authentication on your WordPress site. This is pretty straightforward to do and is something you’ve probably seen if you use internet banking. An example is if you try to transfer money, it will send a unique code via SMS to your phone, which you have to enter in addition to your regular password.
        • Remove all default posts, comments, pages, etc. as these indicate that your site might be fairly new and make it a more attractive target.
        • Change the prefix on your database tables from the default “wp_” to something else. As with the default username, this is something you can actually set when first installing WordPress.
        • Hide your WordPress version number. This way, it won’t stand out to hackers if you’re not using the latest version.
        • Back Up! There are plenty of great backup plugins available, and many are free. If the worst happens and you are hacked, you’ll be back up and running in no time.

        Are you ready for some great news? You can implement most of the ideas above and MORE with the click of a button. How? Install the Better WP Security plugin. It even has some advanced features like blocking IP addresses that attempt to log in (incorrectly) too many times, and you can create a blacklist of IPs. I’m surprised how many e-mails I get alerting me that people are trying to either log into my site or trying to access a URL that doesn’t exist (usually the default log-in page at /wp-admin/). You can also use the IP tracer to see where the attempt originated from (most of mine seem to be from Russia or China).

        Do you have a great WordPress security tip? Leave it in the comments below!

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        And if you want to take WordPress to the next level, check out this article: Top WordPress Plugins for the Smart Blogger.

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        Last Updated on December 30, 2018

        18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

        18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

        No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

        If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

        But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

        Let’s dive straight into the list…

        1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

          If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

          Download Rescue Time

          2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

            If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

            Download Remember the Milk

            3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

              This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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              Download Focus Booster

              4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

                This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

                Download Toggl

                5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

                  There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

                  Download Dropbox

                  6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

                    Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

                    Download Evernote

                    7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                      Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                      Download Mind42

                      8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                        This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                        Download SnycBackFree

                        9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                          Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                          Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                          10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                            This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                            Download 1Password

                            11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                              When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                              Download Pocket

                              12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                                This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                                Download [email protected]

                                13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                                  This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                                  Download Launchy

                                  14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                                    This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                    Download Forest

                                    15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                      This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                      Download Trello

                                      16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                        Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                        Download Wunderlist

                                        17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                          This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                          Download Time Tree

                                          18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                            Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                            Download Todoist

                                            The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                            Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                            40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                            More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                            • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                            • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                            • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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