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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 May 28, 2020

        18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

        18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

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

        If you’re not taking advantage of some 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. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

        Let’s dive straight into the list.

        1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

          If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

          RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

          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 that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

            This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

            3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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              This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

              Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

              4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

                Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

                Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                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 it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                  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 better optimize your time.

                    Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                    7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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

                      This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                      Available on iOS and Desktop

                      8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                        This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                        This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                        9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                          Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                          MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                          10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                            1Password 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. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                            Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                            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. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                              12. Focus@Will – 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% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                                Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                13. Alfred – 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. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                                  Available on desktop (macOS)

                                  14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                    Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                    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!

                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                    15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                      Trello 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. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                      16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                        Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                        17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

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

                                          Available on iOS and Android

                                          18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

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

                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. 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!

                                            More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                            Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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