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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 November 19, 2019

        10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

        10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

        Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

        Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

        As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

        In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

        Projects and Tasks Management

        1. Monday dot com

          Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

          The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

          The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

          The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

          Check out the software here!

          2. Asana

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            The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

            The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

            Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

            Check out the software here!

            3. Trello

              Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

              Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

              Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

              Check out the software here!

              4. Jira

                The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                Check out the software here!

                5. Evernote Business

                  Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                  The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                  Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                  Check out the software here!

                  Communication

                  6. Slack

                    Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                    Check out the software here!

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                    7. Spike

                      Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                      Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                      Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Creation

                      8. Office 365

                        Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                        Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                        You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                        Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                        Check out the software here!

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                        9. Grammarly

                          Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                          Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                          Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                          Check out the software here!

                          Team Analytics

                          10. ActivTrak

                            ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                            The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                            Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                            Check out the software here!

                            The Bottom Line

                            Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                            More Productivity Tools

                            Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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