Incredibly, 32% of companies fell victim to cyber crime in 2016. And 87% of CIOs believe that their security controls fail to protect their business.
When you have marketed your business effectively, you can enjoy many benefits such as brand awareness, high SERP visibility and abundant traffic.
Unfortunately, the more you grow your online presence, the more you are a target for cyber criminals, hackers and other disreputable individuals.
2017 was the year when many high profile cyber-security disaster hit the news. In this current climate of fear, it makes sense that you may feel inclined to return to your marketing due to the risk of attracting unwanted attention.
Alternatively, you can learn about the potential risks that await you and do your best to protect yourself moving forward.
Here are some of my suggestions to execute your marketing strategy safely and securely.
WordPress is a platform that is synonymous with commercial blogging, and to see why it is obvious.
Unfortunately, WordPress is not impenetrable and has been hacked in the past. In fact, statistics show that 73.2% of the world’s most popular WordPress installations have vulnerabilities that can be found using software.
For this reason, most hackers deploy automated bots to find websites with vulnerabilities.
Once hacked, your WordPress site can be used to redirect visitors to other sites that provide revenue for hackers, or to infect your visitors’ hard-drives and steal valuable information Viruses can be deployed.
Ransomware is highly annoying and is often transmitted through hacked sites. This type of virus will encrypt all your files and then force you to pay before decrypting them.
Use these tips to keep your WordPress site safe.
Keep everything updated
If you are running an older version of WordPress, the list of vulnerabilities is already public knowledge. Hackers can use this information to find easy targets, so don’t let your site be one of them.
Fortunately, since WordPress 3.7 updates are added automatically, this risk is minimized.
Likewise, all your plugins and themes should be updated regularly, as they can provide a gateway to your personal information if you are not careful. For this reason, you should not only disable, but also remove plugins and themes that you are no longer using.
Check out this useful article to keep WordPress updated.
As a final preventive measure, the following piece of code will remove the WordPress version number from the head of your site – so hackers can’t detect if you’re using a dated version:
remove_action (_ wp_head ‘, _ wp_generator’);
Use complex password
When generating a WordPress (or any) password, I prefer to use the CLU formula. CLU is complex, long and unique.
A 2015 study included some of the worst common passwords: “qwerty,” “123456,” “baseball, and” dragon. “Was probably due to the popularity of a certain television series over the years.
Do not explain anything like this. Use a combination of cases, letters, numbers, and special characters when choosing a password.
You may have heard of brute force attacks – they are extremely common in cyber crime. Using automated software, hackers can roll through countless password combinations until they crack the code.
To prevent this, it is good to ensure that an actual person takes an additional authentication step to log in to your site instead of a malicious program.
A common form of two-step authentication requires a standard password and then a mobile number is requested to send an additional code that the user must type to log into their account.
I highly recommend installing Google Authenticator to keep your WordPress site safe.
As an additional preventive measure, try to establish login lockdown. This useful plugin allows you to limit the amount of login attempts from a specific IP address within a certain time – ensuring that your logins come from real people rather than software.