[This original article has been superseded by my more recent article, “Mastering WordPress Security: A Comprehensive Guide to Safeguarding Your Website“]
Hello, WordPress community! In the wake of good number of companies reporting data breaches this past year it’s become abundantly clear that cybersecurity is a concern that should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds – WordPress bloggers included.
Some of the data breaches reported in the first half of 2023
In May, Apria Healthcare, a US healthcare company, notified about 1.9 million customers that their personal data might have been exposed during a data breach that occurred in 2019 and 2021.
Also in May, car manufacturer Suzuki had to stop operations at an Indian plant due to a cyberattack, causing a production loss of over 20,000 vehicles.
PharMerica, a US Pharmaceutical giant, revealed that an unknown actor accessed its systems in March, extracting personal data of 5.8 million individuals.
In March, a bug in ChatGPT’s open-source library caused the chatbot to leak the personal data of customers, including some credit card information and the titles of some chats they initiated.
In February, Call of Duty makers Activision suffered a data breach, with sensitive employee data and content schedules exfiltrated from the company’s computer systems.
In January, T-Mobile suffered another data breach, affecting around 37 million customers. This was the company’s second data breach of the year, with the first one affecting 37 million customers.
And today, we’re going to delve deeper into these incidents and discuss what we, as WordPress users, can learn from them.
Firstly, these breaches serve as a stark reminder that no one is immune to cyberattacks – not even the largest tech companies with vast resources at their disposal. This means that we must be proactive in protecting our WordPress sites. Here are some key WordPress related security takeaways.
1. Regularly update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins: Outdated software can have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Regular updates ensure you have the latest security patches. This isn’t just about clicking ‘update’ when you see a notification. Make it a habit to check for updates regularly, even if you haven’t received a notification. Also, before updating, ensure that the new version is compatible with your current setup to avoid any conflicts or issues.
2. Use a reliable security plugin: A good security plugin can help protect your site from various threats, including brute force attacks and malware. But not all security plugins are created equal. Look for one that offers comprehensive security features, such as firewall protection, malware scanning, and login security. Some top-rated security plugins for WordPress include Wordfence, Sucuri, and iThemes Security.
3. Backup your site regularly: In case of a breach, having a recent backup allows you to restore your site quickly. But how often should you backup? That depends on how frequently you update your site. If you post new content or make changes to your site daily, then daily backups are recommended. If you update your site less frequently, weekly or bi-weekly backups may suffice. Remember, your backup is only as good as your ability to restore it, so make sure you know how to use your backups to restore your site.
4. Implement strong password policies: Passwords are often the weakest link in website security. Encourage all users to use strong, unique passwords and consider implementing two-factor authentication for an added layer of security.
5. Regularly monitor your site for suspicious activity: This includes checking your site’s access logs for any unusual activity, monitoring your site’s performance for any sudden changes (which could indicate a breach), and regularly scanning your site for malware.
Remember, the goal isn’t to eliminate all risk – that’s nearly impossible. Instead, aim to reduce your risk and be prepared to respond effectively if a breach does occur. Stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and trends, and always be proactive about your site’s security. Stay safe, WordPress warriors!
Hello, I’m Jim Walker, The Hack Repair Guy – a veteran website security expert with over 20 years of experience in website hosting, security, and cleaning up hacked websites. As a trusted advisor to website owners and businesses worldwide, I provide website cleanup, management and protection services, and educational resources, to safeguard their online presence.My hands-on approach and expertise have helped thousands of clients recover from hacked websites and rebuild their online presence. I’m dedicated to making a positive impact in the website security industry, providing peace of mind and a secure online presence for everyone I work with. You can trust me, The Hack Repair Guy, to keep your website safe and secure. Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions regarding website hosting or website security. I’m here to help!