6 Steps to Secure your WordPress site from Viruses & Malware

WordPress is a robust blogging and CMS platform powering over 70 million websites – from single blogs to large corporate portals. However, with growing popularity comes growing woes. Web-based malicious attacks have gone up by 81% in 2010-2011 and since WordPress is a popular platform it gets its fair share of attacks.

We, at blogVault, have faced several instances wherein our clients’ websites have faced vulnerabilities such as Link Injection (SQL injection, shared folders), blackhole exploits, Javascript and PHP code injections to name a few. As a user of WordPress how do you protect your site against these exploits?

Here are few house keeping steps to get to started…

1. Update! Update! Update!

Most of the common hacks/injections happen because of outdated WP or plugin. WordPress has a very strong community and as soon as a vulnerability is detected, it gets plugged. No excuses for not updating!

2. Delete the ‘admin’ account – Make it harder for the hackers!

WordPress lets you give administrator access to other user accounts. So, instead of using ‘admin’ username use some other unique username.

3. Check your file and folder permissions

File permissions set to 777 are a red carpet welcome for hackers to set up base on your website! A good rule of thumb is to set files to 644 and folders to 755.

4. Hide your wp-config.php

This is another file which is most vulnerable to attacks and by default will be located at your_host/wordpress/wp-config.php. You can move it to the root directory i.e your_host/wp-config.php because WordPress automatically checks the root directory for this file if it doesn’t find it at the default location.

5. Use trusted sources for themes and plugins

Beware of pirated themes and plugins, they usually contain malware or spam bots which at best will hamper your site performance and worst case – steal critical information and spread viruses to its users.

6. Connect to your server securely

Use sFTP or SSH instead of FTP. Use SSL whenever possible. HTTPS is most preferred and secure way of transacting online.

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