How Safe Is Your Website?

It is any website owner’s nightmare come true. You wake up one morning to discover that your site was hacked and you are now selling “Cialis from a Licensed Canadian Pharmacist” instead of running a photography blog. What’s worse, you can’t even see the word “Cialis” on your website, but some friend who typed in your domain name in Google search found the incriminating phrase as your website description. The hack may only affect your search engine listing, which makes it even more difficult to locate and correct. This is not just a scary scenario. It happens to thousands and thousands of websites every day. In our high-tech world cyber assaults are a growing opportunity for some sick minds.

Even that I was aware of that, I always thought hackers have bigger fish to fry than bother with my humble travel blog. I never asked myself how safe my website was. Until one day when it happened to someone I know and then it became a close call. And as you may guess, fixing the problem was neither cheap nor easy.

So is there anything we can do to protect our precious work? After searching and asking around I found out that there is an amazing plugin called Wordfence Security that would do just that. I was ecstatic when I heard about it. The first thing that came to my mind was to spread the word around and share it with all my fellow bloggers, hence this review. Maybe some of you already know about it and smile condescendingly when reading this post. But for those who don’t, Wordfence will be a revelation.

The best part of this plugin is that it’s free, although they do offer a paid version too. It is also very easy to install. Just sign into your WordPress website, Go to Plugins > Add New > and search for “Wordfence Security” (without quotes). The plugin allows you to set up security features that will help prevent hackers from getting into your website. You can set it up so that every time someone logs in or attempts to log into your website, you’ll receive an email. It will also give you live traffic, identify the crawlers (web robots) or humans and post their IP number/address. You can see how many times a visitor has been on your website, how often, what pages they viewed and how long they stayed. Wordfence gives you the option to block any IP Address that you think might be suspicious (like try to get into your admin. page). The other great aspect of Wordfence is that, not only does it have preventive measures, but it also scans your websites daily and lets you know if there are any modified plugins or themes.

Since I installed this plugin, not a single week goes by without having at least 2-3 hackers blocked out from trying to break into my dashboard. Some are so persistent that even after being blocked still try to break in. One of them made 567 attempts in a single week (a lot of interest there!). So if you are running a WordPress website, you should check out Wordfence. It’s a miracle plugin that I can’t live without. Don’t make it easy for an attacker to break into your website.

 

 

 

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16 Comments on “How Safe Is Your Website?

  1. Thanks for sharing, I use Sucuri Security I think it is great and also I use “Limit login attemps” which is really useful for when someone is trying to use bruteforce and entering your blog

  2. How horrendous! I used to run a forum for my masters’ students and had to get up early every morning to take the porn off. Fortunately my IT-savvy son was able to fix it up! Thank you for Wordfence Security – I’m installing it RIGHT NOW on both my blogs. I’ll include this post in next week’s Blogger Round-Up to spread the word.
    Rosemary K recently posted…Weekly Blogger Round-Up: The Urinette – Railing it in Switzerland – Oldest Basketball Court in ParisMy Profile

    • Thank you, Rosemary. This was my purpose too when I wrote it: to spread the word. I’ll try to put it on Twitter and Facebook again, hopefully more people will see it.

  3. I definitely agree that having a good security plugin on your site is essential – the feature to block IP addresses is definitely essential. I once had a hacker attack my site with over 5000 attempts in about 12 hours – I was pleased that while my server went down under the load, they did not manage to crack my password. Even though I was also blocking the IP addresses after three failed login attempts, this hacker was tricky and every time it was blocked they switched to a new IP address.

    I was so relieved when the attack ended (which my host helped by changing my server script). but I was so glad that I had made the effort to install some security plugins, and I have also heard good things about Wordfence!
    Anne Sutherland-Smith recently posted…5 Top Tips on How NOT to Start Your First Visit to Japan (plus Bonus Tip!)My Profile

  4. In many ways, the interWebz behaves like a living organism: infect one cell or organ, and spread the “wealth” around. It’s one thing to be hacked, and it’s entirely another to be hijacked to be “used” as a node in someone’s nefarious Matrix. Stay safe, and thanks for highlighting the plugin!

  5. Security software is great. Every time somebody logs into my site, I get notified. If too many consecutive attempts occur from the same IP address, that site is locked out from logging in for a certain amount of time. I use Sucuri (free version) but I think any basic site security software that has basic features is a must for any blogger.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…An Unusual Cemetery in Comillas in Northern SpainMy Profile

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