How to Protect and Secure Your Blog from Hackers
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How to Protect and Secure Your Blog from Hackers

The popularity and security holes in blogs have made them the target of choice among hackers. I learned this after 14 of mine were hacked. I wanted to know how and why I became their victim.They had emptied my databases and even started installing new blogs. I learned that blogs have many areas that are vulnerable to attack. Bots are sent out to locate blogs with certain list of files that will allow hackers a way into your admin area. I also learned that hackers have a way to get the Admin's password just by the Admin making a post. Outdated plugins may provide a way in. Speaking of plugins, spammers and hackers have been known to create what looks like useful plugins only to leave security leaks. Research any new plugins before using them. How to tell if you've been hacked? There's the obvious way, such as what happened to me- your blog is messed up, error messages, or gone completely. Then there are the subtle methods. You may notice a sudden large drop or even a large increase in traffic. this is usually because the hackers place a huge amount of spam keywords hidden in your footer. if you check the footer file you will find it. So how do you protect yourself? I now create another user, an editor, and write all my posts with that user. There are several useful plugins and software such as;
  • AskApache Password Protect plugin, which adds multiple layers of protection without affecting your databases.
  • ttc-bot-block plugin that helps keep bots from registering on your blog, logs all registration attemps, and will tell you why it bounced any bots.
  • WordPress Exploit Scanner will help you find any uploaded or compromised files left by the hacker. Be aware that this process can be lengthy and heavy on server resources.
  • Akismet and WP Spam Free -  anti spam plugins. Askimet is generally already installed with your blog.
  • AIDE (Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment) that monitors and analyses your blog
  • .htaccess file in your admin folder can secure your login by allowing you to log in from only what IP addresses you allow.
Having a .htaccess file in the wp-admin folder would specify the IP addresses for those who have rightful access to the folder. This would take the following form:

.htaccess

order deny,allow deny from all # whitelist home IP address allow from 20.20.20.20 # whitelist office IP address allow from 30.30.30.

What should you do if you are hacked?
  • Upgrade to the latest version of your blog.
  • Make sure your plugins are updated to the latest version.
  • Change your change your MySQL password and your Wordpress password after upgrading and make sure the hacker didn’t create another user.
  • Make sure there are no backdoors or malicious code left on your system. This will be in the form of scripts left by the hacker, or modifications to existing files. Check your theme files too.
  • Edit your wp-config.php and change or create the SECRET_KEY definition
  • Write all posts as a non- administrator
  • Install and use a monitoring software such as AIDE.
  • Create a .htaccess file for you WP-admin folder
  • Install the plugins mentioned above. Download plugins from their original locations.
  • Use Google alerts, Enter site: yourdomain.com  choose comprehensive and how you want to be notified. This is also useful to use with your name, niche keyword, etc.
There is no way to prevent your blog from being hacked, but you can make it become less of a target.

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