Why Your WordPress Website Needs Support and Protection

WordPress is the largest and most successful content management system available today.  In 2003, WordPress was just a single bit of code used by a handful of people for blogging. Now it’s the largest website building tool in the world.

WordPress is used to build websites for one simple reason:  it saves an extraordinary amount of time and money to develop a highly functional and effective website for your business.

What Does Effective Support and Protection Include?

Just like your phone system, air conditioning, heating, or your car, your website needs professional support.  A WordPress professional will understand the components of your site, and how all the pieces fit together.  They’ll also understand the steps required to protect your site, including:

  • Keeping your WordPress system up to date with the latest version.
  • Keeping your WordPress Plug-ins up to date and operating properly.
  • Putting active Intrusion Monitors on your site to detect and block intrusion attempts before they infect your site, and monitoring these daily.
  • Monitoring your site daily, to make sure it is operating properly, and making sure invalid links don’t creep into your website pages.
  • Making sure your site is securely backed up on a daily basis to an offsite location, so it can be recovered or moved quickly if it does get hacked or your web server crashes.

There are Costs – But They’re Small in Comparison

Expect to spend a small amount of money each month for effective support and protection – it’s the best money you’ll ever spend.

Interested in more information about support for your WordPress website?

Hack Attempts – Why Do They Happen and Why Should You Care

Unfortunately, there are those who enter the WordPress community with criminal intent. Thousands of WordPress websites are hacked every day, and not just minor ones.

In fact, people are trying to break into your WordPress website right now, as you read this article. This comes as a shock to some, because it’s easy to be unaware of what’s going on, until it’s too late.

Why do hackers want to attack your website?

Motives vary, and there are plenty of people who think that destroying things is fun. However, the main motive is a predictable one: profit. There is money to be made.

This at first seems surprising: after all, where’s the money to be made in your company’s website? If you don’t sell things on your website, how can it profit anyone else? Well it can, and here are the main 3 ways:

1. Computing Power, “free” and anonymous

It’s not your website itself that the average attacker wants; they want the computer power of the webserver that it’s running on. They want the free electricity. This can be used to perform complex computations such as those used to “mine” digital currencies like Bitcoin, or simply to hide the hacker’s identity while they use a server not linked to their name to perform other tasks.

2. Spam, spam, spam spam…

That computing power can also be used to churn out millions of spam emails, again, for free (to the attacker) and in a way that’s hard to trace, since the emails will come from your server rather than the attacker’s own computers. Since emails are quick and easy to send, often by the time it is spotted, the attacker has got his pay-off.

Spam equals money. Sadly, there are people who don’t immediately delete them and instead reward their evil business model. Website owners and hosting companies have to pick up the tab when the addresses of their servers get black-listed as spam sources, and time has to be invested in cleaning up.

Another way is to insert links into web pages of sites selling things, like various pharmaceuticals. These links may not even be intended or visible for people to click on, but they are visible to search engines and help the destination websites move up the search rankings. Unscrupulous marketeers can find it much cheaper to buy space on a thousand hacked websites from shady operators than to build up genuine interest in their products.

3. Serving up Viruses

A hacked website can be modified to serve up viruses to its visitors, catching vulnerable visitors whose own computer security wasn’t up to date. Viruses then allow the visitor’s computer to be used for the same purposes – and some others.

For example, some viruses will encrypt all your files, and decrypt them only upon payment of a ransom, i.e. “ransomware”. Or they may inject new advertisements into every web page you visit, making money for either the sellers of advertising space or the sellers of the advertised products. They may log clicks and key presses on the computer and capture valuable passwords, e.g. for online banking.

Sadly, insecure websites are economically valuable. Weak passwords, un-updated plugins, etc., all provide ways for the bad guys to use your computing resources to make money. The costs of breaking in are less than the revenues they can make, so hacking is a profitable activity.

The Cost to You

So even if your website is small and doesn’t make any direct money for you, it could still make hackers rich. And unfortunately, if they have their way, you lose- big time. You lose time, money and face.

If you’ve got an online business, your customers’ and clients’ personal information could be stolen. You could lose untold sums of money- and it happens even to vast multinationals when they let their guard down.

Even if the cost isn’t financial, a cyberattack could knock your SEO ranking, making it harder for customers to find you. It will also give your reputation a nasty blow, as people lose confidence in you and your brand.

Google is very vigilant when it comes to sites that have been attacked, and hackers don’t discriminate:

“Safe Browsing shows people more than 5 million warnings per day for all sorts of malicious sites and unwanted software, and discovers more than 50,000 malware sites and more than 90,000 phishing sites every month.”

And don’t underestimate the emotional cost. You’ll spend hours arguing with hosting providers, developers, and security professionals.  You’ll spend lots of money getting the spam off your site – often the clean up is more that the cost of a new site – and you’ll then also live with the fear that you missed something in the clean-up process.

All this is exacerbated by one simple thought, “Why didn’t I take precautions?”

What Does Effective Support and Protection Include?

Just like your phone system, air conditioning, heating, or your car, your website needs professional support.  A WordPress professional will understand the components of your site, and how all the pieces fit together.  They’ll also understand the steps required to protect your site, including:

  • Keeping your WordPress system up to date with the latest version.
  • Keeping your WordPress Plug-ins up to date and operating properly.
  • Putting active Intrusion Monitors on your site to detect and block intrusion attempts before they infect your site, and monitoring these daily.
  • Monitoring your site daily, to make sure it is operating properly, and making sure invalid links don’t creep into your website pages.
  • Making sure your site is securely backed up on a daily basis to an offsite location, so it can be recovered or moved quickly if it does get hacked or your web server crashes.

There are Costs – But They’re Small in Comparison

Expect to spend a small amount of money each month for effective support and protection – it’s the best money you’ll ever spend.

Interested in more information about support for your WordPress website?

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 63 = 65