If you’re like us, your travel blog is your pride and joy. You’ve worked hard to create a site you want to share with others, and you want to keep it that way.
Unfortunately, there are people (and software programs) who would love to access your website and use it for their own, malicious purposes. Having blog security is an unfortunately necessary part of being a blogger. If you end up getting hacked or malware is installed on your site, it can have a long-lasting impact on your traffic, domain authority, and search presence. Here are five steps you can take to enhance your travel blog security today.
1. Change Your ‘Admin’ Username
If your current username is “admin” when you log into the back end of your website, it’s a quick and easy fix to change this and enhance the security of your site.
In WordPress, go to Users and you can change or add users to your website. We recommend you create a new ‘admin’ level account with a real username and secure password, then delete the default ‘admin’ account. This will help prevent password cracking software from getting an easy-in by guessing your default username.
2. Choose A Strong Password
As we just mentioned, a secure password is a second step you can take to help make your blog harder for someone else to log into.
There are several websites you can use to create a secure password, but you can follow these general rules to set a secure password of your own:
- A strong password should have at least eight characters, but longer than that is better.
- Your password should have both upper case and lower case letters.
- A good password should have a few numbers.
- Finally, it should have some special characters (like @, *, #, or !).
A password that contains all of these in a unique combination will be much harder for another person (or software) to guess.
3. Install Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is the process by which you do a second authentication beyond the username/password you enter when you login to your site.
We recommend checking out the plugin Duo to set up two-factor authentication on your website. In addition to entering your username and password, you’ll also set up your phone to receive a push notification or call when you try to login. If you ever see that notification when you’re not logging in, you know someone else is trying to access your site and can go in and change the password.
4. Install a Security Plugin
There are loads of WordPress plugins available that can help you secure your site by stopping spammy or malicious IPs from accessing your login page or other access points. Here are some options you can research:
- Askimet – this plugin is often included with basic WordPress installation.
- iThemes Security Pro – this paid plugin can help secure your site in up to 30 different ways!
- Wordfence Security – an open source plugin that includes two-factor authentication and a free security scan.
- Sucuri – our highest-recommended security plugin, which includes malware scanning, server-side scanning, and a firewall to protect your site.
These are just a few of the plugins out there, so you can find plenty to compare and read reviews.
5. Keep Plugins and Themes Updated
If you’ve got a long list of out-of-date plugins or themes on your website, it’s super easy to update these and increase the security of your site. Malware can access your website through these less-secure versions.
With plugins, we recommend doing a quarterly audit to make sure you’re still using and need the plugins you have installed. If you find you’re not using a plugin, try deactivating it for three or six months; if you’re still not using it, delete it at help clean up and speed up your site.
For themes, don’t forget to make sure you have a child theme set up to maintain any customizations you’ve made to the theme.
Together, these tips can help take your site from a basic security level to one that’s more advanced. As your travel blog grows and becomes popular, you may become the unfortunate target for malicious software or login attempts. These steps will help make sure no one accesses your site that you don’t want to, and your readers always have a great experience on your site.
P.S. Want more resources about blog security? We have a whole lesson about it in the Fundamentals of Travel Blogging Course, part of Travel Blog Success Membership.