One of the big trends in 2012 is going to be security. We’ve gone through the initial stages of getting people used to password rules and best practices. We’ve taught people not to put sensitive information in their mail boxes and to shred things they don’t want fished out of their garbage. People are even getting better about keeping things private on Facebook. But as more and more of our personal data is stored in the cloud, security will be top of mind for time to come.

I was recently at Sam’s Club and noticed the security cameras they had on display (no, not the ones mounted to the walls and ceiling) and took a picture of myself. This is part of my initiative to not use stock photography anymore. In order to do this, I take pictures of things I think I might use in a blog post later. I post these pictures on the web using WordPress, which has it’s own security issues.

WordPress Security

WordPress has a nice page on hardening WordPress, but here are some basic things you should be doing:

  • Keep WordPress updated – these are free and easy to do
  • Keep WordPress plugins updated – one bad apple can spoil the bunch
  • Keep Theme files updated – some themes have scripts that can be exploited
  • Keep Passwords to yourself – use secure FTP (SFTP) to transmit files so you’re not sending your password via plain-text over the Internet
  • Use secure passwords and choose a username other than “admin” or “administrator”

Remember to backup your WordPress installation before updating or making changes. This can be as simple as doing an XML export and backing up the WP-Content folder.

Wireless Security

I’m an early adopter of technology. I was the first one on my block to get a wireless router and a tankless water heater, but today there’s over 10 and this is not uncommon. When I do in-home computer repair and while using my iPhone, I often see multiple wireless access points all around me. What boggles my mind is the number of wireless connections that still don’t have passwords.

If you don’t have a wireless password and you haven’t changed the default password on your wireless router, your entire network is exposed and can be compromised in seconds. If you’re sharing any folders or printers on your network, those are completely exposed to any novice user, but any experienced user can find more. Even though it’s illegal to browse someone else’s network, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

If you need help with WordPress security to keep your web site secure or wireless security to keep your network secure, contact Erich Stauffer at Watershawl – 317-572-7521.