Online security? – if you are using WordPress maybe not so much…

Online security is a relative thing.

With more and more news of huge hacks of companies’ financials you really should wonder about your own website.  Especially if it is based on WordPress.

From time to time we are brought in to evaluate the effectiveness of SEO provided by others. Recently we were asked to audit a site that had enjoyed excellent search engine return placement (SERP) for a number of relevant search terms but had dropped well off the front page for all of them.  We found a lot of problems that likely contributed to the decline. We did not, however, see any evidence that they had installed security plug-ins in WordPress.

Could compromised security have contributed to their problem?  Absolutely! No way to know for sure without installing the appropriate software. That software was not present in this case.

spam from hack
This text block appeared in the header of all pages on the site. Something to be proud of isn’t it?

In another case, hackers attempted to break into one of our client’s WordPress sites. If they had prevailed, the site would have forever displayed spam ads for a changing carousel of usual suspects: payday loans, cheap Viagra…

If we hadn’t quickly identified and corrected the problem, the site would have been a strong candidate for de-listing by Google and other search engines. This is the area where online security and SEO intersect.

The interesting news showed up post-hack.  There are a number of new security upgrades that track and dissuade hack attempts. We installed the most highly rated. These plug-ins guide you past the basics of never using the default administrator name and easy passwords. The tracking was the real surprise. One of our client’s sites had over 60 attempted fake logins per day.

60 failed attempts in one day
The aftermath of robotic attempts to login to a WordPress site.

Others were experiencing fast flurries of attempts several times a day. By arming ourselves with the best security software, we had the earliest possible indication of the scope of attacks on all of our individual client’s WordPress sites.

How can you protect your website? If your webmaster hasn’t protected you or if you don’t even know maybe it’s time to bring in someone to help.

Contact sem[c] – we make your website a more effective business tool.