WP Security -- Keeping out Hackers!Are you guilty of the two biggest blog mistakes?

Do you know what these mistakes are?

I am going to guess that many of you are guilty and don’t even realize it!

“There’s no way a hacker can get into my blog!” I hear you saying. You have the best hosting service with the MOST secure and most locked down servers there are in the industry. Well, that’s great! But that really isn’t going to help you if you are making these two big blog mistakes.

“But I’m using the best security plugins on my WP blogsite!” you say. Okay, that’s awesome! Actually that’s fantabulous …. IF you are not using the default settings. And even if you have tweaked the settings, your blog is STILL open if you are making these two big mistakes.

“My password is UNBREAKABLE!” you brag! Well, I hate to burst your bubble, Sweet Pea, but even a novice hacker can break passwords with their smartphones! And your password means squat if you are making these two big blog mistakes!

WHAT ARE THEY ALREADY???? What are these two BIGGEST BLOG MISTAKES I am making?? Tell me!?!?!??!

Alright, alright, alright! — That is said in my best Lando Calrissian impersonation πŸ˜€ <– Yes, a Star Wars reference!

The two BIGGEST BLOG MISTAKES are using “ADMIN” for your user name AND setting your “Display Name Publicly As” to your username (this is what we all see in the Author box and your reply to our comments).

WWHHHAAATTT??? Yeah .. I know. Kind of a “DUH” moment for me, too! LOL But, in all reality, if you ARE making these two mistakes, it really is not going to matter how secure your hosting and servers are, what great plugins you are using, or if you have an unbreakable password. You are giving hackers 50% of your information. If they are determined to get in, they will break your password one way or another πŸ™

**Post updated August 27th, 2012, with an additional tip. Thanks to Jan ofΒ My Local Business OnlineΒ πŸ˜‰ **

Fixing the “ADMIN” username

Plugin that will help change admin:

For those with “admin” as your username, all is not lost and YOU DO NOT need to start over. No, WordPress does not give you the option to change it once you have it setup. However, there is a pretty good security plugin out there that gives you the option to change your username to something different. YAY — It’s calledΒ Better WP Security by Bit51Β — it’s in the wordpress.org plugin depository.

Don’t feel bad. I made this mistake with Blogging with Gypsy o.O And I was so glad to find this plugin! It was easy to change my username. Once you upload and activate the Better WP Security plugin, it will show up below the “Settings” in your dashboard menu. Here’s where it is on my dashboard.

WordPress Dashboard Menu showing where the Better WP Security plugin is

Some of the things I like best about this plugin (besides it having the capabilities of changing my username) include the logs that show me the IP addresses of “bad logins” — hackers trying to get into my admin area — and that I can take those IP addresses and add them to my “BAN” section. YAY! The amount of bad login attempts has dropped significantly since I started monitoring and banning IP addresses. You can even set the plugin up to email you every time there is an attempt to hack your admin.

*** As with all plugins, please read the information about it and make sure it is a good fit for you. If you would rather not upload a new plugin or are not sure about this one, below is a non-plugin remedy that is VERY EASY to do! ***

“No plugin needed” Tip:

Click on “Users” and choose “Add New”. Create a new profile with Administration capabilities. Once it is saved, log out of your dashboard, and then log in as your new username & password. Click on “Users” then “All Users” — this will open a list of all the users in your blog. DELETE the admin user account with ADMIN as the username. It will ask if you want to transfer all this user’s info to another user. You want “YES” and chose the admin account to transfer it too — this would obviously be the new user you made. Voila! You are done and no plugin in needed! Thanks, Jan ofΒ ofΒ My Local Business OnlineΒ for this non-plugin remedy πŸ™‚

Resetting your “Display Name Publicly As”

Click on “Users” in your dashboard menu — see image below for reference, if needed.

WP Dashboard > Users

Then Click on “Your Profile” — see image below for reference, if needed.

WP Dashboard > Users > Your Profile

Scroll down to the “NAME” section of this page and then change to a different name to use as publicly. I have mine set to “Firstname” but you can use the “nickname” or first & last name. Just pick one you like from the dropdown menu that is NOT your username πŸ˜‰ — I’ve added another image below for reference.

WP Dashboard menu ->Users->Your Profile-> Name section

Now that you fixed these two biggest blog mistakes, you have made you blog just a little more secure!

Remember — Keeping your blogsite secure is very, very important and it cannot be stressed enough! I’ve seen so many people having to start over from scratch because of hackers. It is NOT pretty!

I hope this was helpful! And I hope you made this fixes if you are guilty of these mistakes!

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