Now not all robots are bad. Google, YouTube, Bing and other legitimate search engines use them. Anything that helps you find a website by searching the Internet is using robots (computer programs) to index that information.
But it shows you what every legitimate website is up against since not all these robots are the good kind. Geez, you just want to have your website up and running, and getting new clients; you don't want to be in cyber warfare to do it.
If you have a WordPress website you are using the #1 most popular content management systems (CMS). And since it IS the #1 website platform, it will of course be the top most attacked platform too.
But there are steps to prevent your website from becoming a hacking statistic.
- Regularly visit your website's front end (what viewers see) and navigate through it. Make sure everything looks right and performs properly. If it is exceedingly slow, it could be a number of reasons, but it could be a subtle sign of hacking.
- Run security scans weekly and anytime you are suspicious of foul play.
- Use a file transfer protocol (FTP) program to view your files. This is probably something you should have a web professional do if you aren't familiar with FTP and WordPress. Going in and looking at the files residing in your hosting is the most direct method to see if bad files have been dropped in.
- See if Google detects any hacking. How? Go to the web address field in your browser (where you type in a web address) and type:
site:yourdomain.com (replace the yourdomain with your domain 😉 ) and hit enter. Putting that "site:" in the beginning ensures that only results for your website will show up. Look through all those results and see if anything is not directly on your website. If anything appears that's not your content, immediately go change all passwords for your site, or better yet, call your web programmer and they will take charge and lock it down.
- Install security plugins that block attacks and use firewalls and recognition techniques for well-known referrers and IP addresses.
- Perform regular backups and keep multiple copies. Saving multiple copies in different locations will bring the blood back to your face when you realize your hacked or broken website can be fixed by reinstating a copy. You do have to be careful though to make sure you the backups aren't hacked also. However, if you are doing all of these steps this won't be a problem.
- Make your passwords unique, long and difficult. Some say the "difficult" part is too much of a pain, and still others say it's not the difficulty but the length that matters. I say: make it no shorter than 12 characters long, use LUNSU - lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, symbols and make it unique (never repeat passwords). I'll work on that acronym! If you find that you have a ton of passwords to keep track of, consider a program like LastPass to hold all your information in an encrypted state. I use it because I literally have over 200 passwords!
Many people think, "why would any hacker care about my little website?" Robots neither discern nor discriminate what website they are attacking. Their game is quantity. The more websites they can infiltrate, the larger their "botnet" (network of robots) becomes.
Yes they turn your website into their robot!
Let's face it. Taking care of the security of your website is not exciting or sexy. But it is exceedingly important to your business. You rely on your website to make your demos available 24/7 around the world.
Imagine if a potential client did a search on your name and came up with a result that has your name and an ad for Cialis! (Yup true story.)