A content management system (CMS) is an important component of running your own website. All too often, inexperienced website builders run into problems when their website starts gaining traffic and attracting hackers. There are ways to minimize your risk of being hacked or encountering other types of cyber-attacks.
Choose Your CMS Carefully
There is a trade-off between popular CMSs and security. The more popular and widely used a CMS is, the more likely hackers will know about security vulnerabilities and actively try to break in. Conversely, lesser-known CMSs are less likely to be targeted by hackers, but they may not have as much support or be as user-friendly. Consider trying a CMS that is less popular, but with a good reputation and long history.
Prevent Obvious Vulnerabilities
Try to eliminate all obvious signs of your CMS. You may need to delete the name of the CMS from templates or even from source files. Change the favicon on your website to your logo or another image. If a hacker is going to attempt to break into your website, at least it will not be obvious which CMS you are using.
When you install your CMS, you are probably given the option to choose a username for the administrator account. Ideally, you should avoid names such as "admin" or "user" because they are common and one of the first usernames a hacker will try. Additionally, make sure the name displayed on your website content is not the same as your administrator username. If this is not possible, create a separate user account for you to use when you post content on your website.
Install Security Software
Your CMS likely has many software options to help protect your website. Before selecting security software, make sure you thoroughly check any information on the software. The software should be widely used and have mostly positive reviews. Avoid new security software developed by unknown third parties, since you cannot guarantee it is free of viruses. You also want to make sure the software is updated regularly to address any new security threats.
When choosing software, you want the option to block IP addresses when too many login attempts are made to your administrator account. The combination of a unique administrator username and blocking IP addresses of potential hackers can significantly reduce brute-force attacks. Additionally, your security software should routinely check your website for viruses or malicious code.
Managing your own website comes with great responsibilities, one of which is being proactive in protecting your website from cyber-attacks. With a little effort, you can significantly reduce CMS vulnerabilities.