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Safeguarding against hackers

Sep - 8 - 2012
Matthew Osborne

Q: Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

A: Make regular backups of your website files and database. This should be done anyway because websites are constantly under development and you want to be able to do a rollback in case of problems.

Be sure that your administrative panel and FTP account(s) have secure passwords.

The default configuration for a Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP (LAMP) setup has the database so it cannot be accessed from anywhere except localhost. This means that the MySQL server is secure against any attacks that do not come from your source code.

That brings us to the source code. Hire programmers that you trust, install extensions from reputable sources, and if you’re really concerned, use Subversion to review any changes in your source code, line by line. With Subversion, be aware that Google Code Hosting shows the source to the world, so your passwords would be in plain sight. Install TortoiseSVN and create a repository on your computer, FTP your website files to your computer, and you can do a text diff between revisions.

In summary, do backups, have secure passwords, and watch your source code.

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