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Secure your WordPress installation

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

We’ve recently been plagued with a number of hacking and spamming events caused by WordPress installations. Or, more accurately, out-of-date WordPress installations.

As great a piece of software as WordPress is, if it’s not kept up-to-date with the latest releases and security patches then it becomes a magnet for even the most amateur hacker. Scripts such as xmlrpc.php can be easily manipulated to send out large amounts of spam. You may not think this is an issue for you personally but if just one of those spam messages hits a spam trap, then the server’s IP address is blacklisted and other users will find they’re unable to send mail.

We’re not having a go at WordPress here. It’s a great piece of software and there’s a reason it’s the world’s most popular blogging platform, however you cannot simply install it and forget about it. It MUST be kept up-to-date. This issue is not restricted to WordPress of course – it affects any PHP software running on your server – WordPress is just more of a target due to the volume of installations out there.

There are many tools freely available that can ‘lock-down’ your WordPress installation – one we’ve played with ourselves is:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/better-wp-security/

It’s a WordPress plugin that’s available free, very easy to install and provides a run-down of the things you should do once you’ve installed WordPress (such as disabling the dreaded xmlrpc.php!)

There are server wide settings we can employ that will help stop some of these attacks however they also restrict genuine functionality which then causes more issues.

More SUPER uptime results!

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Just to prove we’re still working hard to make sure your website is available to your customers, our uptime figures for November are in and we’ve scored an awesome 99.96% across our network.

Whilst we’re never happy when this doesn’t reach 100% we’re pretty confident we’ll be able to do that in December.

99% of simplewebhosting.co.uk customers surveyed would recommend us!

Monday, June 9th, 2014

At simplewebhosting.co.uk we work hard to ensure our customers are happy and we never tire of receiving positive feedback. But don’t take our word for it. In our April 2014 customer survey sent to all customers with a live hosting account or domain name registration, 99% of replies said they would be happy to recommend simplewebhosting.co.uk! That’s up from 97% in our previous customer survey.

Of course, we won’t be happy until 100% would recommend us – that’s the next challenge.

100% uptime for April!

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

You probably already know about our 99.9% uptime guarantee – we work hard every month to make sure your website is available for everyone to see. Well in April we working extra hard and achieved another 100% uptime month!

We’re very happy :)

Monitored by Pingdom

Is YOUR password secure?

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

passwordscloud

Passwords are an everyday part of our lives and are essential in protecting our most sensitive data; including our web data. But how secure is your password? At simplewebhosting.co.uk we regularly see examples of poor password choice and find it’s a constant battle to educate users in the importance of choosing a strong password.

Mark Burnett (xato.net) has used lists of leaked passwords to compile a master list of the 10,000 worst passwords; an astonishing 91% of all passwords used appear in the top 1000. Click on the wordcloud above – if you can see your password then you should change it now!

Here are some startling facts gleaned from Mark’s data:

  • 4.7% of users have the password password;
  • 8.5% have the passwords password or 123456;
  • 9.8% have the passwords password, 123456 or 12345678;
  • 14% have a password from the top 10 passwords
  • 40% have a password from the top 100 passwords
  • 79% have a password from the top 500 passwords
  • 91% have a password from the top 1000 passwords

So is it time to change your password? The answer is almost certainly yes!

We’ve recently introduced stronger password strength requirements meaning that no longer will you be able to pick cPanel or mailbox passwords that are insecure. We know that this will be a nuisance to some customers but we believe it to be an essential nuisance.

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