Update your WordPress website now! If you don’t know how, read on…
On Thursday 6th June there was a concerted effort to hack WordPress websites from a Russian botnet. Basically robotic programs were looking for weaknesses in WordPress sites, injecting malware and malicious code into them and then taking control of the mail server to send out hundreds of thousands of spam emails. Many WordPress websites were infected costing hundreds of pounds to clean and fix.
How did the hackers get in so easily? Website owners not updating their WordPress sites, plugins and themes. A five-minute job that could have helped a lot of people from spending out a lot of money.
Security updates are released on a weekly basis
Your website is vulnerable to attack if you don’t take the time to update it. Hackers find new flaws in website code all of the time and use it to break into websites. Various things can happen as a result. This time, they were only looking to send out spam emails. But it could have been to steal credit card details or hold websites to ransom.
In order to patch the flaws, WordPress, the developers of WordPress Plugins and WordPress Themes will regularly release updates to their products. But if you don’t install them, then your site is not safe. It’s a five-minute job once a week, so here’s how you do it. Just click or tap on any of the images below for a larger view.
Have I got any updates? The telltale signs
When you log in to the backend of your WordPress website there are multiple ways to see if you have updates.
If there are available updates, a number in a coloured circle will show next to the word Dashboard, or next to the word Plugins. Other places to look are at the top of the screen on the black bar by the update icon or at the top of the middle of the screen on the white background if it is a core WordPress update.
You should login at least once a week to check, make a note in your diary, or add a reminder in your calendar or on your phone.