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Security

The security of your site and your personal data is always a priority.  This page describes what we do to help protect your site and your personal data, along with added steps we recommend you take to do the same.  

How We Protect Your Site and Your Data

Encryption, by Default

Strong encryption is critical to help ensure your privacy and security. We encrypt (serve over SSL) all WordPress.com sites, including custom domains hosted on WordPress.com. We consider strong encryption so important that we do not offer the option to disable it, which would compromise the security of your WordPress.com site. We also 301 redirect all insecure HTTP requests to the secure HTTPS version. Learn more about HTTPS and SSL for your site.

We automatically install an SSL certificate for your site. Very rarely, a site’s specific configuration prevents the SSL certificate from working correctly. If there’s a problem with your SSL certificate, please contact us.

Firewalls

We run firewalls and have processes to alert us about unauthorized attempts to access WordPress.com accounts.

Monitoring Suspicious Activity

We continuously watch web traffic and monitor suspicious activity. We also have security measures to help protect against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Security Testing

We regularly check the security of our services and look out for potential vulnerabilities. We also operate a bug bounty program via HackerOne to reward people who find bugs and help us improve the security of our services.

Please bear in mind that if you wish to attempt to test our security measures on your WordPress.com-hosted site, we do not allow for whitelisting. You are free to test whatever you wish, but as our system cannot ensure you are not malicious, your IP address may be temporarily blocked.

Data Backup and Recovery

Our systems back up your WordPress.com site data regularly, so in case of an event that causes data loss (like a power supply failure or a natural disaster, for example), we can recover it.

Our Security Team

We have a dedicated security team committed to protecting your data. They work directly with our product teams to address potential security risks and maintain our strong commitment to protecting your data.

No way of transmitting data over the Internet, and no method of electronic storage is perfectly secure. We can’t guarantee the absolute security of your site or account — no one can.  But keeping your site and personal data well-protected is very, very, very important to us.

How You Can Protect Your Site and Your Data

You can also do a few things to help protect your data (read on!).

Keep Your Secrets Secret

Your password is the weakest link to the security of anything you do online. It’s the key to your blog, email, social networking accounts, or any other online service you use. If your password is easy to guess, your online identity is vulnerable.

All it takes is one person to guess your password, and they can delete every post you ever made. They could deface your site. They could read your emails or hijack your address and impersonate you. They could ruin what you have taken the time to build.

Choose a Strong Password

Every password you use has to be easy to remember and hard to guess. A random set of numbers and characters make for a hard-to-guess password, but they’re also hard to remember. On the other hand, you’ll probably never forget your birthdate or the name of your first pet, but these make for very bad passwords, as they are increasingly easy to guess or find out.

On WordPress.com, you can use a very long password with any combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, so the security of your password – and by extension, of your blog – is really up to you. We’ve collected some tips for creating strong passwords.

Log Out of Your Account

You can protect your account by logging out when you are finished working. This is especially important when working on a shared or public computer. If you don’t log out, someone can access your account just by viewing the browser history and returning to your WordPress.com Dashboard.

You can protect your account by logging out when you are finished working.

To log out of your WordPress.com account, click on your Gravatar in the upper right. Then, under your Gravatar, click on Log Out.

Control Site Access

WordPress.com provides a rich multi-user platform. While each site has only one owner, you can have as many users as you want – this is ideal for group blogs with multiple authors, magazine-style sites with an editorial workflow, or any other large site where you want to share some of the administrative load.

However, sharing the load also means sharing the responsibilities. That’s why on WordPress.com, you can set different Roles for each user you add to your site. Roles determine a user’s access level.

When adding users, try to find the role that best describes what you want them to do on your site. If you’re setting up an account for a user that only plans to contribute a few posts, make them a Contributor. Reserve the Author and Editor roles for trusted users with a long-term commitment to your site.

Finally, be particularly stingy with the Administrator role. When you make another user an Administrator on your site, you create a separate set of keys for your site and hand them to someone else. Not only will they be able to take your site for a joyride, but having an extra set of keys around significantly increases the risk of your site being hijacked.

In fact, we suggest you avoid the Administrator role entirely. In almost all cases, the Editor role would be a better choice.

Read more about this in the Adding Users and User Roles sections on the support page Invite people to your site.

Membership: Anyone Can Register (Plugin-enabled Sites)

Please be aware that plugin-enabled sites include a “Membership: Anyone can register” option, which enables anyone to create an account on your site via the default registration page. Any users who register this way are granted the user role set as the “New User Default Role.”

You may use this setting when creating a custom membership site, however, the setting is not typically required for using membership plugins. When activated, it can create a security risk varying from granting complete control over a site to allowing unwanted spam users.

To deactivate this option, go to Settings → General and select the Classic view from the View tab in the upper right of your dashboard. This will take you to the wp-admin General Settings page, where you can see the Membership setting. Don’t forget to Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

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If WordPress.com Secure Sign-On (SSO) is active, the registration option will be more difficult to get to but anyone who knows the default registration link (including bots) will still be able to register while the setting is active.

Two Step Authentication

With Two-Step Authentication, you can use any iOS, Android, Blackberry, or SMS-capable mobile device as a unique key to your blog. After you sign up for the service, you must enter a specially generated one-time code whenever you try to log in to your blog. This means that even if someone gets your password, they won’t be able to log in without possessing your mobile device.

You can learn more about this service on the Two Step Authentication support page.

Selecting a Strong Password

The weakest point in any security for your online accounts is usually your password. At WordPress.com, we go to great lengths to ensure your content is secure, protected, and can’t be accessed by anyone other than you.

But if someone else can guess or retrieve your password, they bypass almost every security measure we have because WordPress.com will see this person as you. They could then make any changes they wish to your WordPress.com blog or account, including deleting your content.

To avoid this scenario, this guide will help you create strong passwords that are hard to guess or crack. Read through the following tips and double-check your own password. If you feel your password isn’t secure enough, we strongly recommend that you change it.

Traditional Passwords Are No Longer Safe

Password-cracking techniques have matured quickly and significantly in the past few decades, but how we create our passwords hasn’t kept pace. As a result, the most common advice you’ll hear about creating a strong password today is outdated and impractical.

A password created with that advice, like jal43#Koo%a, is very easy for a computer to break and very difficult for a human to remember and type.

The latest and most effective types of password attacks can attempt up to 350 billion guesses per second, which will undoubtedly increase significantly over the next few years.

Creating a strong password today requires modern techniques, and we’ll show you two of them in the next section.

Choose a Modern Method

There are many approaches to generating a strong password, but password managers and passphrases are the best. Choose the one that works for you, and then read its corresponding section further along in this article to learn how to get started.

Best Method: Password Manager

A password manager is a software application on your computer or mobile device that generates very strong passwords and stores them in a secure database. You use a single passphrase to access the database, and then the manager will automatically enter your username and password into a website’s login form for you. If you only have to remember one password, you can make it random and hard to guess.

You never have to worry about choosing a good password, remembering it, or typing it again. This is the easiest and most secure method available today, and we strongly recommend using it.

How to Use a Password Manager

There are many different manager applications to choose from, so you’ll want to pick which one you’d like to use, and then install it on your computer. These are the general steps, but you may want to check your application’s documentation for more details.

  1. Choose a password manager. Some popular ones are:
    • Dashlane (closed-source, free/commercial)
    • KeePass (open source, free)
    • RoboForm (closed-source, commercial).
    • You can find even more choices by using your favorite search engine.
  2. Install it on your computer.
  3. Install any extensions or plugins for the web browser(s) you use.
  4. Create a strong master password to open the password database. See this document’s How to Create a Passphrase section for advice on how to do that.
  5. (optional) Write down the master password, and store it in a secure location, like a safe-deposit box or a locked safe. It’s important to have a backup if you ever forget the master password.
  6. (optional) Share your password database across multiple devices with the application’s built-in tools or via a service like SpiderOak. If you use an external service, ensure you have a strong password and enable two-factor authentication on the account (if possible).

Now that your password manager is set up, you can start generating strong passwords with it. Find your manager’s built-in password-generation tool, and configure it to create 30-50 random characters with a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.

password-generator

You want to end up with something that looks like this: N9}>K!A8$6a23jk%sdf23)4Q[uRa~ds{234]sa+f423@

That may look intimidating, but remember that you’ll never need to remember it or type it in; your password manager will handle that for you automatically.

Good Method: Passphrases

A passphrase is similar to a password, except that it’s based on a random collection of words rather than just one. For example, copy indicate trap bright.

Because the length of a password is one of the primary factors in its strength, passphrases are much more secure than traditional passwords. At the same time, they are also much easier to remember and type.

They’re not as strong as the passwords generated by password managers, but they’re still a good option if you don’t want to use a password manager. They’re also the best way to generate the master password for a password manager or your operating system account since the password manager can’t automatically fill those in.

How to Create a Passphrase

Creating a passphrase follows similar rules to creating a traditional password, but it doesn’t need to be as complex, because the length of the phrase will provide enough security to outweigh the simplicity.

  1. Choose 4 random words. You can use the xkcd Passphrase Generator if you’d like, but it’s better to make up your own.
  2. Add spaces between the words if you prefer.

At this point, you should have something that looks like this: copy indicate trap bright

You can stop there if you’d like, or you can add some extra strength by following these steps:

  1. Make a few of the letters upper-case.
  2. Add in a few numbers and symbols.

After applying those rules, it will look something like this: Copy indicate 48 Trap (#) bright

Things to avoid:

Additional Tips For Both Password Methods

Beyond your account at WordPress.com, there are other things to remember as you compose passwords that will help you keep your information secure.

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