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Before Your Self-Hosted Forum Is Hacked...

Posted by Adrian Speyer on Oct 22, 2013 1:47:27 PM
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2 minute read

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Last week, we covered what to do if your self-hosted forum is hacked. The best way to be avoid being hacked, though, is to spend some time on prevention now. Here are some tips to review before you have an issue, or in the very least make it easier to restore should you have one.

Forum Safety Checklist

  1. Use two-factor authorization: If your forum allows it, consider using a Google or Facebook account with two-factor authentication for your admin account. This will make is harder for hackers to get access your information, as they would also need access to your mobile device.

  2. Make Automated Backups: If you are self-hosting, make sure to do regular backups of your database. It's a lot easier to restore your forum when you have a clean forum backup. Setting up a daily cron job will make this painless.

  3. Be careful of plugins: Don't just add plugins. You should look at the code or have someone you trust do so.  A lot of forum hacks happen because of  badly written plugins.

  4. Stay up-to- date: It's more than just being aware of patches for your software, updating your forum software is also crucial. Make sure you have a process in place, and someone on your team also owns the task to stay up-to-date.

  5. Read the documentation: Many forums will have information on how to harden their product. For example adding additional code to HTACCESS file or changing the CHMOD on certain files.

  6. Consider Hosted solutions: Sometimes going self-hosted is not easy due to lack technical know-how. If your forum is important, but you don't have the team or support internally,  you might want to consider going with a hosted forum solution.

The checklist above should be a good start on things to do to protect your self-hosted forum. Do you have a piece of advice we missed? Have an insight to share? Please share in the comments.

Vanilla Forums offers a secure cloud based solution for your community. We can also help you migrate your old forum to our platform. Try Vanilla Forums Cloud Solution free for 30-days.

Topics: Product

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