Chapter 4: Change Your Passwords
The next step is to change passwords on your hosting control panel, your dashboard, & your database. As I don’t have access to software like Plesk or Adminer, I unfortunately will not be able to provide screenshot demonstrations of conducting tasks on these programs. I will be using CPanel & PhpMyAdmin, so hopefully you’ll be able to find the equivalent functions if you use other similar software.
Change Your Dashboard Password
Changing Your WordPress Password
Changing your password on your WordPress dashboard is straightforward. Once logged in, go to ‘Users > Your Profile’.
Once the screen appears, scroll down to ‘Account Management’, then to ‘New Password’, & click the ‘Generate Password’ button. (screen reader users, press the h or headings key till you hear it say ‘Account Management’).
Once the ‘Generate Password’ button is clicked, the following screen appears.
WordPress has generated a password which, although strong, is likely far from anything close to being memorable. Fortunately, you can also overwrite it, as this is an edit field. (screenreader users, press space or enter in the edit field). Change the password to something you’ll recall, making sure it registers as ‘strong’ on the WordPress password meter. An article on how some decidedly nontechnical website owners came up w/decidedly strong passwords can be found here
Protect Yourself with Passwords or pay
in case it’s of interest.
Now scroll down to the ‘Update Profile’ button, click it, & you’re done. You can also click the ‘Hide Password’ button so that your password displays as asterisks (*) on the dashboard.
Changing your Drupal Password
To change your administrative password in Drupal, click ‘manage’ & then ‘People’.
Once the screen appears, click the ‘Edit’ link associated w/your username.
Once the ‘Edit’ link is clicked, you can either change your password or reset it. In order to change it, you will need to know your current password, & fill in your current email address.
Setting Your Joomla! Password
To change your administrative password in Joomla!:
Unfortunately, there are times when the criminals have taken over your administrative account. In such cases, you will not be able to log in. You have two choices in this instance.
- You can simply delete the entire WordPress Installation;
- You can create a new administrative account in the database.
An article on how to do that is here:
Create a New WordPress Database User
The techniques are similar for Drupal & Joomla!.
You should also log out all users by opening your wp-config.php file & changing all of the “salts” as instructed there.
Change Your Hosting Provider’s Control Panel Password
To change passwords in CPanel, Login to your CPanel account, & then go to ‘Preferences > Passwords & Security’, assuming you’re using the Paper Lantern theme.
When you click that link, the following screen appears.
In the first edit field, enter your old password, & in the 2nd & 3rd edit boxes, enter & reenter your new password. Click the ‘Change Password Now’ button, & you’re done. The steps won’t be identical for other control panels, but I suspect they’ll be similar enough to be able to locate the needed options.
Change Your Website’s Database Password
From the main CPanel screen that appears after login, choose the ‘MySQL® Databases’ link & click it. The following screen appears.
Now scroll down to ‘MySQL Users’. You have a couple options at this point.
- You can create a new user & add that user to the database;
- You can simply change the password of the current database user.
My personal recommendation is that you create an entirely new database user & assign that user to your database, but it’s really your choice. I’ll discuss both options.
To change the database password only, scroll down to ‘Current Users’. Scroll down to the user of your database & click the ‘Change Password’ link. You’ll see the following screen.
Scroll down to ‘Set MySQL User Password’, enter your chosen password twice, click the ‘Change Password’ button, & you’re done.
Creating a new database user is a multi-step process.
- Create the user;
- Add user to the database;
- Grant the user the necessary database privileges.
on the MySQL® Databases screen, scroll down to ‘Add New User’. Enter a username, then enter a password twice, & click the ‘Create User’ button.
Instead of entering a password, you could click the ‘Password Generator’ button & let the program make a password for you. Don’t forget to copy the password, though, as you’ll need to put it into the configuration file appropriate to your website. You’re warned about this if you use the ‘Password Generator’, & you even need to check a box that says you’ve done so. Once you’ve done that, click the ‘Use Password’ button or ‘Cancel’ to generate another. If you click the ‘Use Password’ button, your new user is created.
Now that you’ve created a new user, it’s time to assign that user to a database. To do so, on the MySQL Databases screen, scroll down to ‘Add User To Database’. Select the user you created from the dropdown listbox, select the database from the 2nd list box, & click the ‘Add’ button. When you do so, a ‘Manage User Privileges screen shows.
I personally just check the ‘ALL PRIVILEGES’ box, as it tends to lessen the possibility of the site throwing database errors due to improper user privileges. Click the ‘Make Changes’ button, & your task is complete.
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