After browsing the forums here I had decided to install and activate the a security plugin called "Better WP Security." It not only crashed my site, it erased my database and files - I couldn't even login to my on admin panel. Calling my hosting company in a panic the person helping me had the exact same thing happen to her two years ago (with the exact same plugin). See her reaching out to the WP forum community members here (apparently it's a common problem). I had selected "Better WP Security" because it had been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times (surely it has to be good?).
Okay, now that my site is restored, I want to check here.
She recommended something called WordFence. Also on here came recommended a plugin callled WP Firewall 2.
Do you have any recommendations for either one?