Every WordPress website owner has to be vigilant about security. Hacks and exploits have become common when you are using a website for various online activities. WordPress now powers 30% of the websites on the internet, meaning it has become one of the most popular content management systems across the globe.
It’s powerful, it’s credible but it has its own share of vulnerabilities like any other platform. You need to take precautions to prevent it from being compromised. ‘
Lack of enough security practices and using third party software can increase the chances of your website being hacked. Hackers utilize automated tools that enable them to search websites for vulnerabilities and your site might be one of them.
This puts at risk all the sensitive personal information for your clients. Given the risks involved, this post will discuss some of the security measures you can take to make your WordPress website safe from hacking.
The easiest step you can take to make your WordPress safe is to protect your password. Most WordPress websites are targets for hackers because they find ways to uncover website credentials.
Hackers use a brute force attack, which is a process of using various combinations of username and password until they find the right one for your website. You can avoid brute force attacks if you have strong passwords.
There is a high risk of hacking if you have a weak and only one password for all your sites. Therefore, the password has to be complex and difficult to guess by ensuring that it has at least ten characters with letters and numbers. Once you have a strong password, choose a password manager designed to store and encrypt the password.
Most people are victims of hackers because they trusted the wrong people. When you are delegating access for your site to users or developers you don’t trust, some people can take advantage of you.
But, if there is no other way, make sure that you put some restrictions. The user should have a certain limit of privileges to perform the tasks assigned. Once they have completed them, remove the user or developer from having access to it.
Sarah Garber, the head of development team for online writing service AssignmentMaster, says, ‘’It’s a good idea to stay on top of what is happening to your website. You don’t have to understand in detail specific particulars of hacking attacks because only early detection will make a huge difference.’’
She adds, ‘’The security that we are able to provide to our users is what makes us one of the ”best writing services’ ‘for thesis, dissertation, college essays and other easy writing’ ‘tasks for school students.’’
WordPress host prevents attacks occurring to your site and you can also follow social media updates on various security issues that are affecting the websites. The idea is to monitor the latest happenings and stay one step ahead of the hackers. Security means more business and you can’t afford to go wrong when it’s about customers’ data.
ecure and update plugins
WordPress takes the security of its websites seriously and when a vulnerability is discovered, they modify the software and add extra protection or delete some codes that are not necessary.
You will get updates about your software to help you protect your site. This is the best opportunity for you to update WordPress website because hackers will find it difficult to exploit your site. Free plugins are more vulnerable to hacking, but you can prevent this from happening by updating the site and plugins to the latest version.
Another important step is to ensure that you don’t install so many plugins that you are not sure if they are secure. WordPress community is an open-source, which means anyone can access the code or content of both plugins and themes.
It’s always tempting to install a lot of plugins to relieve the load of some tasks. However, hackers can use the same plugins against you.
WordPress updates are released to introduce new features, fix bugs, and patch security loopholes. Once you detect security problems with solutions, you should update your plugins and themes.
There is no reason to be afraid of disrupting your plugins because hacking can more cause serious problems. You also need to vet plugins and ensure that they are updated regularly.
Protect login page
WordPress Login Page is the main target for hackers and you need to place appropriate security measures to prevent attacks. WordPress used to have admin as the default username of the main admin account. However, you can use a different username instead of admin.
The problem with first-time users of WordPress is that they prefer to stick to admin as their preferred username. This makes it easier for hackers to break into your site. Below are other steps you can take to protect your site:
- Reduce the number of attempts on login. Brute force attack relies on using a different username and password combinations. You can ward off such attacks by limiting the number of login attempts.
- Use a two-step login authentication so that you can have an extra measure of security. Login to your WordPress website needs an authentication code that is only accessible through a mobile message. It’s highly unlikely that your mobile phone can be taken by a hacker to see the code.
- Brute force attacks are always effective when hackers have access to the login page. The best way to avoid hacking is to change the URL of your login page by using WPS Hide Login.
- Use Secure Socket Layer to protect sensitive information of your customers and other visitors. It works by scrambling your information into something unreadable. It means anyone cannot understand the information as it travels between browsers and servers.
The easiest technique to prevent hacking is by reducing the number of login attempts. If the hacker cannot use several username and password combinations, probably they won’t use a brute force attack. Login Security Solution and Login lock down are some of the ways you can prevent someone using brute force to attack your site.
These plugins track IP addresses that try and fail to log in to your site. After failing for multiple times, that specific IP is prevented from accessing the login page of your website. If Login Security Solution suspects something wrong, it requests for a WordPress email authentication and change of password via email.
It’s important to have a system in place to monitor if your site has any kind of malware. The system should be capable of going into your files and discover deep problems, rather than just showing you where you’re vulnerable.
Detecting malware is just the beginning of solving your problem as you will require to prevent them from happening again. You can use websites such as ”ours” or malware scanning software to scan your site for vulnerabilities.
Some security plugins have malware scanning software to check any changes that appear not normal and are possible sources of hacking. WordPress Security Audit Log is another essential plugin to check changes that happen to your website.
It can also be used to see changes made by other users. It’s important to have WP Security Audit Log or any other data logging plugin to monitor all the changes.
Use a website firewall
If you cannot update your WordPress because of problems with themes or plugins, then consider using a firewall.
You can prevent hacking by activating a Web Application Firewall. This firewall allows good traffic to pass through to your website and filters out undesirable requests such as hack attempts. Here are the benefits of using a WordPress firewall:
- It prevents possible hacks by detecting and halting obvious hacking ways and behaviors. This ensures that your website is protected against attacks.
- It provides you with a virtual security update. While hackers go for WordPress plugins and themes, a firewall seals all the loopholes even without doing security updates.
- A great website firewall will block brute force attacks. A WordPress firewall is designed to stop unwanted visitors from using wp-login or wp-admin page. They can’t even use brute force automation to figure out your password.
- A WordPress firewall prevents Distributed Denial of Service attacks by trying to overload a server. Therefore, it will detect and block such attacks and makes sure that your site is still available despite the high volume of fake visitors.
- It optimizes the performance of WordPress website by providing a cache for smoother and faster page speed. It also reduces bounce rates and improves website engagement, search engine rankings, and conversions.
Clean your website
It’s common to keep on your site old plugins and themes that you are no longer using. If they have not been updated for some time, you run the risk of getting hacked.
A website that is full of unnecessary elements also makes it difficult for security experts to work on it if it’s compromised. Therefore, clean up your site and organize the files to make sure that there are no unnecessary plugins and themes.
While cleaning up your website, don’t leave some files for everyone to see. Take note of the following when making clean up:
- You can check the version of WordPress by reading the readme.html.file by default. If it’s an old version, there is a risk of hackers attacking your site.
- Check i.php files or phpinfo.php to find out their availability. Hackers are usually looking for these as they can get a setup of your site.
- ‘Don’t leave .sql database backup files because hackers can download them. They can have access to all the usernames and passwords you have used before.
Choose the best host service
Most of the hacking problems originate from the server part of your website. This makes the hosting service the primary culprit for vulnerabilities in your web. When hacking comes in this way, there is little that you can do because the host service provider is a third party. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right service provider to prevent hacking and exploits.
Most of the web host service providers have outdated software or the software is not properly maintained. The software might have run for years without encountering problems, but there is no guarantee that problems won’t come in the future. While vulnerabilities are sometimes detected, the service providers take a bit longer to solve the problems.
Shared hosting, which is pretty common with most online startups also has its problems. Distributed Denial of Service attacks on any single Internet Protocol on a server affects all websites being hosted by a specific server. There is a good chance of the entire server being affected by software loaded on a shared server.
This is the reason why you need to use a WordPress host to avoid such problems. You can use WP Engine to get various benefits for your site.
You will get disk write protection connected with any malicious code that intends to attack your site. Content that has known vulnerabilities cannot be added to WordPress and some plugins can be disabled if the scanners pick up a threat in the plugin’s code.
It’s crucial to take the last line of defense in case of eventualities. You might have taken all the necessary security precautions, but you will find that your site was still compromised. If this is the case, you have to come up with measures to fix the problem. There are various methods you can use to recover your site and backups are the common ways.
WordPress websites use automatic backups to ensure that there is full site recovery. WordPress has various plugins for backup and some of them are free. While the free plugins provide backups on any specific single location, a premium plugin does it on multiple places.
The bottom line
It’s important to note that there is no full security measure on the web. You might take all security precautions but still, find your website was hacked. Despite the challenges of hacking, make sure that you have protected your password, you are vigilant, you are using secure and updated plugins, and other security measures discussed above as they greatly reduce the chances of hacking.
Hackers don’t necessarily look for popular websites to attack. Therefore, whether your site receives high traffic or not, you must be prepared for hacks and other exploits. If your website generates enough revenue to pay for the costs of security services and hosting, your best option is to go for WordPress Hosting services.