Website security is one of the primary concerns of any website owner. The Internet is not a safe place and all sort of danger lurks in the corner. It would be foolish if you don’t prepare for security measures for your site. After all, “Prevention is better than cure”!
WordPress security is a big concern as the platform is popular and readily used by millions.
People have spent a lot of money to clean up the mess after a hack. Consultants and web specialist charge like anything after a post-hack consultation. Instead, preventing it from the first place saves not only money but also valuable time.
How efficient is WordPress Security?
WordPress is a secure platform, provided you follow their guidelines. The reason behind many sites gets compromised is due to:
∎ Not updating WordPress to the latest version
∎ Failing to update plugins and themes
∎ Using weak passwords
∎ Unsecure hosting platform
You need to update WordPress and plugins regularly. Hackers can find loopholes in old versions and can exploit it. Also, use strong passwords. Use a combination of alphabets, numerals, and symbols. This reduces the chances to guess the passwords.
Nowadays, automated programs called bots does brute force attacks. A brute force attack is a trial and error method to guess the password usually using many attempts to break the password. Since WordPress by default allows many login attempts, chances are that these bots can guess the password at many attempts.
Here are 10 tips to secure your WordPress website
1. Limit Login Attempts
By default, WordPress doesn’t limit login attempts. This creates a problem. Hackers can break into your site by guessing your password. Therefore, limiting login attempts is a necessity.
You can limit login attempts by using plugins like Limit Login attempt to limit the number of login attempts. You can also set lockdown period for login after the said login attempts. The plugin limits login attempt per IP address. Many times bots will attempt to log in from multiple IP addresses and this can sometimes deplete server resources.
2. Change WordPress default username
You need to consider changing username too. If hackers get to know the username, their work will be much easier. By default, the username will be either admin or your username or it can be the site name.
You can change it from cPanel by accessing PHPMyAdmin or by using a plugin called WP-Optimize.
Select WordPress database and look for wp_users. Now edit the username and from the drop-down menu click on user_pass and select MD5 to encrypt the username.
3. Implement two-factor verification
By implementing two-factor authentication, you can add an extra layer of security to your login page. It can be done by two ways:
As Google claims it, reCAPTCHA is “Easy on Humans, Hard on Bots”! It is a free security service to protect from spam and abuse. When added to login pages, it can prevent bots from attempting automated login procedures. You can use Login No Captcha reCAPTCHA plugin to integrate this great feature into your website.
Google’s two-step verification is a very useful tool to protect your site. You can add an extra security feature to your site by integrating this amazing tool. The Google Authenticator plugin for WordPress gives you two-factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app for your smartphone.
When enabled, the plugin sents a security code to your mobile while logging in. Even if someone has your password, he/she needs the code to log in successfully!
4. Change login URL
Changing the default login URL is a good idea. By default, WordPress uses snugs like admin or wp-admin for the login page. Bots can target this URL and attempt brute force attacks.
WPS Hide Login plugin can be employed to change the default login URL. Instead of using wp-admin or admin, you can change it to your preference.
For example, by default the login address will be:
Instead, you can use other snugs which are hard to guess.
This can help others from finding your login page and adds further security to your website.
Don’t forget to share with co-authors and important users of the site.
5. Keep WordPress up-to-date
Keeping WordPress up to date is very important. The newer versions may contain security patches and other features that can improve your site security. Moreover, hackers can target loopholes in the older versions to hack your site.
Therefore, always update WordPress whenever there is a new version available.
6. Use strong passwords
Hacking techniques like brute force attacks rely on weaker passwords. Weaker passwords can be easily guessed. Therefore, always use stronger passwords. A combination of alphabets, numerals, and symbols can create tougher passwords.
Many times people use easy passwords to, just to remember it. Using common words, personal details (name, phone number, date of birth) etc. can compromise site security. On the other hand, tougher passwords may not be easy to remember, but it can protect your site.
You can use password management software like LastPass (Freemium) to manage your passwords. Avoid saving passwords to the browser, it can be compromised.
7. Use quality themes and plugins
Plugins and themes are easier points of entry for many hackers. Therefore, always use reliable plugins for your site. Also, consider updating themes and plugins regularly to avoid any security loopholes.
Use only those plugins you want. Keeping all the plugins not only takes memory but also increases risks. Deactivate or delete unnecessary plugins.
Always use those plugins or themes that have good support. Chances are that plugins which have not been updated for a long time may be a riskier shot. This may not be true for all, but anticipating possible threats is the key to a secure site.
Never download any theme or plugin from unknown sources. Choose plugins from WordPress Plugins directory.
8. Use security plugins
Use security plugins for extra protection. There are plugins for firewall, malware scan, server scanning, security hardening etc. These plugins can work in the real-time and can notify you if any abnormal things happen.
Search Engine Nation recommends Sucuri Security for extra security. This plugin has malware scan, security hardening features, post-hack measures, real-time scanning for spams and malware.
9. Choose a good hosting company
Many studies claim that vulnerabilities n the hosting platforms contribute to the majority of the hacking. Always choose best and reliable hosting solutions than cheaper one.
Ensure that hosting service uses the latest technology like PHP & MYSQL. Also, ensure that they provide firewall, malware scans, CDN etc. to mitigate spams and malicious contents.
10. Keep your computer safe
Security starts at your computer. Ensure that your workstation is free from virus and other malicious contents. Install antivirus software and keep the system up to date.
Set up computer firewall. You can either use third-party software or native system software.
WordPress Security is a major concern for many bloggers. These pro tips from Search Engine Nation can give you an upper hand in WordPress security. Keep security as an important aspect of your website. Leaving the door wide open, welcomes even the newbie thieves. As said, prevention is always better than cure.
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