Don’t you want a website that is 100% secure? Of Course!! Right? In fact, website security is one of the major concerns for every website owner.
If you’re quite serious about your site, then probably the first thing that comes to your mind is WordPress security best practices. Without keeping your website secure, you can never take a chill pill.
So, website security is undeniable. Today, in this guide, you will get to learn the ultimate WordPress security tips to protect your site against all the malware and hackers. You will be able to build a shield against your site.
However, we believe that it’s not always about eliminating the risk only, but also it’s about reducing the chances of any potential risk. Right? So, you have to learn the best practices for WordPress security to both eliminate and reduce any chances of hacking.
So, without any further ado, let’s uncover the topics step by step. Ready yet?
Let’s get started,
What Is Website Security?
Well, the first question that needs to be resolved before jumping into the topic is this. What is website security? A lot of you may think that your site is most secured when it doesn’t possess any opportunity for hackers. But, is that all?
Well, let’s understand.
Website security simply means your website will no longer be vulnerable to any malware attacks or hacks. WordPress is an entirely secure platform. But, usually, it gets a bad reputation for being prone to security risks and not being a secure platform for businesses.
Yet, 33% of websites are still powered by WordPress. So, there isn’t much to fear especially if you know the best practices to maintain WordPress security. More often, it has been found that users who generally put their websites to potential security risks often don’t follow the best practices of WordPress security.
Most of them use outdated software, WordPress plugins, and poor administration that increases the website’s vulnerabilities towards security risks. So, it’s important to tighten the security of their websites in order to stay ahead in the competition.
WordPress Security Issues: Gaze The Problems That People Face
There are mainly five different types of malware attacks. Let’s take a look at the following,
The backdoor vulnerability provides the hidden opportunity to the hackers to bypass the security encryption to get access to WordPress websites. This is done via abnormal methods like FTP, SFTP, Wp-admin, etc. Once the hackers exploit the backdoors it enables them to break through the hosting server with a cross-site contamination attack. Generally, these backdoors are encrypted to appear like legitimate WordPress systems that exploit weaknesses and bugs. Fortunately, there is prevention against these attacks. You can easily install tools like site check to detect the common backdoors. Apart from that, you can continue hardening WordPress security by conducting the best practices.
The pharma hacks is a system that inserts rogue code in the outdated version of the WordPress plugins and websites that cause search engines to return the ads for pharmaceutical products. This is a spam menace more than traditional malware. However, this can be checked using several tools that detect pharma hacks.
This is an automated script that exploits the weak passwords and instantly gains access to your site. Ways like two-step verification, limiting login attempts, blocking IPs, monitoring unauthorized logins, and using strong passwords are the easiest and effective ways to prevent these brute-force login attempts. Unfortunately, a lot of website owners fail to perform the website security best practices and struggle to maintain their website’s security.
Malicious redirects create backdoors in the WordPress installation using the SFTP, FTP, wp-admin, and other protocols and inject redirect code into your site. These are often placed in the .htaccess file. You can lose valuable traffic when these codes are placed on your site.
Cross-site scripting is a malicious script that attackers often inject into a trusted application or a website. The end-user doesn’t even get to know about this malicious attack but this can grab the cookie and session data. Even one can easily rewrite the HTML on a page with this cross-site scripting.
The most threatening issue that potential website owners should know is the denial of services which exploit the bugs and errors in a code to overwhelm the website’s memory. Hackers can take millions of dollars by this denial of services attacks. This is the reason why knowing the best practices for WordPress security is so important in today’s world.
Website Security Check Best Practices: Learn The Simple Hacks
So, you have probably understood by now why website security is important and what are the problems that usually people face while operating a website. Right?
A hacked website can cause serious damage to your business revenue and there’s no doubt about that. But it doesn’t end there!
These hackers steal the user’s information, passwords, and install malicious software to your site that can entirely damage your business reputation. Moreover, they take control of the entire website. So, keeping up with the website security check best practices is necessary.
But wait! Are you aware of these best practices?
If not, don’t worry. We will walk you through this. Let’s get started without any further ado,
Keep Your WordPress Updated
Mostly it has been seen that the hackers target those websites which aren’t frequently updated. So, using backdated plugins, and WordPress holds serious risks to your website’s security.
Since WordPress is open-source software that is regularly being updated and maintained, you have to stay updated as well. Because some of these updates aren’t conducted automatically. You have to manually initiate it.
These WordPress updates are incredibly crucial if you want to maintain the stability of your website.
Keep A Strong Passwords
Generally, people don’t take this matter on a serious note until their site’s security gets seriously crushed by some hackers. So, it’s important to keep strong passwords on your site and use other methods like two-step authentication, limiting attempts, etc., to enhance the site’s security.
The common attacks that hackers attempt are to use stolen passwords. You should always use difficult passwords that aren’t easy to guess by others. And it’s not applicable for your website’s dashboard but also for your database, WordPress | Offshore hosting account, and other accounts as well.
Unfortunately, beginners prefer to use simple passwords so that they can remember them later. But if that’s the reason for your weak password, you can use a password manager to note down your passwords.
Use A Premium WordPress hosting
WordPress hosting plays the most crucial role when it comes to maintaining the security of your site. A good hosting like SiteGround, Godaddy takes extra measures to protect your site when it comes to common threats.
But, if you’re using any random web hosting services, they may not take well care of your website’s security. So, it’s important to use a secured WordPress hosting to keep up the best practices on WordPress security.
Install WordPress Backup
Speaking of the first defense of your WordPress security, backups are the most important factor. You should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario when you’re running a website. In fact, the major government sites are getting hacked. So, imagining that hackers won’t’ react to you is like building a castle in the air.
So, backups are crucial. It allows you to quickly restore the data if anything comes up along the way. There are WordPress plugins both free and paid that help you backup all your data. Besides, you can use other cloud services like Amazon, Dropbox, etc.
Use The Best Security Plugins
The next thing that you must ensure is to use the best WordPress security plugins to keep a record of everything that happens on your site.
This includes the failed login attempts, integrity monitoring, malware scanning, etc.
There are plugins like Sucuri that provide important features like a Sucuri scanner which helps to monitor every activity on your site. You can install the free plugin and yield its benefits. However, you should be aware of a few useful tips on hardening the website’s security by using his Sucuri plugin. Let’s take a look at the following tips below,
- Generate the API key upon activating the Sucuri plugin.
- Click on the hardening tab and apply the hardening button.
These options help to protect the key areas of your site where hackers may target. You may browse through the plugin thoroughly to understand other features as well. But, Sucuri is one of the best security plugins available for WordPress.
Web application firewall or also known as WAF is the easiest way to protect your WordPress site. You can be confident in your site’s security when you enable WAF. This firewall instantly blocks all the malicious traffic before it reaches your site.
There are two types of protection available. This includes the DNS level website firewall and the application level firewall. The DNS level firewall helps to route your website’s traffic through the cloud proxy servers. The application-level firewall plugin helps to examine the traffic before it reaches your server.
Move To HTTPS
Well, it may sound simple but this one small step can make a huge difference in the long run. SSL is the protocol that encrypts the data transfer between a user’s browser and your website. It means it becomes quite difficult for others to steal information from your site when your site is encrypted with HTTPS.
Typically it doesn’t cause a huge amount of money to issue an SSL certificate that encrypts your site. Many of the hosting companies offer it under their hosting packages. So, you should buy the hosting package that covers these SSL certificates.
Change The “admin” Username
Generally, the login credentials that the WordPress dashboard use, contains the username as admin fill-up box. This makes it easier for hackers to unlock half of the information. This is the reason why WordPress has been updated and now you can use a custom username while installing WordPress.
Still, users prefer to use a 1-click install or use a simple username when it comes to putting their login credentials. But, it will only weaken your site’s security.
Disable File Editing
There’s a built-in code editor in WordPress that allows you to edit your WordPress theme and plugin from your WordPress admin area. But, this can be misused if you aren’t aware of the ideal utilization of these features.
So, you should always disable the file editing option to prevent anyone from editing anything right on your website.
Disable PHP File Execution
There’s another way to harden WordPress security systems by disabling PHP file execution. You can open the text editor and paste the following code to disable PHP file execution.
deny from all
Next, you have to save the file as .htaccess and upload the file to /wp-content/uploads/folders on your site using an FTP client.
Limit The Login Attempts
Limiting login attempts is one of the most crucial steps when you’re following the WordPress security check best practices. By default, WordPress allows users to login as many times as they want. But this can be vulnerable to some attacks especially the brute force attacks where hackers crack the passwords by trying different combinations of passwords.
However, this isn’t a big issue. You can fix it easily by limiting the failed login attempts. It means WordPress will by default stop the users from attempting to log in to the site. For that, you have to download and activate the login lockdown WordPress plugin.
Two-step authentication is the process where users need to go through two factors authentication in order to log in to the site. It means even if the hackers have successfully cracked the passwords, they will still not be able to log in to the site if they can’t crack the other factor.
The second step requires you to authenticate the site using a device or app. You can use your phone for the second factor. All you need to do is to activate the two-factor authentication plugin to get started with the two-step authentication process.
Change WordPress Database Prefix
By default, WordPress has a prefix for all its tables in the database which is named as Wp.It makes it quite easier for the hackers to guess the login credentials when everything starts with a defined prefix.
So, you have to change the database prefix first in order to make it difficult for the hackers to guess the login credentials.
Protect Your Login Page
You can actually protect your login page or admin page using different passwords. In this case, the hackers will not be able to reach out to the login page without cracking the passwords.
You can add an additional password on the server-side level to effectively block any requisitions coming from unknown parties.
Disable Directory Indexing
Directory indexing and browsing is a technique used by hackers to find out whether any of your files have any vulnerabilities or not. They can further gain an advantage if any vulnerabilities are found on your site.
So, you have to disable the directory indexing and browsing to prevent the attackers from browsing your files.
XML-RPC is not enabled before WordPress 3.5. Generally, it helps to connect your site with other mobile apps and the web. But, this can lead your site to potential vulnerabilities. Attackers often apply brute-force attacks in order to hack the site’s information.
So, the best option here would be to disable the XML-RPC in order to prevent the attackers from hacking the site.
Log Out Idle Users
Sometimes the users wander away from the screen while keeping the site open. This can pose security risks in the long run. Someone can easily hijack the session and make changes to the site.
This is the reason why you should always install and activate the inactive logout plugin in order to let the idle users automatically logout from the site.
These are some of the best practices for WordPress security checks. Besides following these above-mentioned practices, you have to install a WordPress security plugin and check on a regular basis whether the site possesses any malware or security breaches.
Sometimes a trivial issue may lead to major problems in the long run. So, you have to be careful every time while operating a website. In case your site is hacked and you’re finding it hard to recover it, you can reach out to our experts to help you out.
Many of the website owners don’t realize the importance of a web site’s security and backups until they face some major problems. So, take proper precautions and keep your site secured as well as your business.