WordPress Security – 8 Things You Must Do to Protect Your Site


Whether you use a WordPress website to promote your Company products and services or as a blog to share your thoughts and opinion, the security of your site is very important. WordPress has become a popular blogging platform in the recent years because it is easy to develop, design, and manage. In fact, you almost do not need any special knowledge to use a WordPress website.

WordPress is preferred by most individuals and business owners for many reasons. It has a simple, DIY and user-friendly interface, called dashboard. More so, WordPress allows you to install your custom theme and Plug-Ins and edit them to taste. SEO optimization is another benefit of WordPress that cannot be overemphasized.

Excellent features of WordPress

1.     WordPress Plug-Ins

A plug-In refers to additional software that’s added to a WordPress site in order to give it a desired feature or function. There are several kinds of WordPress plug-ins for different functions. For instance, there are Plug-ins for SEO, security, display and performance, cache, image properties, comments management, social media integration, video embed, e-commerce, and lots more. Your choice will depend on what you are looking for.

2.     WordPress themes

WordPress also allows you to decide how you want your website to look. Do you want a static homepage or the one that displays all your pages? There are thousands of themes out there that you can choose from. There are free and premium themes recommended by WordPress developers and those designed by third-party professional web designers.

3.     Easy Customization

After you might have chosen your theme and plug-ins, you can still modify and customize them to your taste. Depending on the character of your installed theme/plug-in, you can choose from a wide array of customization options available.

WordPress Security

With the constant increase in the number of cyber crimes and online attacks on many websites, it is very important to keep your WordPress site as secure as possible. As earlier identified, WordPress allows you to easily and effortlessly adjust your settings to suit your needs. This makes it easy for you to avoid all forms of attacks on your WordPress website.

Why Is WordPress Security So Important?

A hacked or compromised WordPress website can be a big blow to you and/or your business. Cyber attackers can steal your login details, personal information, and caches and gain an access to your dashboard. The case can be fatal if you use your website for business transactions.

Hackers can alter your payment gateway and divert your funds. More so, they can access your database and steal your customers’ information and vital documents. Depending on the type of attack and aim of the attacker, it may take forever to retrieve your website and you know the damage and loss this can cost you.

How can you protect your WordPress site?

The fact that WordPress is an Open Source platform and everybody has access to the source codes makes it a favorite target of most cyber hackers. Most attacks come from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Germany, and Poland. Popular WordPress attacks include

  • SQL Injections
  • Clickjacking
  • Cloaking
  • Blackhole Exploit Kit attacks
  • Password and Login brake efforts

The truth, however, is that there is really no way to prevent an intrusion of a script master if he targets your site. Still, there are ways to protect your site from possible attacks. If your site is well protected, a hacker would prefer to pick another easier victim.

8 Things You Must Do to Protect Your Site

1.     Forget about using “admin” as your username.

Many attackers focus on the default WordPress username using brute force. Bruteforce is a password cracking robot that has the ability to guess the password to a username. Bruteforce can guess over a thousand passwords in few seconds. If you are unlucky, your password may be among the guesses and the attacker will access your account.

To avoid this, you should change your username from the default “admin” or “administrator” from your WordPress control panel.

Steps:

  • Go to MySQL tool (phpmyadmin)
  • Find your database
  • Go to wp_users and browse for “admin”
  • Under the user_login column, change it to something else.

2.     Choose a strong password

After you have changed your username, the next thing is to change your password. Usually, the best practice is to use a combination of Upper and Lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.

Steps

  • Go to Users
  • Profile
  • Password

Furthermore, make sure you change the password to your cpanel as well because a hacker can seize your site through the cpanel. More so, make sure both passwords are unique and that you don’t use them on any other platform.

To save you the headache of having to think of new passwords to use, you can auto-generate a password using the options available on your dashboard. Auto-generated passwords are strong and unique.

3.     Use a Custom login URL

Now that you have a new Username and Password, the next is to have a custom login URL. This will guarantee you a maximum protection against brute force. Typically, a brute force attack needs your login URL and username.

There are many WordPress plug-ins that allow you to customize your login URL. The default WordPress login URL is “yoursite.com/wp-admin/”. You can change this to “yoursite.com/logmein”. This will make it hard for an attacker to locate your login URL even if he has your Username and Password.

4.     Use emails for logging in instead of usernames

Instead of adopting the native and common practice of using a username to login to your WordPress, you can make use of an email instead. Remember to input your full name at the User settings on your dashboard so that the Full name will be the one to be displayed on public posts.

5.     Use CAPTCHA for registration and login

CAPTCHA provides an extra layer of security for your data. It protects you against robots and brute force attacks. CAPTCHA is an acronym for Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA). It is a challenge test that forces the web browser to prove that he or she is not a bot. It is a bot trap that helps to prevent automated bots or scripts from accessing your website.

There are various types of CAPTCHA. We have the Image and text type of CAPTCHA. The Image form of CAPTCHA is to test if the user trying to access your website can see an image correctly or not. The number type of CAPTCHA is used to test common logical reasoning, such as rewriting what is displayed, perform simple arithmetic or identify the words printed.

If you have an unprotected registration form, hackers can simply access your page and create thousands of accounts in few seconds using automated bot system. These accounts are meant to do three things; alter your database, steal your information or spam your website.

Again, there are some useful CAPTCHA plugins available for you. Go to your WordPress dashboard, click on the plugin, add new, and search for the keyword “CAPTCHA”. Choose the one with good reviews and configure it.

6.     Enable the 2-factor authentication

Make your login page ask for additional information, such as date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and so on. This will add another layer of security. It even protects you from physical attacks or possible password leaks through phishing or keylogger. Again, check the WordPress plugin directory for a suitable 2-factor authentication plugin that suits you.

7.     Utilize SSL certificate

An SSL Certificate is highly recommended if you perform financial transactions on your WordPress website. Likewise, if you store personal or sensitive information on your site, you should consider adding an SSL certificate. The SSL Certificate is just a Proof of Identification which groups the domain name with the server name or hostname. SSL certificate usually put the mind of your customers/readers at rest that they site is verified by a trusted hostname/authority. Advent Digital offers an easy and one-time SSL certificate setup for WordPress websites. Check it out now!

8.     Always Update your WordPress

There is no gain in staying in the past when the world has already advanced to the next level. WordPress developers typically identify some major flaws and shortcomings before you and make moves to fix them. Therefore, each new version of WordPress comes with its own improved security measures.

Updating your WordPress version is easy, free, and without any downtime. Upgrade and updates are not only limited to your WordPress platform. It also comprises of your plugins and themes. The developers of each plugin work every day to ensure that their products are healthy and safe from any form of attack.

Most attacks are due to the use of outdated WordPress features. You should not be caught offside simply because you didn’t update your features as soon as new versions are released. Luckily, WordPress offers an easy and effective way to update these features. You can turn on auto-upgrade during installation or install a plugin that sends a notification to your email once a new version of any of your plugin or theme is released.

Conclusion

WordPress is an easy and convenient way to blog about your hobby or sell your business to the world. Because it is an open-source platform, cyber hackers usually use this advantage to compromise many websites and take control of vital data. Highlighted above are 8 concrete ways of protecting your website from various cyber attacks.