WordPress security and safety is not something to joke about. If your blog site gets hacked, you will have to spend countless hours trying to fix things that you might not even understand.
Similarly, a hack could potentially make everything start performing in a weird way on your WP account, website, and blog.
At the end of the day, any sort of attack will give you a difficult time. However, you can guard against such attacks. This is why we created this guide: How to prevent your WordPress website from getting hacked.
Here’s what we’re covering:
- How to Safeguard Your WordPress Site (Infographic)
- The Current State of WordPress Security
- Proper Security Measures
- 14 Steps You can Take Today to Improve Your WordPress Security
How to Secure Your WordPress Site (Infographic)
<a href="http://www.onblastblog.com/wordpress-security/"><img src="http://cdn.onblastblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Wordpress-Security.jpg" alt="Wordpress Security" width="1000px" border="0" /></a> Credit: <a href="http://www.onblastblog.com/wordpress-security/" target="_blank">On Blast Blog</a>
The Current State of WordPress Security in 2016
Essentially, WordPress hacking and insecurity has been on the rise. The number of reported hacks is in the hundreds of thousands.
What about those that go unreported? Of course, you might be wondering why anyone would even want to hack your website. However, you should remember that most attacks are automated.
These days, hackers have created various bots before releasing them into the web to look for vulnerable websites, just like yours.
When hackers have thousands of sites in their control, they are able to use them for database scraping, mass email sending, and black hat SEO. To them, that’s pure gold.
So, before you start a blog it’s important to know that WordPress security is not automatic. Although WordPress is one of the most awesome platforms around, it does have its fair share of problems. As a user, you should take care of the most basic security and safety measures.
Proper Security Measures
- Beginner’s Level
So, how do you go about doing this? Here are some tips:
- Secure administrator account
- Use your editor account purely for content work
- Strengthen your WordPress password
- Limit your login attempts
- Secure your PC
- Automatically update your WordPress
- Update your plugins on a regular basis
- Backup your website/blog
- Only use legit web hosts
- Download themes and plugins from well-known sources
- Advanced Level
On the advanced level, you can do a number of things to further bolster WordPress security and safety. These include the following:
- Deleting plugins you do not use
- Reducing the total number of plugins you use
- Installing well known security plugin
- Protecting your website from brute force attacks
- Using CloudFlare
- Monitoring for Malware
- Performing theme checks
- Blocking trackbacks and pingbacks
- Pro Level
Pros do more than just the above to ensure that their WordPress accounts, websites and blogs are safe and secure. They will, in most cases, do any or all of the following:
- Generating new security keys
- Changing the database prefix
- Using .HTACCESS protection
- Disabling XML-RPC
- Disabling all PHP error reports
- Tracking the WordPress dashboard
- Watching their Google Console
- Reading Sucuri
- Checking out all un-secure plugins
- Using SSL
So, how would you like to go about ensuring your WordPress security and safety? We are going to discuss the above points slowly but surely.
14 Steps You Can Take Today For Better WordPress Security
a) Secure Your Admin Account
Never use obvious usernames and login credentials for your main Admin account. Instead, go with something that is more fun and difficult to crack and hack.
b) Use the Editor
It is risky to use your main Admin account to edit and publish new works, or whenever you are working with your content. This is especially so whenever you are using public Wi-Fi access.
Instead, consider creating a unique Editor account and start using that login for all the content work you are looking to do. Of course, you should ensure that the login is not obvious and will not be easily cracked and hacked.
c) Secure Passwords
Never ever use passwords that other people can easily guess. It goes without saying that you should force anyone who has access to your website to do the same.
Include capital letters, special symbols like exclamation points, and numbers to make it more complex.
d) Limit Logins
Password guessing is a major issue as well. People and bots can make multiple attempts to guess your password/login combinations until they manage to get it right.
Therefore, you should consider using the login lockdown plugin to limit the number of times anyone can try to login into your account. Should they fail to do so after a couple of pre-specified tries, they will be blocked from having access.
e) Secure Your Machine
Apart from ensuring that your website is secure in and by itself, you might also want to take good care of all the computers and other gadgets that you usually use to access the WordPress website.
Key loggers typically use your keystrokes to recreate your password and login details. Similarly, direct FTP – based bots will get open FTP connections before uploading hacked files into your server.
To solve this situation and potential threat to your WordPress account, website, and blog, you should take better care of your computer. A good place to start would be by using the best antivirus software your money can buy.
There are also plenty of free options if your budget is tight. Make sure you avoid suspicious sites, and never open emails from someone you don’t know.
f) Update Regularly
Of course, it goes without saying that you opened your WordPress account simply because you were looking to accomplish something with it.
A highly detailed change log corresponds with every new WordPress release. In such change logs, all fixed bugs will be listed.
The solution to this problem, however, is quite simple. You just need to enable auto updates for your website. Alternatively, you can also perform manual updates whenever you get notifications requiring that you update your account.
However, there’s more to updating the account than just that. You also need to ensure that your WordPress plugins are also kept up to date.
Although backups will not save your website from getting hurt, they are mandatory, especially if you are afraid that things might start going wild.
With a recent backup, you can easily restore your WordPress website back to how it was prior to the attack.
You can perform a WordPress backup using free plugins, including WP backup to Dropbox. Similarly, you should be able to create a backup through Backup Buddy. This plugin is a feature rich solution that will make your life much easier.
i) Get hosted
There are many other things you can continue doing to further bolster your WordPress security and safety. For instance, find the best web host your money can afford for you. Keep in mind that the cheapest hosting service may not have the best security.
The best hosting service will provide you with the WordPress security and safety you are looking for.
j) Download the Right Themes and Plugins
Accidental vulnerabilities are not your only enemies. There are also a number of intentional vulnerabilities that you can easily avoid.
For instance, if you choose to download plugins from shady sources, they might feature source codes that are designed to specifically hack your WordPress website.
In such cases, you will have hacked your own website, albeit indirectly. This is also the same for themes.
Therefore, consider checking the official plugin and theme directories at WordPress.org. The downloads on these directories do not feature dangerous code.
For premium plugins and themes, on the other hand, you need to check the seller’s reputation online.
k) Delete Unused Plugins
Some plugins might contain surprises which could hack your WordPress site. Sometimes, you will come across a couple of basic security vulnerabilities.
To ensure that your site is safe and secure, you simply need to remove every plugin that you do not use on a regular basis. Instead of just deactivating such plugins, delete them entirely.
l) Reduce Your Plugins
You should also consider reducing the total number of plugins you installed for your own WordPress security and safety.
You can also try using plugins to replace others with the same functionality. The best examples are jetpack plugins that can give you:
- Contact forms
- Image carousels and galleries
- Links to related posts
- Mobile themes
- Social media buttons
- Website states
m) Install WordPress Security Plugins
Most of the security plugins you will come across on WordPress are designed to ensure that your blog and website stay safe. This is affected through file permission control, firewall protection and database scans.
The most popular security plugins on WordPress include:
- Acunetix WP Security
- BulletProof Security
- Sucuri Security
- Wordfence Security
One of the great things about these plugins is that they often work on autopilot. Once they’re installed, they do their job without the need for any input.
n) Guard against Attacks
Your WordPress account, website, and blog may be vulnerable to brute force attacks. When people are looking to mess up your website, they can either launch:
- Surgical Attacks: Where they will look for vulnerabilities then explore them to laser precision
- Brute Force Attacks: Where they attempt to guess your WP password until they are successful
To ensure that your site is protected from the latter, consider downloading and installing the BruteProtect plugin.
This plugin will ensure that anyone who tries to login into your account severally from an unidentified or strange location, or device, will be blocked effective immediately.
There are many other ways to protect your WordPress account. However, you can be sure that the above tips and tricks should keep you learning how to accentuate and strengthen your WordPress security and safety.
How do you keep your WordPress site safe from hacking? Let us know in the comments!