WordPress is the fastest-growing content management program (CMS) globally – and it is not difficult to see why. With lots of customization options readily available through coding & plugins, top-notch SEO opportunities, along with an excellent track record of blogging, WordPress has earned its reputation.
Nevertheless, with popularity comes some other, less attractive attention. WordPress is a prevalent target for cyberattacks, malware, and intruders – according to a report, WordPress encounters more than 90,000 hack attempts every minute of the day. Thus, there are several reasons why you should be concerned about your WordPress website’s security.
Whether you are a first-time WordPress user or maybe a seasoned developer, there are several ways that you can adopt to improve the security of your WordPress website. Small or big – every WordPress site should use security measures. The following six crucial suggestions are going to get you started.
WordPress Security Plugins Are Essential
Installing a reliable security plugin is essential for WordPress site security. The main features of a security plugin are scanning and removing malware from your website and guarding it against future malware attacks.
While there are lots of WordPress security plugins to select from, only a few plugins are useful. Although some might provide a lot of features, not all of them offer a reliable performance. A highly experienced hacker can easily bypass some security plugins to hack your website.
MalCare is amongst the very few WordPress plugins that offer fool-proof security. MalCare’s Malware Scanner uses its very own server information to operate a scan of the website of yours. MalCare is created to determine all kinds of malware, including brand new ones.
MalCare’s Malware Removal has probably the fastest malware removal service. MalCare’s WordPress Protection Measures safeguards the WordPress site by making use of a firewall to country blocking to hardening your website’s security measures.
Safeguard Your WordPress Login Page
The login page is one of the most widely attacked pages of a WordPress site. Hackers try to guess the login credential and access the WordPress admin page that will provide them total control over the website. Hence, it is essential to take additional steps to protect your WordPress login page adequately. You can safeguard your WordPress login page by:
- Using a unique username
- Changing your display name
- Prevent discovery of username
- Enforce unique and strong passwords
- Ensure CAPTCHA-based protection
- Implement Two Factor Authentication
Maintain Backups Regularly
Backups are your website’s most significant lifeline. In case you encounter a security breach or system failure that causes data loss, you will be able to recover the data back to the website within no time.
WordPress has a ton of reliable backup plugins. However, with an overwhelming amount of options, it is possible to end up getting a service which isn’t up to the mark. Therefore, we highly recommend you to do your research before you purchase any backup plugin.
Install a WordPress Firewall Plugin
A firewall is a constant website monitoring system. It can detect and block malicious site visitors. A WordPress firewall checks each visitor request made to the website. Regardless of what device the visitor is using – desktop, smartphones, tablets, laptops – every device has an IP address.
If the visit request from a doubtful IP, the visitor is blocked; if not, the user is allowed to use the website. A reliable firewall is the first-line defense system against malicious site traffic.
Invest On a Reliable Hosting Company
Two of the most popular hosting providers include shared hosting and managed to host.
Shared hosting is widely popular because it is significantly less costly than other popularly used hosting services. Shared hosting has provided an opportunity to thousands and millions of individuals across the world to launch their very own site without a considerable expense.
But shared web hosting, you’re posting a server with other unfamiliar sites. And typically, when the security of one website is compromised, other websites on the same server get affected or are at high risk of a security breach.
Hence, even though shared hosting is affordable and popularly used, it is, in fact, not recommended if you are dealing with sensitive data, and website security is your top priority.
If you can afford to pay for a separate server, we recommend you pick a separate hosting server. It does a much better job of keeping the WordPress site secure. You can look at how web hosting affects site security.
Why Should You Secure Your WordPress Site?
You risk losing valuable data, assets, and even credibility if your WordPress site is hacked. Furthermore, these security concerns may jeopardize your customers’ personal and billing information.
Cybercrime losses could cost up to $10.5 trillion annually by the year 2025. You don’t want to be an easy target for hackers and contribute to that.
These are some of the most common types of WordPress security vulnerabilities, according to the WPScan Vulnerability Database:
- Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) – compels the user to perform undesired behaviors in a trustworthy web application.
- Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack – online services are rendered inoperable by flooding them with illegitimate connections, causing a site to be unreachable.
- Authentication bypass – allows hackers to access your website’s resources without confirming their validity.
- SQL injection (SQLi) – Forces the system to run malicious SQL queries, then modify data in the database.
- Cross-site scripting (XSS) – introduces malicious code that converts the website into a carrier of malware.
Local file inclusion (LFI) – the site is forced to process malicious files that have been put on the web server.
Use an SSL Certificate
You might have noticed the lock sign next to the web address (as defined in the picture)
Notice the lock? This lock means the web site is utilizing an SSL certificate. SSL is a secure socket level that encrypts the information while being transferred between the website and browser.
SSL certification is essential, especially if you are dealing with sensitive information like bank and payment details. Because information (like charge card details) moving from a visitor’s internet browser to the website might be intercepted and stolen, thus, even in case the information is stolen, if it is encrypted then, hackers can’t use it.
- There are three types of SSL, including:
- Domain Validated Certificates (DV)
- Organization Validated Certificates (OV)
- Extended Validation Certificates (EV)
Also note that the significant difference between HTTP and HTTPS is that HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) signifies no data encryption implementation, whereas HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) does, hence HTTPS is more secure.
Limiting Login Attempts
WordPress allows users to attempt an infinite number of logins on the site. Sadly, hackers can brute force their way into your WordPress admin area by trying different password combos until they end up on one that works.
To prevent such assaults on the website, you should limit login attempts. Placing a limit on failed attempts also aids in the detection of any malicious activity on your site.
Most users just require just one attempt or a few failed tries, so be wary of any suspicious IP addresses that hit the attempt limit.
Using a plugin to limit login attempts is one technique to improve WordPress security. There are numerous excellent solutions available, including:
- Limit Login Attempts Reloaded – defines the number of unsuccessful attempts for particular IP addresses, adds people to the safelist or completely blocks them, and tells website visitors about the current lockout period.
- Loginizer – provides login security features like 2FA,
- reCAPTCHA, as well as login challenge questions.
- Limit Attempts by BestWebSoft – when an IP address reaches the login attempt limit, it is automatically blocked and added to a deny list.
One risk of using this WordPress security feature is that a genuine user will be barred from WordPress admin.
Changing the WordPress URL Of The Login Page
Consider changing the URL of your login page to further protect your website against brute force assaults.
The default login URL for all WordPress websites is yourdomain.com/wp-admin. Having the default login URL allows hackers to attack your login page easily.
Plugins such as WPS Hide Login and Change wp-admin Login make custom login URL settings possible.
Following are the steps to change your WordPress login page URL if you use the WPS Hide Login plugin:
- Navigate to Settings WPS Hide Login on your dashboard.
- Enter your personalized login URL in the Login URL area.
- To complete the process, click the Save Changes button.
Disabling PHP Error Reporting
The PHP error reporting feature displays detailed information about your website’s pathways and file structure, making it an excellent tool for monitoring your PHP scripts.
Displaying your website’s vulnerabilities on the backend, on the other hand, is a significant WordPress security vulnerability.
For example, if it shows the particular plugin on which the error message appears, attackers could exploit the weaknesses of that plugin.
You can stop PHP error reporting in two ways: through the PHP file or through the management panel of your hosting account.
Modify the PHP File
To edit your PHP file, follow these steps:
- Open the wp-config.php file on your site with an FTP client like FileZilla or the hosting provider’s File Manager.
- Insert the following code into the file. It must come before every other PHP directive.
- Press Save to confirm the change.
Change PHP Settings Through the Control Panel
If you don’t want to code, turn off PHP error reporting in the control panel of your hosting provider. Here’s how to do it with hPanel:
- Go to the Advanced section of your hPanel dashboard. After that, select PHP Configuration.
- Disable the displayErrors option on the PHP Options tab.
- Press Save.
WordPress Security – FAQs
Does WordPress have security issues?
WordPress is the leading content management system (CMS) in the world. With widespread popularity comes ample security threats. Making WordPress is a frequent target for intruders, cyberattacks, and malware. In fact, in 2019, WordPress accounted for approx. 90% of hacked CMS platforms.
Can WordPress be hacked?
Yes! WordPress can be hacked! Although WordPress is a safe CMS, several factors can lead to compromised web security. WordPress is an incredibly popular platform. Some seventy-five million sites on the web are made on WordPress that attracts the interest of hacking groups from across the globe.
One more reason is the presence of old and vulnerable themes and plugins. In reality, accounts suggest that outdated themes & plugins are a leading cause of even more WordPress compromises.
Is WordPress secure enough?
Luckily, the lack of built-in WordPress security is a myth. The WordPress core is secure because of the army of the world’s best developers that are consistently coming up with improved technology and fixing bugs and glitches to ensure optimum WordPress security. You can utilize several plugins and features to optimize your WordPress website’s security level.
WordPress Security – Infographic
WordPress is a reliable open-source platform, loved and recommended by developers, wordpress agencies and beginners alike. However, the biggest con of using WordPress is that its security threats are not going anywhere in the near future. Therefore it is essential to remain equipped with safety measures to ensure fool-proof website security.
We hope that this WordPress Security guide would help you understand the need and importance of WordPress security and help you build more robust protection for your WordPress website.
Ensuring WordPress website security is an ongoing commitment instead of a one-time task, so make sure you routinely check your website safety protocols and regularly update them.
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Infographic Cradit: Wordfence