12 Crucial WordPress Security Tips You Need to Know to Keep Your Website Safe
All websites tend to be vulnerable. No matter how much hard work you put in on your site, cybercriminals can still find a way to harm your website, even if you think you haven’t done anything wrong.
That’s simply how the internet works ‒ random attacks are everywhere.
Fortunately, those security threats can be prevented by following these WordPress security tips to keep your website safe.
Choose a Reliable Web Host
Most hacking attempts are due to the security vulnerabilities in your hosting server. Therefore, picking a web hosting company is a vital decision that you have to make.
Ideally, it should protect your site from the most common security threats that come from spyware, malware, adware, trojans, and other security vulnerabilities.
A reputable hosting provider will implement strict security standards in the server, as well as make security updates regularly to keep up with changes. It will monitor your website to detect and block any cyberattacks before it completely infects your network.
So before you decide to work with a hosting company, make sure to do your research and read online review sites to have an idea of the services they provide. It can be as simple as typing in something like “Hostgator review” on Google, for example. If it ticks all the boxes, only then should you sign the contract.
Backup and Update Your WordPress Site Regularly
It doesn’t matter how secure your site is. You still need to create a back-up for your WordPress website. That way, you know that all your data is secure should anything happen to your site.
Also, make sure that you keep a regular back-up with BackWPUp or VaultPress.
Apart from that, you also need to update your primary WordPress website backend on a regular basis. Fortunately, WordPress regularly releases its latest version to fix any vulnerabilities and design flaws. It also updates its existing features to improve the security of your site with ease.
Use a Strong Password
Your password is the key to your WordPress site. You must pick a password that’s strong and hard for others to guess.
Fortunately, WordPress now generates alphanumeric passwords that are extremely secured. But it’s still important that you periodically change your password at least every two weeks.
Some people are saving their passwords in a password vault or password manager, which isn’t a bad idea. After all, not everyone could remember every single password.
However, data is often saved on the browser itself. So, make sure that you enforce security measures like securing your device and apps to prevent any unauthorized usage.
Integrate Two-Factor Authentication
Integrating a two-factor authentication is one of the best ways to protect your site from security attacks. This usually happens when a hacker penetrates your site by using unlimited passwords and usernames over and over again until they gain access.
With two-factor authentication, you can take your login page’s security to the next level. Usually, a password is required along with an authorization code sent to your mobile before you can fully access the site.
Without the combination of the authorization code and the password, a hacker wouldn’t be able to access your WordPress site.
Enable an SSL Connection
Integrating a Secure Socket Layer certificate will be a smart move on your part so that you can secure the admin panel.
SSL usually makes sure that the data transfer between the server and the user browser is secure, making it hard for hackers to get your information or breach your connection.
Getting an SSL certificate for your WordPress site is easy. All you need to do is to buy one from a third-party company or check with your web hosting company if it provides one for free.
Change the Default Username
Although it’s easier to keep your default username of “admin,” you’re setting yourself for a major security breach.
Keep in mind that most attacks will be using “admin” because a lot of hackers think that most individuals don’t have the initiative to amend it.
So, go ahead and change it by creating a new user at Users > New User, then give that new login admin rights. You can sign in your new admin account after and then delete your default admin account.
Keep an Eye on SQL Injection
SQL attacks happen when a hacker utilizes a web form field or a URL parameter to manipulate or access your database.
If you’re using the average Transact URL, it’s easy to place a rogue code in your query, which can be used by malicious individuals to delete your data, access information, and so on.
You can avoid this by utilizing parameterized queries. Most web languages have this kind of feature, and it’s easy to implement.
Limit Login Attempts and Change Your Password Often
When your account has unlimited attempts, they’d eventually figure out your login data. Limiting your log-in attempts is one thing that you have to do to prevent that from happening.
Hackers won’t succeed in hacking your account if you limit your login and password attempts. Also, by changing your passwords regularly, you’re reducing the chances of them penetrating your site.
Use your Email to Login
By default, you need to use your username to log in. For a more secure approach, you can use your email ID instead.
The reason why it’s more secure is obvious. Email IDs are harder to predict than usernames. Furthermore, your WordPress user account is created with an email address that’s unique, making it a valid identifier when logging in.
There are a couple of WordPress security plugins that lets you set up your login pages so that all users can utilize their email addresses to login.
Hide Your wp-config.php and .htaccess files
While this is usually considered as an advanced process to keep your WordPress site secure, if you’re serious about security, then you must hide your wp-config.php and .htaccess files so that hackers couldn’t access them.
With this process, we suggest that this would be implemented by more experienced site developers because you first have to back up your site before you proceed.
Any mistake that you’ll commit on your part will cause your site to shut down and become inaccessible.
Enable Security Scans
Security scans are something that’s done by specialized software or plugins that goes through your entire website, searching for something suspicious. If it finds something, then it’s removed immediately.
These scanners work a lot like anti-viruses.
Update Your Plug-ins and Themes
You also need to update the themes and plugins that are installed on your site. This helps you avoid bugs, vulnerabilities, and other security breach points.
Just like with your software products, certain themes and plugins also get breached, and you can find security holes within them.
So how do you update them? For plugins, simply go to Plugins / Installed Plugins, and the list of all your plugins will show up. If a particular plugin isn’t in the latest version, then WordPress will let you know.
Meanwhile, if you want to update your theme, simply head to Appearance / Themes, where you can view all your installed themes. The outdated ones are marked just like the plugins were, and all you need to do is to click “Update Now simply.”
Managing your website is easier if you don’t have to worry about getting malicious website attacks. Therefore, increasing the security of your website should be your top priority.
Even if you have a small website, securing your site should be a cause of concern. By setting a couple of security measures and making regular back-ups, you can significantly reduce the chances of getting hacked.
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