A few years ago, no one thought about website security. Everyone, or at least a majority, who owned computers, networks and other digital resources lived in a cocoon of denial amplified by the notion that hackers would be least interested in their networks. “Why on earth would a hacker put me on his target list if all I have is a small blog?” a friend once asked.
According to him, hackers went after banks and retailers. A few months later, the guy was targeted. He was a victim of a phishing attack which lured him to downloading a malicious link that would later spread a virus through his network. This turn of events brought to an end an era of innocence and ignorance. My friend knew he was vulnerable, and he implemented all the cybersecurity safety protocols he could think of.
I tell you for free; it is a bot-eat-bot internet world. The notion that your content will least interest the hackers is a misleading one. It might just be a matter of time before your WordPress site is hacked. As such, the topic of WordPress security is one of great significance to WordPress owners.
We have already seen in the past cases of WordPress sites that have been victim to cyberattacks. According to Sucuri Hacked Website Report 2018, 90% of all cleanup requests were from WP. The report shows you how vulnerable WP can be. Cleaning up the messes after a successful security breach to your WordPress site is a tormenting and irritating experience and a significant drain on money, time and resources. This article will explain some of the tips you can apply to secure your WordPress site from hackers.
- Constantly Update Your WordPress
There is a good reason why they are releasing new versions. That technology is progressing so fast is one indisputable truth about technology. The updates do not just aim to improve the functionality, convenience and style of the CMS. They also enhance security by sealing loopholes and vulnerabilities to keep nasty intruders from ever breaking through. Failure to update your WP is like inviting trouble.
- Regularly Update WordPress Plugins and Themes
52% of WordPress vulnerabilities were a result of vulnerable WordPress plugins. Plugin security vulnerabilities will give hackers easy access to your WordPress site. Plugins will increase your website’s efficiency, and failure to update them increases your susceptibility to hackers. Developers frequently update the plugins, not only for performance efficiency but also for security purposes. Fail to update the plugins, and you will be treading on the hackers’ path.
You must follow the correct procedure when carrying out the updates. A wrong update could be as worse as a successful hack. Updates start with carrying out a backup, deactivating the plugins, updating your WordPress, plugins and themes and finally reactivating the plugins.
- Install SSL certificate
SSL certificates have been around for some time as yet essential protocols for protecting websites. You probably have come across HTTPS websites with a padlock symbol next to the address bar. A few years ago, HTTPS was most common to big tech companies and eCommerce stores while small blog and medium-size businesses maintained HTTP.
However, in the recent past, you probably have noticed the wave towards HTTPS. These websites, short blogs, small business websites and large eCommerce stores have adopted the HTTPS protocol. You might be wondering if it is the right moment to take the same direction. Yes, indeed it is.
SSL certificates ensure that the communication between the web servers and web browsers is encrypted and fully protected. The certificate creates a “cone of silence” between the web servers and the web browsers. To communicate between your end and your end-users to enjoy anonymity and safety from intruders, you will need to install the certificate.
Different SSL types are created for various websites. You should keenly consider your website’s features before choosing a certificate from any of the three below:
Single certificate- will provide security to a fully-qualified domain or subdomain name.
Multi-domain SSL certificate- furthers protection to multiple domain names.
Wildcard SSL certificate- will provide security to one domain name and an unlimited number of subdomains.
- Delete Old and Unused Plugins
WordPress plugins are one of the reasons behind the success and popularity of WP. They have been so convenient in increasing the efficiency and functionality of WordPress. However, it would be best if you were wary about leaving too many unused plugins on your site. They might be the cause of significant problems like increase vulnerability of your WP website to hackers. There is no point of keeping an unused plugin. Once you are done with them, the best move will be to uninstall them.
- Employ Best Password Practices
Creating strong and unique passwords capable of withstanding all forms of attacks, such as brute force attacks is crucial in WordPress security. Make sure to follow the rules of creating a secure password. You can as well use a password generator which is available on WP version 4.3.1. Furthermore, ensure that you change the passwords frequently and that you store them properly.
- Install a WordPress Antivirus Plugin
WordPress anti-virus plugins enable you to enhance and strengthen your security walls. There are several security plugins available, and you need to be keen on which tool you choose.
- Multiple Step Authentication
To add another vital security layer apart from strong and unique passwords, you must enable your WordPress’s multiple-step authentication. The benefit of this security protocol is that even if someone succeeds in cracking your password, he will need a security code sent to your device. Without the code, the hacker will not succeed in accessing your WP.
WordPress offers this feature, and you must ensure that it is enabled.
- Install Firewalls
WordPress firewalls will filter incoming and outgoing traffic on your WP website to ensure that no danger reaches your end. Only trusted data is allowed to reach your end. To enhance your WordPress security, ensure you purchase a firewall.
- Data Backups
Nothing can be so displeasing more than discovering that your WordPress website has been hacked. However, things can be a little bit better when you frequently backed up your data. All you will have to do is find the duplicate file and get things going. Ensure that you continually carry out data backups to be on a safer side.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System we have today According to a survey by W3techs, WordPress has 61.8% of the Content Management System market share. More people are using it to run their websites.
However, with all the benefits that WP offers, it is also a hackers’ haven, if you do not install proper measures to protect your WordPress site, you are treading on a wrong path. In this article, I have explained nine ways you can use to secure your WordPress from hackers. I advise that you employ all these tips to enhance their efficiency. Ignoring even a single one could be your biggest Achilles’ heel.