September 16, 2021

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Essential Security practices for WordPress website

wordpress-security

WordPress is well known for its flexibility, scalability, and ease of use. Its popularity also makes it vulnerable to cyber-attacks. WordPress security is crucial to protect the website from cyber threats. Nowadays, a lot of webmasters across the web use WordPress but the irony is it comes at a cost.

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It is often targeted by hackers and spammers who seek to utilize insecure websites to their advantage. There is always a risk in securing your WordPress site. Website security is a process that requires the frequent assessment of attack vectors.

Is WordPress security important?

A hacked WordPress website will cause serious injury to your business revenue and name. Hackers will steal user data, passwords, install malicious code, and might even distribute malware to your users.

Worst, you end up paying ransomware to hackers to regain access to your web site.

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Why WordPress security is vital

Google blacklists a lot of websites for malware and phishing every week.

If your website represents a business, then you wish to pay further attention to your WordPress security.

Ways to Improve your WordPress security:

Keeping WordPress updated

WordPress is an open-source CMS that is often maintained and updated by a community. By default, WordPress installs minor updates automatically. For major releases, you can manually initiate the update.

WordPress comes with thousands of plugins and themes to install on your web site. Plugins and themes developed by third-party developers pose a security challenge as it often requires a security update.

These WordPress security updates are crucial for the safety and stability of your WordPress website.

Strong Passwords and User Permissions

  • The most common WordPress hacking technique tries to exploit weak passwords. Avoid this by using strong passwords that are distinctive for your website.
  • Ensure you have strong passwords for WordPress admin space, FTP accounts, database, WordPress hosting account, and your custom email addresses that use your domain name.
  • Do not offer anyone access to your WordPress admin account unless you need to. 
  • If you got an outsized team or guest authors, then confirm that you perceive user roles and capabilities in WordPress before you add new user accounts and authors to your WordPress website.

The Role of WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting plays a significant role in the security of your website.

Many internet hosting companies work within the background to shield your websites.

  • It unceasingly monitors its network for suspicious activity.
  • All smart hosting corporations have tools to stop giant-scale DDOS attacks.
  • Your web hosting provider manages the server and the hardware. Furthermore, it also prevents hackers from exploiting the security vulnerability.
  • Hosting company deploy disaster recovery and full backup plans that permit them to shield your website just in case of a cyber attack.
  • On a shared hosting, you share the server resources with several different customers. Hence, it opens the chance of cross-site contamination where a hacker uses a neighboring website to attack your website.
  • Managed WordPress hosting service provides a safer platform for your web site. Moreover, Managed WordPress hosting corporations offer automatic backups, automatic WordPress updates, and additional advanced security configurations to shield your website.

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Install a WordPress Backup

  • Backups are the primary defense against any WordPress attack. Remember, nothing is 100 percent secure.
  • Backups enable you to quickly restore your WordPress website just in case of a cyber attack.
  • Based on how often you update your web site, the best setting may be either once each day, or time backups.
  • You can use backup plugins like VaultPress or UpdraftPlus for making the backup of your website. 

Use an auditing plugin

After backups, we should set up an auditing and observance system that keeps track of everything that happens on your website.

It includes file integrity observance, failing login tries, malware scanning, and a lot more.

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WordPress Security hardening

Security hardening is a technique in which you lock down the key areas of your WordPress website that hackers typically use in their attacks.

Employ a plugin to harden your WordPress website like database Prefix change, change Admin Username, etc.

Enable WordPress Application Firewall (WAF)

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Shield your website by employing a WordPress application firewall (WAF) and be assured regarding your WordPress security.

A website firewall blocks all malicious traffic before it even reaches your website.

DNS Level website Firewall –

DNS firewall route your web site traffic through a cloud proxy server. Thus it enables you to filter real traffic to your internet server. In other words, It is able to block spam traffic at the DNS level and many hosting providers employ DNS Level Firewall.

Application Level Firewall –

These firewall plugins examine the traffic once it reaches your server before loading most WordPress scripts. 

This methodology is not economical because of the DNS level firewall in reducing the server load.

Move Your WordPress website to SSL/HTTPS

Wordpress Plugins

SSL stands for secure socket layer. It is used in websites for enhanced security. The primary purpose of SSL is that it ensures the connection is encrypted either through a private or a public key. An example to describe the use of SSL is that when you call from WhatsApp, it says the call is end to end encrypted.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) represents a protocol that encrypts data transfer between your website and the user’s browser. This coding makes it more durable for somebody to smell around and steal data. Therefore try to use SSL certificate on your website.

How SSL works

SSL

Once you apply SSL(Secure socket layer), your website can use hypertext transfer protocolS(https:// rather than http://). You additionally see a padlock sign next to your website address within the browser.

A non-profit organization, “Let’s Encrypt,” supply free SSL Certificates to website owners. This project is supported by Google Chrome, Facebook, Mozilla, and lots of other corporations. Hence, it is easier to start using SSL for all of your WordPress websites.

How to generate SSL for free

Top 6 Factors to Consider While Evaluating SSL Certificate Companies

In general, there are two ways if you need to generate SSL for free.

SELF Sign:

We do not recommend this method because it often generates warning messages on the browser.

Use third parties that provide SSL Certificate

A lot of corporations and web hosting providers provide SSL certificates for free.

Change the default Username

The default WordPress admin username is admin. Since, usernames conjure half login credentials, it is much easier for hackers to perform brute-force attacks.

Thankfully, the WordPress community has modified this and presently needs you to pick a custom username at the time of installing WordPress.

Disable file editing in WordPress

WordPress comes with an inherent code editor that permits you to edit your theme and plugin files right from your WordPress admin space.

Within the wrong hands, this feature will be a security risk that is why we tend to suggest turning it off.

Either, You can do that by adding the code in your wp-config.php file, OR use WordPress plugins.