Being one of the most reliable sites globally, WordPress has become the hub for hackers and other security offenders. It is one of the leading sites being used by millions of websites.
WordPress Security best Practice
With the high preference, it is of essence to establish practices to secure your WordPress website from malicious activities. The good news is that it is possible to secure your data from attackers, ensuring a safe and secure WordPress.
To end these hackers’ attacks, we have researched the weak points used for attack, the possible vulnerabilities of WordPress, and finally listed some of the WordPress security best practices in this post.
Is WordPress Safe from Hackers?
No. WordPress is not safe from hackers.
WordPress is prone to attacks from various online hackers and cyber-criminals. For this reason, we need to ensure that we perform some security measures on the site to secure the information therein.
There are several measures focused on ensuring the safety of your information. Follow these practices in this article, and you will create a strong, reliable, certain WordPress website.
What Are the Vulnerabilities of WordPress?
Before we descend on the security best practices of WordPress, we need to understand the vulnerabilities in this platform that make it susceptible to attacks since it is the only sure way to tackle a problem by starting with the root cause.
Below are 10 of the major WordPress security vulnerabilities.
1. Dormant User accounts
Some websites have more than one user. These multiple users and developers access the website at different times. Some of the numerous users leave the accounts in a dormant state. If not removed, these inactive accounts are not updated; hence act as a channel for hackers to access the website.
Remove all the ghost and inactive users to secure the website. Use an activity log to ensure only the intended users access the website.
2. Websites using the HTTP and not the HTTPS
A website with HTTP only should be the first alarm to a vulnerable site. The website lacks the green lock features next to the URL panel. The green lock is the security code for any user accessing the website.
The lock ensures that the accessing user is SSL – a security protocol feature that encrypts the information being relied upon to and from the website. Operating your WordPress site without such security protocols puts it at risk of being hacked.
3. Cross-site Scripting threats
Cross-site scripting is also referred to as the XSS attacks. These attacks are meant for new and unsuspecting users who log in to your website. It’s good enough to protect your web visitors from these attackers. The hackers inject malware into your website, and the unsuspecting user logs in to your website, and the visitor thinks it’s your site and is attacked.
Keep your website updated and install a WordPress firewall plugin for extensive security.
4. SQL injection attacks
With SQL injections, the website’s database is at risk of being manipulated. The SQL injections attack the database directly, giving hackers direct access to the passwords, posts, and edited information about the website.
The SQL injection is a coding language that can retrieve, manipulate, add or even redesign the information stored in the database. These injections are the most dangerous attacks.
To avoid these security vulnerabilities, keep your WordPress themes and plugins updated. To ensure extra security measures, install a firewall.
5. Alternative Backdoors on your website
Identifying malware on your website is easy. However, eliminating the malware might leave the website at a higher risk of backdoor code access. The backdoor codes are highly concealed from the users. These codes are used as an alternative to regain access to the website once the malware has been detected.
To eliminate this threat, avoid manual clean-up of the detected malware. Apply security plugins such as the Malcare to remove the hidden backdoor codes.
6. Short and Weak Passwords
With the help of online bots, hackers can try more than 100 password entries into your website accounts. They rely on weak passwords such as your date of birth or national identity card numbers.
Upon successful trial to hack your passwords, the hackers have full-time access to your account and can manipulate all the data. To avoid such vulnerabilities, have long and sophisticated passwords that the hackers cannot easily hack. Also, keep changing and updating your passwords every three months.
Other key security protocols involve enacting a limit on the trial one can have on your account, after which the version self-blocks access.
7. Password Re-usage Across other Accounts
Having similar passwords across all your accounts, especially on social media sites, can be a possible vulnerability. Using the same password increases the chances of hacking bots detecting your passkey.
To eradicate this risk, have unique and strong passwords for each account and set up a password manager to save and protect your passkey.
8. Malicious Redirect Hacks
If you are a frequent visitor of new web pages, you must have been redirected to other scam pages that are advertising or even selling products and services that don’t meet the criteria.
The worst part is that you can no longer access your account. Since you can’t log in to your website account, get help to install a security plugin to get rid of the attacked redirect malware.
9. Phishing Scam Attacks
As the word goes, it is all built on falsified information sent to unsuspecting users. The user is manipulated using false information that seems genuine. For example, they might send you a fake email, and then through the message, you are redirected to a phony website where you input your credentials, giving them access to your website unaware.
10. Nulled Plugins and Theme Software
In website designing and development, good deals that are very enticing are all over the sites. One of them is the cracked licenses for the plugins and themes. These pose the greatest risk to your website.
These cracked licenses are packed with malware and backdoor codes that access your website upon installation. Avoid these free deals that seem good to pick but are loaded with bigger negative impacts.
WordPress Security Best Practices
Having discovered all these threats facing your website and how they can affect your sites, it’s important to analyze the WordPress security best practices to exercise. Here are some of the best do-it-yourself security practices for your website.
1. Frequent Updates
Having an outdated website is the last thing you want to have. Constantly update your WordPress, the plugins, and themes. The updated site is the most accessible security practice since you can set your site on an automatic updating mode.
For the manual updating, ensure you update your software every four months.
2. Modifying the default login URL
Modifying is one of the admin’s lock measures that involve changing the default URL known by hackers and changing it to a more secure and private URL that is only known to you.
You can achieve this with the help of a plugin and modify the URL to a more secure and undetectable URL.
3. Setting complex passwords
Passwords serve as the gate key to most of the sites and accounts. Install a strong, reliable password that can withstand hacking techniques. Incorporate letters, numbers, and any other symbol to ensure a strong passkey.
Since hackers are improving their tech day by day, consider using the WordPress passkey-protecting plugins to ensure better security.
4. Limiting the logins trial attempts
The anti-plugins are the best to prevent multiple unwanted login attempts with a wrong password. The plugins allocate a lock-out time frame for the plugin to lock the account and record any further attempts.
5. Use PHP Versions
WordPress operates under the PHP version. Only under this version can the software be considered safe and secure. Outdated PHP versions are prone to many hacking tricks.
Update your version to the latest version 8 to enjoy security for your website.
6. Use WordPress security plugins
This is one of the easiest ways you can secure your website. What these security plugins do is minimize the number of requests you get from a single IP address in a minute.
You can use plugins like Sucuri and Wordfence. Sucuri cloudproxy firewall passes all your traffic before sending them to your hosting. Wordfence is also great for basic security. Both of these are very powerful and you should get them if you don’t have something better.
7. Employ Secure Themes and Plugins
To keep your WordPress secure, ensure you only install the verified and approved plugins and themes. Check on the following WordPress security checklist while installing them.
- Do the theme and plugin contain viruses?
- Is the theme and plugin up to date?
- Is the software compatible with the latest WordPress?
- Does the software have any malware or backdoor codes?
With these few questions well answered, you can be sure to have a secure system.
8. Protect Your Database
Since the database is the heart of the software, it’s wise enough to ensure database security. Change the naming of the database to make it hard for the hackers to locate it. Please do not leave it easy for them to pick. With a secure database, you can rest assured of a safe platform for you and your visitors.
With these security practices, perform routine check-ups on your site and database to help manage any upcoming threat.
9. Use of Web Application Firewall
WAF protects your website by close monitoring and eliminating any malicious activities of hackers. The WAF also prevents hackers from retrieving any information without the owner’s authority. The web application firewall (WAF) is a must-have feature in ensuring safe sites for your visitors.
How To Secure WordPress Site Without Plugin?
As discussed above, plugins are very useful for securing your WordPress. If you don’t have access to the plugin, use the WordPress security scan to run a self-scanning program. You can also use these simple steps to secure your WordPress.
- Update your WordPress regularly to allow any detected vulnerability to be addressed and fixed by the WordPress core team.
- Limit the number of users who can access your website. Only those with well-defined roles should be allowed to access the software. Such may include the subscriber, contributor, authors, and editors.
- Install high-standard passwords that are complex for hackers. Strong usernames and passwords stand as the number one security practice for the DIY group.
- Use the secure protocol login program. With the SSL certificate, you can upgrade your site security to high levels that can be hard to hack.
- Disable automatic updating and modification of the theme as the attackers can use that chance to hack your database.
- Have a backup plan that is updated regularly. A backup method is of the essence if the hackers manage to take hostage your site. You can always re-build from the backed-up data.
Practice these measures on your software, and you can be sure to have an improved website security program that secures your platform.
You do not have to lose your data and other important documents to these malicious people. WordPress, together with the plugins, can keep your software secure.
It is advisable to have a backup for all your data as it is very useful if there is a total shutdown of the site. You can retrieve your data with ease. Practice regular WordPress security scans for your website to detect any hacking attempts.
Practice these security codes on your site and enjoy a free, safe, and secure website for you and your visitors.