With WordPress being one of the most popular website builders, it is also a popular target for cyberattacks. With increased popularity comes an increase in cybercriminals trying to find new and unique ways to hack into your site. Despite the fact that WordPress is a generally secure platform, it can be vulnerable to cyberattacks if you do not take the necessary security precautions. This blog discusses the importance of securing your WordPress website as well as the steps you can take to secure your website.
The importance of securing your WordPress website:
With your website being one of the best ways to make a good impression on potential customers, having a secure website can help improve your reputation and build trust. When a customer visits your website, the last thing they want to see is a 'Attackers might be attempting to steal your information' warning. This is why it is critical to ensure that your website is always up and running in order to build trust.
It not only puts your customers but also your business. An attacker who gains access to your website can obtain personal information about you and your visitors. This security breach can be extremely damaging to your business because they can obtain sensitive data, resulting in financial loss.
Securing your website lowers the likelihood of cybercriminals gaining control and changing the content or appearance of your site. This is extremely damaging to your website because once they have access to it, they can display absolutely anything on it.
A secure website can also help your search rankings because search engines prioritise secure websites. Things like an SSL certificate can help boost your SEO performance. A higher ranking on search engines means you're more likely to get more visitors to your site.
Most common types of WordPress security issues:
Vulnerable themes and plugins:
Third-party developers create themes and plugins, which are a common way for attackers to inject malware into your website. It is critical to only install plugins and themes from reputable developers and to conduct thorough research on the plugins or themes you intend to use. You should also update your plugins and themes on a regular basis, as new updates bring new security features that can help protect your site.
Weak login credentials:
Many cyberattacks are the result of weak or easily guessable passwords. Using strong passwords is one of the most basic steps you can take to improve the security of your WordPress site. It is critical that all users with access to your WordPress site's backend use strong passwords when logging in. Use of common usernames and passwords such as 'admin,' 'password,' and '1234' puts your website at risk. You should also change your passwords on a regular basis because you never know when your WordPress logins may be involved in a data leak.
Brute-Force Login attacks:
An automated tool is used by an attacker to enter as many usernames and passwords as possible until they find the correct combination. To avoid this, implement safeguards such as limiting login attempts, CAPTCHA, and two-factor authentication, which ensure that attackers cannot use these tools to gain access to your site.
One of the most common and effective types of cyber-attacks is phishing. It entails an attacker obtaining your sensitive information while posing as a legitimate person or business. When it comes to your website, the attacker will most likely ask for your login information, download malware, or direct you to a dangerous website where they can gain access to your WordPress account.
How to secure your WordPress website:
Regularly update your WordPress, plugins, and themes:
Regularly updating your WordPress core, plugins, and themes helps to improve your security. Security patches that address known vulnerabilities or weaknesses in the software are frequently included. This is critical because attackers typically target sites with these vulnerabilities because they are much easier to attack because they lack the most recent security features. Updates not only address security issues, but also fix bugs and improve overall website stability. This contributes to the overall performance of your website. To ensure that your plugins are always up to date, enable automatic updates for all of your plugins so that you can benefit from the latest updates as soon as they are released.
Enable two-factor authentication:
Your login procedure is the most important factor in ensuring the security of your site. This is why you should improve your login procedures and implement two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of security. WP 2FA - Two-factor authentication for WordPress by WP White Security is a simple plugin for implementing 2FA.
Use a secure hosting provider:
The security of your website can also be affected by your hosting provider. Choosing the right web hosting provider is critical in determining whether or not your site is important. Check that your provider prioritises security and has strong security measures in place, such as regular backups, a free SSL certificate, and malware scanning. A hosting provider should also have dependable communication channels to ensure that if something goes wrong, they can assist you and effectively communicate any questions, issues, or concerns you may have.
Install a security plugins:
A WordPress security plugin can give you that extra layer of protection. With features like malware scanning, login security, and firewall protection, many of these plugins can help put your mind at ease. Wordfence, Sucuri, iThemes Security, and Jetpack are just a few of the security plugins available.
Regularly backup your site:
Backups are essential in protecting your website and ensuring that if something goes wrong, you can revert the changes using the backup you have on hand and be back up and running in no time. An off-site backup can make sure that if you lose access to your website, you can still restore a recent version.
Kick idle users out:
Setting up a plugin that automatically logs out idle users can help to improve your security, particularly for users who frequently forget to log out of the website. This puts your site at risk, especially if users access it from public computers. This keeps both your company and site visitors safe.
Secure file permissions and disable file editing:
When a user has administrative privileges, they can easily edit any file in the WordPress dashboard, including plugins and themes. This is extremely dangerous because if a hacker gains access to your dashboard, they will be able to easily inject malicious content and malware into your files. To disable file editing navigate to your WP-config file and add the following to the very end:
When it comes to your WordPress site, secure file permissions are also an important aspect of file management. This entailed establishing appropriate access levels to ensure that files are only editable and accessible to the necessary users and processes. This is critical for plugins and themes because incorrect permissions can lead to security vulnerabilities or functional issues.
Delete any unused themes or plugins:
Examine the plugins or themes you've downloaded on a regular basis and delete any that you're not using. This will help to reduce the number of possible entry points for attackers and remove any plugins with known security vulnerabilities. It can also help to improve the overall performance and speed of your website.
Install an SSL certificate:
SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, is a security protocol designed to provide secure communication over the internet by encrypting and decrypting data using a combination of public and private keys. Installing an SSL certificate is a critical step toward securing your WordPress site. It encrypts the data sent between your website and the browsers of your visitors. This encryption process renders sensitive information, such as login credentials, payment information, and personal information, unreadable.