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6 Insanely Useful Tips to Prevent a WordPress Hack

What could be worse than logging into your website and seeing that it’s been hacked? Unless you misplace the car keys, miss a bill payment, or see your family pet has passed away — pretty much everything else is just a “minor gripe” compared to hacking.

And unfortunately, the world of WordPress is eternally vulnerable to security threats. With the right credit card number and intimate knowledge of web technology, you can easily compromise a site.

That’s why it’s vital to keep up with the latest working solutions to continue making your platform secure.

In this article, you will learn six insanely useful tips to prevent a WordPress hack from happening to your website.

  1. Limit your logins attempts

    If you’re running a high-profile site, constantly attacked by bots from all over the world, security is one of the biggest concerns.

    One way to avoid such attacks is by limiting login attempts. Luckily, there are a number of WordPress plugins that automate the process for you.

    For instance, WordPress plugins like the Limit Login Attempts Reloaded will automatically block users who enter a set number of wrong names and password combinations.

    For instance, you can make the settings to block hackers after four attempts of entering the password.

    Apart from that, the tool also lets the user know about the remaining retries and login page lockout time.

    You can also opt to get logging and email notifications and whitelist/blacklist certain IPs and Usernames.

  2. Use long, complicated passwords.

    Hackers try to use brute force techniques to gain access to our WordPress websites. This means they enter thousands of passwords into your Wordpress login page until they find your password. The use of long, complicated passwords will help to prevent this.

    Aside from generating a strong password, try not to reuse the same pattern again. Shorter passwords are easier to remember, but hackers take advantage of that.

    A strong password consists of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and unique symbols. The most common passwords usually end up getting hacked. So, in any case, avoid using them.

    You can even use a password management app, such as LastPass, to manage your long and complicated passwords that are hard to remember.

    Even its free version offers all the features you would need to get started. To access multi-factor and sharing features, you can opt for the premium version and pay $3 per month.

  3. Disable file editing

    A WordPress hack happens when a hacker exploits code and inserts malicious code into your website. The single most important thing you can do to prevent a WordPress hack is to disable file editing.

    There is a code editor in WordPress that lets you edit your website files via your dashboard. Though it is a helpful feature, keeping it turned on will increase the chances of your site getting hacked.

    To stop the code editor, add the code below into your wp-config.php file:

    // Disallow file edit
    define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true );

    Alternatively, you can disable PHP file execution in your /wp-content/uploads/ folders. To do that, open Notepad – or a similar text editor – and paste:

    Files *.php>
    deny from all

    You can save this as .htaccess and then upload the file to the /wp-content/uploads/ folders to stop hackers who try to make backdoor attacks on your PHP execution.

    Consider hiring WordPress website development services to create a secure WordPress website.

  4. Update themes and plugins

    One of the leading causes of a site getting hacked is having an outdated plugin.

    Aside from plugins not updated to the latest version, plugins with known vulnerabilities, outdated themes, and plugins that require weak passwords all provide opportunities for malicious attacks.

    To allow WordPress to update all plugins, enable the auto-update feature automatically. In some cases, an updated plugin may not be compatible with other plugins. However, the positives outweigh the negatives.

    If you own a site that doesn’t change often, it is best to enable the auto-update feature.

  5. Keep your databases secure and isolated.

    Your database has all the info about your site, making it irresistible to hackers.

    Hackers can run automated codes for SQL injections to hack your site database. If you are using a single server to run several sites, it puts all your sites at risk.

    To prevent your database from getting hacked, use separate databases for each site and let separate users manage them. In other words, every website should be allowed its own database and user.

    Also, consider canceling all database privileges apart from ”data read” and ”data write” from users whose work is to upload data and install plugins.

    Another great tip is to change the prefix of your database and rename it to misdirect the hackers. Even though it will not stop WordPress hacking by itself, the hackers can’t jump to the next WordPress site if any databases are hacked.

  6. Take regular backups

    It is all too common nowadays to hear about a hacker who has broken into an account because account owners failed to take backups of their files. If you are running any type of WordPress site, it is important that you take backups in case something happens to your site. You could be just the next victim.

    Backing up your website will not prevent hacking. However, it’s one of the most important steps to take in case your site gets hacked.

    When you make regular site backups, you will be able to restore your site again quickly whenever necessary.

    Backing up your WordPress site will depend on your hosting. You can ask your hosting provider to include backups as part of the package. For instance, if you’re hosting your WordPress site on Amazon S3, you will need to create S3 backups to protect from data loss and operational disruptions.

    Or you can even talk with a WordPress agency or install a backup plugin. There are various backup plugins, such as UpdraftPlus, that let you automatically back up into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, email, and more.

    WordPress recommends keeping at least three backups and storing them in three different places. You can keep them in forms, like CD/DVDs, thumb drives, hard drives, web disk, e-mail account, and so on, to prevent issues in case one backup becomes corrupted.

That’s a Wrap!

Hackers find a way to break into a website, and the damage is devastating. There was a time when it happened a few times a year. But today, with hundreds of millions of WordPress users, these breaches happen more frequently—sometimes day in and day out.

Any website (WordPress or not) is susceptible to attacks from bad hackers and those who use technology for ill-intended means. This means you must always be on your guard.

Make sure to follow these aforementioned tips to prevent a possible WordPress hack.

Lucy Manole Author

Lucy is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling.