Any open source code is vulnerable to all kinds of attacks. Brute force, Denial of Service, Malware, Phishing, are some of the most well-known attacks that happen on a regular basis. Although WordPress is updated about 80 times every day, and many developers from across the globe contribute to its source code. You need to be cautious as new ways of hacking and exploits are being devised everyday by the hackers.
Many WordPress services companies claim to build 100 percent secure website with all their secure themes and plugins but a 100 percent secure WordPress site is a myth. However, there is a cheat sheet that can help you secure your blog to a much greater extent. Using these cool tips and tricks, you can make sure that your content is safe from any outside attack. Although no one can guarantee a complete security but yes, it can secure WordPress website such as to prevent any huge loss by the user.
These are some 8 real-time tips to secure your WordPress website:
1. Always Keep Your WordPress Website Updated
As said above, WordPress is an open source software. It is regularly maintained and updated. Developers from all over the world contribute to its source code and it gets updated about 80 times each day. WordPress, by default automatically installs any minor updates that happen regularly to your blog. But in case of major updates, you have to execute the updating process manually.
Then comes WordPress themes and plugins without which your website is not complete. These themes and plugins are developed by developers and are available to download for free or with some price. They also release minor to major changes from time to time that you have to update manually. Remember, being updated should be your first priority when it comes to your website security. Keep yourself up to date with every theme and plugin changes that come.
2. Never Use “Admin” as Your Username
Your main login page is the prime target for hackers to gain access to your blog or website. Surprisingly, a majority of the users keep the username of their main administrator account as “admin”. It is not very difficult to guess and once the hackers know your username, it is fairly easy for them to crack the password. By default, WordPress gives you “admin” as your default username.
So, keep in mind to change the username of your administrator account to something else. In this way, it becomes difficult for the hackers to get access to your site. In case the “admin” name is already set, then you can change it by adding an SQL query in PHPMyAdmin. Keep your username a bit lengthy and a little complicated so that it becomes difficult for the others to guess.
3. Keep a Strong Password
After the username comes the password. The password is the key to your website. There are many methods to crack your WordPress password. Password guessing is one such technique which is used by the hackers to gain access to your WordPress site. So keeping a strong password obviously secures your website to a large extent.
Keep a few things in mind when setting up your password. Don’t create your password from general terms like your name, date of birth, college name, etc. Make it unique and unconventional so that it becomes very difficult to guess. Don’t just use letter only in your password. Make use of a combination of numbers and special characters. For example- “Mattrocks” is considered a weak password whereas “Mattrocks@123” is considered a strong password. Try to keep the length of your password more than 8 characters at least.
4. Use a 2-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a combined service to provide your login credentials to get access to any service. Here in WordPress login, you are able to take your security to an altogether new level and doubles up your site’s security. Apart from the regular password that you provide, it authenticates your integrity with a security question or a secret code which is sent to your mobile number.
Hackers use a method called Brute force to in which they try every possible combination of passwords in the world to get access to your blog. When you use a 2-factor authentication, it nullifies their effort to gain entry to your site. After providing the password an OTP is sent to your registered mobile number. This ensures that only you are trying to login to your account.
5. Upgrade your Site From HTTP to HTTPS
HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP. You can switch from the insecure HTTP to a better-secured version HTTPS by using an SSL certificate. SSL is Secure Socket Layer and helps you secure the admin panel. SSL ensures secure data transfer between the user’s browsers and the servers. It makes it very difficult for the hackers to spoof your info and breach this connection.
You need to purchase an SSL certificate from a company which is providing one. One more advantage in having SSL certificate is that it is SEO friendly. Google ranks those websites higher which has SSL certificates. SSL protects your site from unreliable hidden scripts on your computer system and a script that can steal data from online login forms. SSL is very important regarding information like passwords, credit card numbers, bank accounts, etc.
6. Use a WordPress Security Plugin
Using a WordPress security plugin is not just optional but has become an absolute necessity. Plugins greatly enhance your website’s security and we have a number of options to choose from. Plugins have many awesome features which help you secure your website from all the malicious software and hacking attacks. It is an easier way but one of the most effective one.
There are a number of security plugins available in the WordPress plugins directory. One of the most popular and very effective plugins is WordFence Security. It has WordPress Firewall which can identify malicious traffic and block the attackers who are trying to hack your website. It has a feature called Security Scanning. In this feature, this plugin scans all your core WordPress files, themes, and all the other plugins. The scanning ensures that everything is running smoothly and there are no vulnerabilities present.
7. Protect your WP-Admin Directory
The wp-admin directory is a key targeted area for the hackers. Through this area only you handle all your operations of your website. If this gets hacked, then your entire site will be damaged for sure. One such method to protect your admin area from the potential hackers is to use a password for its protection. Adding password to your wp-admin directory adds another layer of security to your website.
Under this method, the user has to submit two passwords if he/she wants to access the dashboard. One password is for the main login page area and the other is for accessing the wp-admin panel area. There are plugins dedicated to providing this feature. One such plugin is AskApache Password Protect.This plugin automatically generates a .htpasswd file, encrypts the password, and configures the correct security-enhanced file permissions.
8. Change your WordPress Database Table Prefix
When you install WordPress on your site, then it by default employs a “wp_” table prefix to all the database tables of your site. This makes it very easy for the hackers to attack and hack your website via SQL injection attacks which are a kind of database hacking attacks.
To prevent such attacks you need to change the table name from wp_ to something else. A custom table prefix name makes it difficult for anyone to guess and thus makes it more secure. To customize the name you first need access to your wp-config.php file. Alternatively, you can change the name with the help of plugins. Plugins like WP-DBManager and iThemes Security can do this job in seconds with a single click. But before doing any changes to the database, always backup your website.
As you can see that there are a number of tips and methods that can help you secure your WordPress website in no time. Some of the methods which are shown are very easy to incorporate into your website. Nowadays people are using plugins for most of the tasks. Make use of the abundant security plugins available at your disposal. Also, try to be aware of the different security threats and updates that are happening regularly.
If you are a beginner then also it is not a rocket science to secure your blog with these steps. No matter you are a developer or not, you can apply all these methods with an ease. If you are following these simple steps, then it is definitely going to help you in the long run. Make your website secure and robust rather than making it exceedingly beautiful because security should be your first concern whenever you are starting up something.