More than 70% of WordPress sites and blogs are vulnerable to attack due to their security flaws. Once you have started with your WordPress site the next major step should be its security. Not taking security seriously is an open invitation to hackers. If you are wondering how to secure WordPress website, here are 20 simple tips that would help you prevent malicious attacks to your site.
Use Latest WordPress Version Legacy versions of WordPress are most vulnerable to attacks as they often have known security flaws. You need to constantly update to the latest version of the CMS.
Update Themes & Plugins Along with WordPress you also need to update your themes and plugins to the latest version available. The latest versions come with security patches for the known vulnerabilities and secure your WordPress site.
Clean Your Site You should clean your site like you would clean your kitchen and remove stale food items. Delete plugins and themes that you no longer use as the legacy versions can be exploited easily.
Keep Workstations Sanitized You don’t need a hacker to harm your site, viruses and malwares in your workstation are enough. Keep your workstation sanitized to prevent such kinds of security breaches.
Secure Hosting Provider Choose a reliable hosting service provider or move your existing site to one that assures security features. They adopt state-of-the-art measures that thwart most attacks keeping your site/blog secure.
Use .htaccess It is one of the best ways to secure your site where you would be able to block IPs and you can learn how to do this by following the links at the bottom of the article.
SSL Encryption It encrypts all the data that your blog or site would send and prevents it from being intercepted midway via your router or other network. SSL data even if intercepted is hard to decrypt.
Don’t Use Admin as Username This is the default setup in WordPress and most attackers would target it. Using a strong admin name secure you against petty cyber criminals. Also use a strong password that has alphabets, numerics and special characters.
User Accounts Monitor the permission levels in all your user accounts and make sure you offer access to users who really need it. Check for the passwords in all the accounts and remove any unused account created during development.
Two Step Authentication There are several plugins such as Clockwork SMS, Clef, Duo Two-Factor Authentication that allow you two step authentication mostly using your mobile as an additional security step. It is like doubling up the guards outside the gate!
Deny Multiple Login Attempts Hackers often use the ‘brute-force’ technique using random usernames and passwords. Track down the IPs used in such attacks and block them using the User Locker plugin.
Hide Login Error Messages Login error messages often offer much more information to a seasoned hacker to study the vulnerabilities of your site. Hide it using the following code
add_filter(‘login_errors’,create_function(‘$a’, “return null;”));
Hide Directories Keeping all your directories visible and accessible to the hackers is a big threat. Placing the following code in the .htaccess file would do it for you.
# Prevent folder browsing
Options All -Indexes
Database Security WordPress uses MySQL database which is automatically created on your web hosting server. The database password must be strong or else it would act as a weak link in your site security.
Use SFTP In place of using a FTP while uploading your files you can use a Secure FTP or SFTP. Here all your files would be encrypted and this discourages any attempts of hacking.
Use An Antivirus Installing an antivirus keeps your site secured against bots, viruses and malwares that are floating all around in the Internet.
Be Careful While Cleaning Up If you are cleaning up your site or database, you need to be careful about the vulnerable information. So don’t leave behind files such as phpinfo.php, readme.html and SQL database files.
Isolate Websites While it is a common practice to use the same hosting account for multiple sites, you should try and avoid this as much as possible as one site’s vulnerability affects the others.
Backup Site While all these measures should secure your site, you need to be prepared for a day when the security is compromised. Backup your site using a robust plugin as this will allow you to restore the site in case of an attack.
Stay Vigilant Staying vigilant is an important part of your WordPress security. Keep track of the latest security threats and implement the remedial measures in your site.