Top 5 Ways To Protect Your WordPress Website From Hackers And Spammers
A study found that out of 80 million websites powered by WordPress, more than 70% were vulnerable to attacks from hackers and spammers. Because of the extreme popularity of WordPress, hackers will often target WordPress sites because it can infect more websites. While there are various WordPress security problems that you might be experiencing, oftentimes, you can take simple measures to help lessen the likelihood of attacks. Here are some simple steps you can take on how to protect WordPress sites from hackers.
1. Install A WordPress Security Plugin
One of the first things you should do when creating a new WordPress site is installing a trustworthy WordPress Security plugin. Some of our favorites include Sucuri Security, IThemes Security, and Wordfence Security. However, while there are many options out there, you should do a Google search to learn the authenticity of the plugin. If it is from a reputable source, it should be a safe way to protect your WordPress sites.
A security plugin can handle a lot of your security needs including a WordPress firewall, strong password generator, two-factor authentication, file change logs, monitoring for suspicious activity, malware scanning, and IP and user blacklisting.
2. Pick A Secure Website Host
One WordPress security fix starts before you even make your WordPress site. Some hackers are able to infiltrate one site on a server, and then gain access to the rest of the sites through the infected site. Even if you are hosting your website on a shared server, you can choose a reputable hosting provider that takes certain measures to keep your site secure and isolated from the other websites on the server.
Most hosting companies will even offer specialized WordPress hosting plans that are geared towards keeping your site safe. Some of the ways your hosting provider should keep your site secure are through backups, server-level firewalls, DDoS protection, updating the operating system, software, and hardware, as well as malware scanning.
3. Keep Your WordPress, Theme, And Plugins Updated
Another way to protect WordPress against hackers is by doing your part to keep your WordPress, plugins, and themes updated. If you aren’t updating your WordPress core to the latest version, you might be leaving yourself open to vulnerabilities. When the WordPress team does become aware of a security breach, they will quickly solve the problem. Luckily, WordPress does automatically install any minor updates, so if there is an urgent patch needed, you don’t have to download the update manually. However, big or major updates are something you will have to do yourself.
Another big security risk comes from plugins and themes. Because WordPress is open source, many of the plugins and themes are developed by third-party developers, and often they might have security vulnerability that makes them an easy target for hackers.
However, one risk to be aware of is that updating your plugins or themes might invite more problems like bugs, plugin conflicts, and might even cause your website to crash. Therefore, make sure you are only getting your plugin and themes from reputable sources and delete any that you aren’t using.
4. Check Your Passwords
While you should use a strong, complex password for all your logins, not everyone does. However, if you are only going to have one place where you use a complicated password, the service and website admin dashboard is the place to do it. Especially if you are storing passwords of your users, it is a good idea to enforce strong password requirements, like having a minimum of eight characters as well as a number and uppercase letter.
If you are storing the passwords, ensure that they are only stored as an encrypted value. The best way to protect your WordPress is by using a hashing (one-way) algorithm like SHA. If you want to add another level of security, you can even salt the passwords with a new salt per password, which makes it almost impossible to crack. That way, if a hacker does come in and steal your passwords, the damage is limited.
5. Use An SSL Certificate
Using an SSL Certificate is another WordPress security fix you should include. It helps to encrypt any data that your visitors might import into your site, like personal information or bank details. It keeps everything encrypted and private. When you install the SSL Certificate, your website will use an HTTPS, which means you will get that familiar padlock icon in front of the URL, which indicates that you have a secure connection. In the past, it was only used by e-commerce sites, but now SSL Certificates have become an industry standard. As a bonus, Google now has started to favor websites that have a secure website, helping you to rank higher.
There are many ways and means of protecting online website operations from hackers. By taking a few extra precautions, you can keep your website running smoothly and safely.