8 Steps to Lock Down Your Site of WordPress Security
With over 100,000 websites being hacked every single day, if you are a WordPress website owner, you should definitely consider strengthening your WordPress security.
WordPress security vulnerabilities are pretty easy to take advantage of, even by a newbie hacker. And since you don’t necessarily have to be the victim of targeted breaches, and your website could be picked up randomly for an attack, you should make sure not only that your online presence is built on a solid framework, but also that your website is locked down to prevent any sort of infiltration – and most importantly, that it’s being protected using security best-practices.
In the following, you can find out more about some of the most recommended steps you need to take so that your data is protected, and your blog and business are well-equipped to prevent any major downfall that could be causedby a malicious user.
Use clever usernames and passwords
Yes, the first step is as simple as that – choosing another admin username than the one provided by default once the website is created, and creating a strong password that includes at least 8 characters, has both upper and lower-case letters, and includes non-alphanumeric characters such as numbers and punctuation.
Taking into account that data collected in 2018 shows that the most stolen password of the year was 123456, closely followed by simply password, you should give this a little thought, and implement a password that has some personal significance to you, instead of just using random characters to comply with password requirements. If more convenient, you can always go online on a strong password generator, and get your credentials there. And of course, you should use different passwords for different accounts and websites.
Use latest PHP version
No matter which WordPress host you’re using, having the latest version of PHP on your server is extremely important.
As when a major PHP release is done, the version remains fully supported for a two-year period, running on any other earlier version puts you at risk,as there are no security support benefits. Being a sitting duck in the online game is not an option, especially if you’re trying to run a business. Avoid any chance of being in the open field, any chance of becoming vulnerable, and use only the most recent PHP version out there.
Take advantage of two-factor authentication
A good strong password is crucial in securing your WordPress site, but it is still only going halfway in what relates to login security measures you can take.
In order to add another defence layer, two-factor authentication is the way to go, making a successful attack on your website less probable.
You can choose the method of your preference from a couple of two-factor authentication options, like messaging (SMS/text), phone call, or TOTP (time-based one-time password).
Always use secure connections
A secure connection is crucial in being able to maintain an acceptable level of security on your WordPress. This means that you shouldn’t access your data on unsecure networks, such as the Wifi at a friend’s house, or at the local coffee shop.
Other effective steps that you can take so that a secure connection is ensured are to not use VPNs, use a different IP range than the norm, make sure your Wifi is encrypted properly, maintain current firmware on your router, and see that you IP white-list your Wifi.
Move your WordPress site to SSL/HTTPS
Using these types of protocols are a huge step towards solidifying your security.
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is a common way of making sure that there is a secure connection between your web app or browser and your server. Encryption can also be done through Transport Layer Security (TLS).
On top of this, you can increase your anti-breach toolbox even more by running your site over Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), allowing this way for a safer connection on your network.
Add user accounts with care
If your admin panel has multiple users logging in, this can be a major weak spot that can leave you vulnerable to online attackers.
Making a point that all users have to be aware of the importance of password complexity is one way to go, but the much easier route is to implement a plugin that does the job for you, and ensures passwords are strong.
Make backups regularly to secure your WordPress website
If you’re running a blog, or are engaged in e-commerce, making WordPress backups is a must. Unfortunately, the web is the web, and no matter how many security measures you take, no website is impenetrable.
Ensuring that a system is in place that can backup and restore your data is highly recommended. You can choose from multiple WordPress backup services and backup plugins, but first check with your host to see what sort of backups they’re offering.
Protect the wp-config.php file
Last but certainly not least, you need to take care of the most important brick in the construction of your WordPress security toolkit. And that means securing your wp-config.php file.
You can do this by moving the file up to another directory, by updating your WordPress security keys, and by changing permissions so that other server users are unable to read your file.