So, you’re one of the unlucky ones whose website has been hacked. You scramble around to find a solution with Google and don’t find anything useful. The problem is the source is not always accurate and can often be outdated.
And you’re not the only one facing this issue!
Whether you’re a beginner at WordPress or a seasoned veteran who has created thousands of WordPress websites over the years—it’s still possible that your website could be hacked.
Security plugins might not always be enough to keep your site safe from hackers, so it’s essential to take preventative measures before it’s too late.
This article will go over several methods to keep your WordPress website protected from hackers, which are more straightforward than you may think.
Install the latest WordPress version.
Start from the basics. Install the latest WordPress version so that you can fix bugs. As per stats, 30.95% of Alexa’s top 1 million sites have outdated version 3.6 of WordPress installed. It makes the sites vulnerable.
The updated version of WordPress will have new features, and it brings with it bug and security fixes. As per the official WordPress release, WordPress 5.8.1 is available now. The latest version is a security and maintenance release. It features 60 bug fixes as well as three security fixes.
Stick to a secure hosting provider.
Good and reputed hosting providers offer security protection so that your site information is kept safe.
Before settling for a website host, make sure to:
- Check the security measures they offer.
- Identify how they supervise their server network.
- Check the way they respond to different security breaches.
WordPress site owners who have a shared hosting plan are more vulnerable to hacking. It gives hackers a chance to use other sites on the same server and access yours.
A dedicated server is costly but the most secure option. Consider going for it if you have high traffic levels or have stored sensitive info on your site. Another option would be to use a virtual private server (VPS), which has most of the benefits of a dedicated server but without the costs.
Look for these security features in a host:
- Server-level firewalls.
- DDoS protection.
- Malware scanning.
- Up-to-the-minute operating system, software and hardware, and more.
Install and configure a premium security plugin.
Implementing a premium security plugin is crucial to protect your WordPress site from getting hacked. Go for security plugins with good ratings, such as Sucuri, iThemes Security, Wordfence, and so on.
The most common features of a security plugin include:
- A firewall that blocks mistrustful traffic
- Brute-force defense to secure against multiple login attempts
- A scanner to scan your themes, files, and plugins for any security issues
- IP and user black-listing
- Malware scanning feature
- Tool to generate a strong password
- Two-factor authentication
Use strong passwords to protect your site.
If you look at the statistics, 8% of WordPress sites are hacked because of weak passwords. Anyone with a bit of tech knowledge can execute a brute force attack employing simple hacking tools.
Thus, you must maintain strong passwords and change them regularly. Avoid the most commonly used passwords such as 123456 and qwertyuiop or your date of birth or pet’s name.
Generate a password that has letters (upper and lowercase), numbers, and symbols. Your password should be at least 15 characters. Also, see that you are not repeating the password.
Consider using free online password generators or paid services such as LastPass and DashLane. The tools will not only help you to generate solid passwords but store them for you.
Keep your themes and plugins updated.
A study found that WordPress plugins were responsible for 52% of WordPress vulnerabilities. In another study, 11% of WordPress vulnerabilities were credited to WordPress themes.
You might have seen that your smartphones and other devices get regularly updated. And with it, you get enhanced features, bug fixes, and security fixes.
It is the same with your WordPress plugins and themes. Keeping them updated will lessen security risks as the WordPress team works round the clock to fix security issues.
To ensure that the updates don’t create trouble like plugin conflicts or causing your site to break, run a test with each update in a staging environment.
What’s more? Obtain your plugins only from reputed sources, and permanently remove plugins and themes that you don’t use. Remember, too many plugins and themes will slow down your site loading speed as well.
Consider getting in touch with a WordPress website development company to get the best out of your WordPress site.
Security through obscurity, just for good measure.
To implement security through obscurity, you can hide your login URL. Though it sounds simple, it can be an effective security measure to safeguard your site from brute force attacks.
This works because hackers usually implement bots that are built to attack a website with a particular setup. Since they target your login page, the bots will go to the following site if they can’t find your URL.
You can hide your WordPress login page by altering the default URL. Or use a plugin such as WPS Hide Login to change it.
It’s worth noting that this should not be your primary means for defending against an attack, but it doesn’t hurt as a secondary measure.
The fact that WordPress has a tremendous amount of power and flexibility has a flipside to it – a bad user can easily use the platform as his weapon to attack other websites. Since WordPress is an open framework, it’s not hard to find code samples to break into sites.
If your site was hacked, the damage could range from defacing your site to installing spamming software. So make sure to follow this article and use these tips mentioned to prevent a WordPress hack.
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.