As a business looking to get themselves out there and noticed in the online world, WordPress is nothing that should be new to you. As a convenient, technologically superior, and open source site, it gets a lot of attention; sometimes for the wrong reason as well.
Introducing Script Kiddies
According to Securi, in 2014, there were about 9 million websites that were hacked. Forbes, on the other hand, takes these statistics on a whole new level, stating that 30,000 websites are hacked every day! Cyber crime is on the rise. Today, these criminals have automated scanning tools that are scouring the internet, on the wait to drop off their malicious code.
So what are the aspects of your WordPress website that grants access to these hackers? Some of the most common vulnerabilities are low security passwords, using a public Wi-Fi without a VPN, low-security hosting options, outdated plugins, and phishing attacks.
Security Matters! And Here’s Why:
Your website is the representative of your business. If your customers can’t trust your website, they really have no reason to trust you. Whether you have a blog or a website, the worst thing that could happen is to have your online platform attacked. Luckily, WordPress is not a problem without a solution. In fact, it’s not a problem at all. It offers you plugins that helps protect your core files from being attacked. It prevents access against any brute force attacks as well.
However, what it does not do, is tell you if you’re downloading a plugin with vulnerabilities. And therein lies the problem itself. Here are some facts that shed more light on why your WordPress security should matter to you:
- 50,000 WordPress websites were compromised in July 2014 because of a fault in the MailPoet Newsletters Of course, it should also be noted that the MailPoet Newsletters team had this matter fixed within hours of its occurrence.
- In October 2014, a team of hackers stole 800,000 banking credentials from WordPress sites.
- Through vulnerability in the plugin, Slider Revolution, 100,000 WordPress websites were hacked.
- It’s not just high traffic websites that are targeted. Low traffic sites get hacked too.
Caring for your WordPress security is imperative – now, more than ever! There are numerous developers who are now creating new functionalities that could beef up the security of your website or blog.
WordPress Security 101: Protecting Your Website & Blogs From the Worst of Attacks
Below are some tips that you should keep in mind to protect your website from the lowest or most sophisticated of hacker attacks:
1. Always Stay Updated
The great thing about WordPress is that there are newer versions of the plugins available readily that are aimed to tie in loose ends – specifically patching up the bugs and enhancing security. This way, they keep out the hackers by creating a fool-proof security for your website. While some security updates take place automatically, the major one need to be initiated manually.
To update your WordPress on single installs, go to Dashboard > Updates. In the case of multi installs, you should go to Network Admin’s Dashboard > Updates > Available Updates.
2. Choose The Right Hosting Company
When it comes to your security, it’s always recommended to start from the most basic: your web hosting options. Let’s say, for instance, that you host your website with a company that doesn’t prioritize security. In the instance that any of the websites on their server gets hacked, this would put your site at risk, too.
Therefore, you should choose a company that has on board exceptionally trained team, and one that is experienced in dealing with WordPress security issues, providing you with account isolation options.
The good thing is that it doesn’t even have to be expensive. If you opt for a yearly subscription plan with us, you receive free WordPress hosting services.
3. Don’t Forget to Backup
In order to maintain business continuity, it is important that you conduct or manage regular WordPress backup of your website. That way, in the off chance that it is hacked, you have the means to restore it quickly without losing any data or time. Your host server should be able to provide you with these options of external backing. Make sure to ask them their source of backup and recovery time.
4. Change ‘Admin’ As Your User Name
Most people are aware of this: Admin is one of the most common administrator names that are used. And hackers take advantage of that. The login to the WordPress backend ends with a “wp-config.php”. Therefore, hacker-initiated robots and automated scripts are on the loose looking for the right combination of user name and password that grants them access. Make it challenging for them. Set a unique user name. In addition to that, you should also create a strong password. Here are the characteristics of a strong password:
- Should be more than 12 characters
- Make sure it consists of uppercase and lowercase alphabets, numeric, and a special character
5. Check Your Directory Access
These directory access rules ensures that only selected authorized personnel can view or change files that are required to run WordPress. This way, your visitors do not get a view of these directories, since it is not part of your page content.
You can even modify the access by using .htaccess files – especially on the admin page. When a potential hacker attempts to access this page, they will be led to a page that reads, “403 forbidden”.
6. Download Plugins From Credible Sources
There are over 40,000 plugins now available in the WordPress repository. While there’s no denying that these are the most powerful elements that can help empower your website, not all of them can be right for you. As discussed before – and we reiterate again – some plugins could make your website vulnerable.
Before you hit the download button, here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Check reviews and comments of previous users
- What kind of support is provided? Do you have to pay for it?
- Is the plugin author responsive to the users?
7. Continue Monitoring Your WordPress Site
It is difficult for you to keep a 24/7 track of your web performance and security concerns. However, it is important that you do everything you can to ensure that your site is never attacked; and in the rare and possible event that it happens, you should be able to know and respond immediately to take corrective actions.
There are several services that not only monitor, but provide additional support too, so as to enhance the online performance of your website. One such website is Stylemix. With over 14 years of experience, we offer WordPress website hosting, security, maintenance and support.
With our 24/7 live chat support and quick restoration speed, we are, and always have been focused on a superior customer service experience! To learn more get in touch with us here.