Don’t Miss This -Utmost WordPress Security Guide
The Complete WordPress Security Guide For Best Practices
Like every other digital platform, WordPress has to be protected from cyber-attacks and threats. This is a topic of incredible importance to every user of the WP platform. Even though the WP platform ranks among the highest in terms of being secure, there is always a caveat that requires attention. With the consistent advancement of hackers attempting to infiltrate WP sites, customers are looking to secure themselves through certain tools. Along with the due diligence that is followed to ensure maximum security, there are also regular updates that fix any vulnerability that may emerge along the way. There is a host of basic and advanced means through which WordPress security can be made impenetrable, with no access to attacks, hackers, etc.
We made your reading easy with Table of Content:
Fundamentals of WordPress Security
WordPress Security Tips for Non-Techies
The Most Common WordPress Security Issues in 2017
Additional WordPress Security Tips from the WP Pros
Follow our simple WordPress security guide that lists out the fundamentals of WordPress security with useful tips for nontechies, and development tips from professionals. We have also included the most common security issues of 2017 to safeguard your website and provide solutions of all sorts, ranging from the proactive and reactive measure in WordPress security. Keep this handy and you will find yourself ready with a weapon to defend your website from any vulnerability.
1. Fundamentals of WordPress Security
The Criticality of WordPress Security in 2017:
Before we get into the more intricate security protocols of the WordPress platform, we thought it wise to lay out the basic reasons why WordPress security can go a long way to keep your website free of attacks. The number of websites that are getting blocked each week for malware and phishing run into several thousands and it is, therefore, imperative that WordPress security is given the highest priority. Any form of hacking can be seriously hazardous to a website and consequently, the business it represents. Along with reduced customers to your business, it can also bring about reduced revenues and a diminished reputation. There are various forms of attacks that can endanger your website, such as, misuse of information, disclosure of customer identities and information, distribution of malware among your users, harmful software being installed through your website. Another frightening situation occurs when you are held responsible to pay a ransom amount to regain control of your website.
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Regular Website Updates Goes a Long Way:
The first step that goes a long way in safeguarding your website from eminent attacks is a regular update of your website. Since WordPress is an open source software, it is vital that it is kept up-to-date. Although minor updates of WordPress are automatically undertaken, the major updates require manual initiation. Vigilance toward a regular update is a big contributing factor to the health of your WordPress website. Whether the updates are overall, for particular themes, or for a specific feature – they must all be regularly undertaken. Consider how you would fix any cracks and leaks or any wear and tear in your physical office or online store. These updates can be likened to a digital renovation process to keep your online office or store immaculately efficient. As shown in the image below, within your dashboard section, click on updates at regular intervals, to ensure that there are no pending updates.
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Setting Up Stronger Passwords and User Permissions:
Another fundamental aspect of WordPress security comes in the form of stronger passwords and user permissions. Let’s look at them individually. The easiest way for hackers to gain control over your website is by using or stealing your passwords. It is strongly advisable, therefore, that generic passwords should be avoided and stronger passwords adopted. However, even the strongest passwords are sometimes prone to vulnerabilities and therefore, the sure shot method of protecting your password would be to use strong passwords, but also to regularly change them. There are password managers in place to make sure that you don’t forget your own passwords. This holds true for all your digital identities and not just your WordPress account, as one can be used to gain access to the other. Furthermore, as far as user permissions is concerned, it would be best to give access to your WordPress account on a strict ‘need-be’ basis. Limit the amount of individuals that have access to your web accounts.
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The Significance of Top Secured WordPress Web Hosting:
Last, but in no way the least, is the WordPress hosting protocol. Among the above security features, we would rate this as the highest factor in terms of its criticality. You could even go so far as to say that this is the lifeblood of your WordPress site. Careful consideration should be given when choosing a shared hosting provider and their security protocols will determine the safety of your website. Pick only the best and make no compromises in this arena. This is because, on the shared hosting platform of the provider, you are sharing the platform with other customers. A poor platform can be easily accessed by hackers and thereby, your WordPress site becomes accessible too. Through a neighbour’s website, a cyber-attack can be undertaken on your site. A solid hosting provider will also take care of other features (such as updates, plugins, security mandates, etc.). Again, consider this as your digital outsourcing company. Their operational efficiency affects yours and vice versa. Be extremely choosy when picking your hosting provider and make sure to choose only the best.
Find the best top 10 secured web hosting service providers for your WordPress website
If you’re from a non-technical background don’t feel overwhelmed. We’ve got you covered.
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2. WordPress Security Tips for Non-Techies
If you’re frowning at words like secure hosting, plug-ins, and overall WP security, fear no more. We understand the dilemmas of the nontechies and we’re here to solve it for you.
Regular WordPress Backups to Mitigate Risks:
The first and primary step towards WP Security is the importance of a backup of your WordPress site. This is one precautionary measure that cannot be ignored, just in case that rainy day arrives. A WordPress site backup allows you to recover any lost material that may occur when your website is under attack and makes the recovery much faster and easier. Compare it to an insurance policy. In the event of a website loss, this will help you gain back what you have lost, just by using high-quality plugins.
Albeit, it won’t be as complicated as claiming insurance; just the click of a button called ‘restore’ and your back in business. There are several ways to carry out this backup; all you need to do is check with your developer for the best-suited option for your website.
Are you not aware of coding? Want to customize your WordPress website? We’re here to guide you to do required changes. We’ve experts in WordPress Theme Customization. Let us know your requirements through Email OR Contact Us form, one of expert team members gets back you soon.
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The Prominent Worth of Top 5 WordPress Backup Plugins:
To gain the most out of WordPress plugins, we have shortlisted the top 5 of them, in no particular order but we recommend them.
BackupBuddy: Considered the most popular backup plugin. This offers the facility to conduct automated backups at a frequency of your choice, with an option of real-time backups too.
The costing of this plugin is favourable, along with the enhancement features that come along with it.
UpdraftPlus: Next in line is ‘UpdraftPlus’ a free plugin that comes with the option of a backup on iCloud or your own computer. This one also comes equipped with automated scheduled backups and high quality features, but also gives priority access to support services.
BackWPUp’: For those of you looking for an easy to use plugin, ‘BackWPUp’ is your best choice – a plugin that comes with storage options, and an extremely user-friendly methodology.
BackupWordPress: it is another strong backup plugin that offers customized backup options for different elements of your site and many other advanced features.
Finally, the ‘Duplicator’ plugin is a multipurpose one – it is used to migrate WordPress sites and also has a high quality backup feature.
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The Value of Building Secure Firewalls:
Another simple way to keep your website considerably safe from hackers and other forms of cyber-attacks are by creating a good firewall for your website. A WordPress firewall plugin, in short, called a WAF, can be compared to a filter. It screens all the incoming traffic to your website and doesn’t allow the dangerous ones to come through. As opposed to the backup, which is a remedial measure, this one is more of a precautionary one. The good firewalls come with the additional ability to enhance the speed of your WordPress site, along with higher operating efficiency. Although it’s primary purpose is to ensure the security of your site and this measure is an imperative one for all WordPress websites. We advise to always insist on a DNS Level Website Firewall when picking the firewall. Again, we have shortlisted five of the best WAFs for your perusal.
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Top 5 WordPress Firewall Plugins:
Sucuri: The most popular one in the market is offered by ‘Sucuri’ – a company that supplies a high performance firewall that stops at nothing short of blocking out every trace of attack that may attempt to attack the website. Any incoming traffic is scanned on their proxy server before allowing it to land on your website. Empowered with additional enhancements and an easy setup module, this firewall is among the most preferred today.
Cloudfare: It is next in line with its high level performance firewall, along with added features. Even though the basic version doesn’t offer much, the premium version is far more suitable.
SiteLock: A company renowned for its high security firewall. Every version of their firewall also comes with the ability to boost website performance.
BulletProof Security: As the name suggests is a security plugin that is equipped to detract any kind of threat.
Wordfence: A plugin that provides a holistic approach towards the security of the site in question. However, it blocks the traffic only after it lands onto your server, which might sometimes turn out to be dangerous.
Apart from the lack of a good firewall system, here are some of the most common WordPress security issues and how to fix them
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3. The Most Common WordPress Security Issues in 2017
MOST COMMON ATTACKS ON WORDPRESS SITE:
There is a multitude of attacks that are floating around in the digital space. These can come from many different types of entities, but the three major types are – a single automated computer, a single individual (usually called a hacker), or a number of automated computers that send out random attacks to a number of websites and computers. These attackers are capable of attacking your WordPress plugins, features, files, operating systems, information, etc. There are numerous areas of your WordPress site that are vulnerable, even though you may think they are safe. Under the PHP code, these include Remote File Inclusion (RFI), Authentication Bypass, PHP Object Injection, Remote Code Execution (RCE), SQL Injection (SQLi), Cross Site Scripting Attacks (XSS), Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF). Other ways in which an attack can take place is when an ordinary user tries and succeeds to gain privileged access, unmaintained web applications, brute force logins, insecure setups, insecure logins, etc.
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TYPES OF WORDPRESS SECURITY ISSUES:
Since the WordPress platform works on an open source code, the security issues that come up on the core code can be addressed. However, if your WordPress account is not updated regularly, you are in a very high risk zone of an attack. The three sections in which attacks are generally classified are the WordPress themes, WordPress plugins and core WordPress.
What is BRUTE FORCE ATTACK?
When you have a poor login setup, your site is prone to a brute force attack, which is simply multiple attempts of log in through a combination of different usernames and passwords. This is where, a strong password and secure login system is useful.
What is MALWARE ATTACK?
Last but not the least, considered to be highly destructive, is Malware – malicious software that is installed into your website or computer to gain access. These include drive-by downloads, backdoors, pharma hacks, and malicious redirects.
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HOW TO FIX BRUTE FORCE ATTACK & MALWARE ATTACK:
Believe it or not, there are simple steps to prevent your website’s vulnerability to these attacks. Apart from regular updates, strong passwords, a good quality shared hosting, here are some add-on means to increase the security blanket around your WordPress website.
Fix Brute Force Attack
The first of these is a two-factor authentication system. This is where you have a system wherein your password is not the only determining factor toward your login. It involves, for example, a code being sent to your smartphone as the second step of authentication, after the password has been entered.
Another simple means to protect yourself is by setting up proper permissions on your server. This clearly outlines who has what rights on your WordPress account, including edits, deletes, or creation of files.
Fix Malware Attack
To protect yourself from malware, there is an option of running periodically schedules malware scans that not only protect your website from malware, but also provide you with all the information related to it. Finally, to reduce your vulnerability to malware attacks, use a service that identifies and blocks out users who have attempted to hack into other sites before.
Awareness is the first step towards averting the potential threats out there. We hope we have been able to help you with that through our listing of the concerns and the possible remedies toward them. A safe and secure WordPress website is a continual process and needs to be looked into at regular intervals. To take things a step further, our WordPress development team offers you an ultimate pre-launch WordPress site checklist, along with 9 quick ways to secure your WordPress site in 2017.
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4. Additional WordPress Security Tips from the Pros
So you’re all set with your WordPress site and it’s just waiting for a go ahead from you to launch. Go through our Ultimate pre-launch WordPress site checklist to confirm that it is all in order and you’re good to go. Below is the checklist for you to tick mark before you go live:
Top 10 WordPress Site Launch Checklist You should have!
- Security: From strong passwords, automatically updated settings, strong firewalls, good shared hosting servers and strong plugins, this is an all important factor that we have highlighted in depth for your perusal. Remember to back up the site before you go live. Another way to increase security is to create a duplicate site that will work like a development site. Make sure your website lives up to the highest security benchmarks.
- Search Engine Optimization: Use a good SEO plugin to ensure that every page on your WordPress site complies with this requirement. Use Google tools to ensure your site’s compatibility with multiple browsers and devices.
- Analytics Installation: Ensure that an analytics tool is deployed, such as Google Analytics. This will track and verify data on your site.
- Integrations: This is to verify that all elements of your WordPress website have been successfully integrated between the UX and UI. Also, ensure to test all the downloadable sections of your website.
- Compliance: Verify that your site has completed all the formalities of receiving all the licenses, permissions, etc. that may be required.
- Social Media Compatibility: Make sure every aspect that is paired with social media is functioning efficiently.
- Valid Codes and Semantic Structuring: Ensure that your codes are valid through CSS and HTML. Also, make sure your tagging is correctly undertaken.
- Brand Management: Verify that all branding is efficiently placed and loading correctly. This is the first impression of your company and you don’t want it going wrong.
- Design and Content: This is where all images, logos, grammar, content and design elements of the website are double checked. Don’t forget to reduce the sizes of the page and ensure there are no compromises on the images while doing that.
- Links: Click and double click each link on your site to ensure that it is functioning and loading at good speed.
Once you have the above items ticked, one final step would be to ensure you have the below items taken care of.
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Top 5 Tips to secure your WP site in 2017:
- Strong Passwords: this one is self-explanatory. The stronger the password, the better the protection from a brute force intrusion.
- Security Plugin: A good security plugin is a crucial safety measure that allows strong security settings into your site.
- Two Step Authentication: This ensures that your login is not only dependant on your password, but there is an additional step wherein a code may be sent to another device, which is a condition to logging in.
- Stay Updated: All security hacks are usually repaired through automated updates. Ensure you are geared for it.
- Permissions: All proper permissions should be executed on your server. This will determine who has access to which area of the site.
The WordPress platform comes with innumerable benefits, but the security protocols have to be strictly followed to maximise the capacity of this platform. The above details will enable every WordPress user to partake of the benefits of a WordPress site, while ensuring a safety net from the threats of the digital world.
Want to know more? Contact our expert team of developers here
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