When 23% of websites running online are powered by WordPress, it’s no wonder why they are under constant threat of being compromised. Hackers out there try to exploit and intrude into this most popular web platform time and again. It would be disastrous enough if cons even inject a single line of malicious code into any of the hundred files that up a whole website.
How To Keep Your WordPress Website Safe?
If like many WordPress site owners, you take your website’s security lightly or not pro-actively looking at it, you’re inching close to your worst WordPress nightmare. Don’t ever think that it can’t happen to you. Regardless of the expertise you may have in handling this biggest CMS platform, a minor glitch could throw your websites in hacker’s net.
The crux of the intro is that you have to be pro-active about your site safety. I am putting here 6 straight ways that can help you in having your website safe from vulnerabilities and hacking attempts.
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Get your website verifies using Search Console:
It could be dreadful if your website is compromised and you don’t even know it. Thanks to Google’s Search Console (formerly Google Webmasters Tool) that notifies websites about the potential issues and the way they should be tackled.
If you haven’t yet done that, get your website verified with Webmaster Tools. When verified, you have complete access to GWT’s innovative dashboard. From the dashboard itself you can access real time data that can be used to find a potential issue such as traffic, queries, and manual action messages. The dashboard has a full-fledged section dedicated to security issues. The section lists issues where your website is experiencing problems.
Don’t skip WordPress updates, it’s the key:
There are three components that together make WordPress a worth. They are WordPress itself, WordPress plugins and Themes. They need to be updated regularly for safety and security of your website.
The best thing with WordPress is its constant endeavor to patch secure ty holes and roll out fresh updates. With each update, WordPress constantly improves the platform. When a new update comes, WordPress notifies admins about the same via emails and with a notification within admin panel itself. As soon notification comes, update your existing WordPress version with the latest one.
Plugin Updates: Like the platform itself, WordPress plugins should also be updated with their latest version. A notification in this regard can be seen on ‘plugins’ tabs in admin area. I will also recommend you going with auto-update option available with some third-party plugins.
Theme updates: Likewise, themes are also prone to exploits and attacks. Theme de-velopers should be vigilant to roll out patches and introduce version upgrades whenever vulnerabilities are reported.
Don’t trust suspicious installations:
What I like the most with WordPress is its massive plugin directory which has over 50k plugins at one place. You can install / activate and use them to add additional features and function to your website. The only disappointment is that they come from unknown third party sources and therefore can’t be trusted. They can create security holes and vulnerabilities. This is a known fact that most WordPress exploits and attacks happen through vulnerabilities found in plugins and themes.
It’s an evident myth that premium themes and plugins are secured and already pro-tected against attacks. Undoubtedly, paid plugins are developed with features that thwart vulnerabilities, yet they can’t guarantee protection against possible attacks. It’s recommended not to install unnecessary plugins unless you have an idea about its source and authenticity.
Scan website regularly:
Don’t forget to scan your whole website on frequent intervals. There are tools available that you can use to scan your entire WordPress site for malware, added code and suspicious SQL injection codes. You can use both free and paid versions of these tools. They are extremely helpful in locating files and folders on your website that may have been infected due to malicious codes. When installed and activated, they can be configured to automatically scan your site in the background and notify if immediately if it finds anything suspicious.
Restrict login attempts:
To exploit and gain unauthorized access to your website, most hackers attempt “brute force” attack. Brute force, in technical terms, is a script that uses multiple random usernames and passwords in order to gain access to your website. To combat such attacks, block IPs responsible for multiple login attempts. Blocking IPs locks out a user from being able to access your site if failed login attempts reach a certain limit.
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Avoid using ‘admin’ user name:
Brute force attack acts behind an idea that most webmasters set their administrative id as ‘admin’. This makes attacker’s task halfway done. As they already know admin being the user ID, all they need to guess passwords using multiple login attempts. If you’re still using ‘admin’ as your default user ID, change it right now.