Afraid of virus, malware, and attacks? Protect your WordPress site by using these 10 security strategies.
When your website grows successfully and receives thousands of visitors daily, there are bigger chances for cyber-attacks to happen. Imagine if your livelihood is hacked or defaced, simply because you do not strengthen the security measures! Luckily, there are numerous security solutions for WordPress website, which everyone can apply even without hacking or programming expertise.
Here are ten methods you can use to secure your WordPress site.
1. Apply two-factor authentication system
Two-factor authentication (2FA) system means you add an extra security measure for the login feature. For example, if you usually type username and password to enter the website, additional measure will follow it, from one-time mobile code to secret question. Several WordPress plugins do such task, one of them is Google Authenticator.
Many people refuse to apply the 2FA because they cannot be bothered with one extra step, which is a shame since this simple method can be very effective to tackle mild attacks.
2. Change passwords periodically
Changing passwords periodically is a simple way to secure your accounts. You can do it every six months for your WordPress site, email accounts, and anything connected to the website, including social media accounts. Make sure that each password combines unique characters with letters and numbers.
What if you have trouble remembering new passwords? Simplify the process using a password-keeper tool such as LastPass. This tool not only keeps all your passwords in one place as a browser add-on but also creates new, strong ones every so often.
3. Install backup plugin
Doing regular backup is not exactly a prevention method. You do this to make sure that your website can run again when something happens. However, several WP backup plugins also offer database cleaning feature, so this can be an additional benefit. Make sure to check all features before choosing one, preferably the premium version of the product.
4. Choose unique admin username
Avoid using the username “admin” when installing WordPress website. This name is very common and often used by hackers in breaching efforts. By picking a unique name, you add an extra layer of security. There is a tool called iThemes Security Plugin that automatically bans users who are trying to log in using your username but with different IP address.
5. Encrypt data with SSL
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security certificate that protects data transfers between users and browsers. It secures your website and reduces the risks of hackers “cutting” the connections or data transfers. SSL-certified websites also get better ranks in search engines, especially Google.
You can get SSL certificate from your hosting service, although not all companies provide it. Make sure to check if a hosting company offers SSL certificate as a part of its bundle before you pay for the service. SSL certificate is also available at various dedicated providers.
6. Check all changes in files
A busy website records numerous activities and changes in its database files. However, if there are uncommon or suspicious activities, you must act fast to detect the causes. Malware, virus, or other security risks can cause them. Using security plugins that can detect these changes can help you detect any possible risks and work on them immediately.
Several tools work well with WordPress websites. Wordfence is a popular security plugin that provides firewall and malware scan. iThemes Security also provides complete detection and protection measures.
7. Use SFTP or SSH to connect server
When connecting your website to the server, make sure to use SFTP or SSH. SFTP is the improved version of the more common FTP, but with better security features. With these connections, you can ensure safe file transfers between users and browsers. When choosing hosting service, make sure to check if it offers connections through SFTP or SSH.
8. Update or rotate themes and plugins
Themes and plugins often receive little attention when website owners are dealing with security. However, they may present security holes if they are rarely updated. Make sure you check the update statuses of the themes and plugins. If they look like they are rarely updated, replace them with similar but well-maintained alternatives.
9. Use two passwords
Several WordPress plugins provide options for two passwords: one is for normal page login, and the other is for the admin page. AskApache Password Protect, for example, provides options to create different, unique passwords for login and admin page. Use it to add an extra layer of security.
10. Log in with an email address
Finally, choose your email address to log in instead of username. This is because guessing email address is often more difficult. However, make sure that the email address you use is not visible to your WordPress page. Use the special form to communicate with website readers instead of directly flaunting your personal email address on the webpage.
Securing WordPress website is important to keep it profitable and safe. Invest in security plugins, tools, and strategies to protect your business right now.