6 Essential WordPress Security Tips

Open Source. Literally Free. Tons of premium themes. Multiple industry-specific templates. User-friendly. Above, one-fourth the Internet is made up of it.

Endless is the merit list of WordPress as a Content Management System.

But, despite all these benefits, there is one blot on the otherwise crystal clear track records of WordPress. It’s security vulnerabilities.

WordPress has several security lapses that shrewd hackers can easily take advantage of and when they do, the worst happens – your website either vanishes forever or it is turned into a pit of spam verts.

Not only your year’s long work go down the drain in split seconds, but, you stand to lose your online reputation if it is not fixed before the hacker does even worse things using the website.

Feeling scared? Hold on! We got you covered.

We have compiled this list of 6 security tips for WordPress website admins to help you safeguard yourselves and secure your websites from hacking and other cyber threats.

Don’t wait until disaster strikes. A stitch in time saves nine. Here are ten stitches you ought to make to avert one fatal disaster.

Tips To Turn Your WordPress Website Into A Digital Fortress

There is admin panel stuff that you can do to make your website a true Digital Fortress. Let’s delve right in.

Securing The Login And Admin Panel

The login page is the entrance to your website’s insides. Leaving the front door grants access to anyone, even those who want to take your site down.

Similarly, the admin panel. The admin panel is your dashboard from where you control and configure the entire website and its functioning. Right from appearance to creating and publishing new posts, everything happens here.

So, these two sections in your WordPress website are critical to security. So make it a point to use usernames and passwords that are tough to crack.

Change the default username from ‘admin’ to something difficult to crack. If you have already installed and configured the website using the ‘admin’ username, you can always use a SQL query in PHPMyAdmin to change it to something else.

Upgrade to HTTPS

If you have noticed that websites that begin with HTTPS have a green address bar and a padlock symbol affixed to them. The HTTPS is an indication that the website has been encrypted using an SSL certificate. Something like what I came across when I visited Comodo Certificate Authority’s website recently:

An SSL certificate encrypts the data that is exchanged between your web server and visitor’s web browser. A Positive SSL Certificate of Comodo helps to secure secure online transaction of your website at less price. You can get Positive SSL certificate from an authorized SSL resellers such as Cheap SSL Shop at huge discounted price. If SSL certificate is not implemented on site, hackers can intercept the information that is being taken from you across the Internet to a server or the other way around.

Having HTTPS is mandatory for your WordPress website if you are collecting login credentials or payments from your users. In fact, WordPress itself has been seeing moving towards SSL adoption from 2017 onwards.

Patch, Patch, Patch

WordPress releases security patches from time to time. These security patches need to be updated at the earliest so that your website remains secure at all corners from the latest cybersecurity threats.

Patches remove the anomalies and shortcomings in the previous versions that would have given hackers an opportunity to get inside your system. So don’t forget to patch your WordPress site every time a new security update is available.

Enable Two-factor (2FA) Authentication

Two-factor authentication as the name suggests is a dual factor based security system. The user has to input two distinct login credentials to gain access to the website or the service.

The dual factors will include a preset credential like the password and another factor which is dynamically created, like a One Time Password (OTP). It ensures that even if your password is stolen, the hacker or the person with your password cannot access your system easily.

This is how 2FA works:

In fact, two-factor authentication is such a foolproof security mechanism that even the most widely used website services like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. deploy it.

Invest in a WordPress Security Theme/Plugin

WordPress community offers several WordPress security themes and plugins that can be purchased at a cost. Of course, there are free security plugins, but, they have their own shortfalls.

A good premium security theme/plugin offers advanced security features like:

  • Customizable security alerts
  • Brute force attacks
  • Malware assessment
  • Blacklisting of known hackers
  • Strengthened login pages
  • Scheduled security scans

Remove Unused Themes & Plugins

Unused themes and plugins are nests for hackers. Most of us buy and install tons of WordPress themes for a variety of reasons. But, when they are no longer in use, you must uninstall them immediately at any cost.

Unused themes and plugins are often not updated for latest security updates because we often forget that we even have them on our WordPress backend. This can lead to potential security threats as hackers can use such loopholes and can find their way into your website. Once they are inside, they can take it down easily.

Parting Thoughts

18 Million was the number of WordPress websites that was compromised when the worst security breach in the history of WordPress occurred (Skilled). Despite its massive user base, WordPress is still prone to cyber threats. A large chunk of it happens because WordPress website owners like you and me ignore the pitfalls of security unpreparedness.

If you have been enjoying a laid-back attitude towards cyber security, the time to wake up has come. Bad Rabbit, Petya, Non-Petya, WannaCry, etc. must have already given you a wake-up call. If not, start your security preparedness with these six solid tips to fortify your WordPress website.

Don’t forget. ‘Enough’ is ‘never enough’ when it comes to cybersecurity. So, don’t try to cut corners here. Don’t let hackers kill your website.

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About the Author: Vinil Ramdev

Vinil is an entrepreneur, trainer, marketer, and a passionate blogger.

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