When it comes to WordPress, many users don’t pay attention to the security aspect of it. They spend time making their website look appealing but forget to focus on how to secure it.
It has been observed that most site owners use WordPress to set up their website. But it has also been observed that most WordPress websites break down more speedily than other CMS. Click To Tweet
Most users think hackers only attack popular websites. The truth is, every website is compromised. On the other hand, most owners believe they’re protecting their website, simply by using a security associated plugin.
While this isn’t wrong, it’s simply not enough. Protecting a website requires constant efforts and most users only rely on plugins to do that.
Here are our top tips to protect your WordPress site online.
Why does my website break?
With the constant change in technology, it becomes a necessity for owners to keep both their site as well as their customer’s data safe at the same time.
This question makes many owners uncomfortable because imagining their perfect looking website in such a condition is worrisome for many.
There could be multiple reasons why your website breaks. Error on an update, brute force attacks and, incompatible plugins are some of the most common reasons why this happens.
How to protect your WordPress Website?
- Using Trusted Software
- Use SSH or SFTP
- Strong Password
- Securing Database System
- SQL Injection Attacks
- SSL Certificate
- Always Take Backups
Using trusted software
WordPress is great when it comes to using plugins, themes, and other features. Although if purchased from a trustable source, they are harmless.
Being an open-source community has its cons, free plugins and themes sometimes have malicious code, and if such plugins are installed on your site, it can do a lot of damage. These are called nulled scripts.
A nulled script is when a hacker modifies the source code of your plugin or theme. This can be done in various ways like spamming your website or simply mishandling your customer data.
These scripts are distributed by using third party plugins or themes. We suggest you avoid using these features and switch to installing any software from trusted sources.
Use SSH and SFTP, not plain FTP
Most admins use FTP while transferring files on their website. This is a very old protocol and does not include any sort of encryption for credentials.
All files are sent as plain text with no encryption which is a dangerous practice for any owner.
In other words, a hacker can gain full access to your site if you use this age-old method to secure your website.
So, using an s-FTP (secure-file transmission protocol) makes sure your data is encrypted at all times.
Although there are other alternatives like SCP (secure copy via SSH), most users rely on s-FTP for securing their data.
Password protection is one of the areas where most users feel lazy. Despite multiple warnings, people continue to use easy-to-guess passwords which creates an easy way for hackers.
Strong passwords protect your website from brute-force attacks. One of the most common ways by hackers to get into your site is by multiple login attempts.
By repeatedly trying to guess and enter your username and password, hackers try to ‘brute’ their way into your website.
When multiple users are handling your site, you need to ensure they use strong passwords and they’re being regularly updated.
Although it is inconvenient to change passwords regularly, an easier option is to use software that automates this process.
That said, the safest approach to dealing with weak passwords by site users is to enforce the use of strong passwords or simply using a plugin for the same.
Securing the database system
Most WordPress data like comments, posts, and user data are stored under the MySQL database system.
It is usually the job of your hosting provider to secure this data, and shouldn’t be accessible through the internet.
This system should only be accessed with the user’s server. It becomes the responsibility of the user to make sure a hacker won’t be able to access data from their server.
Protecting wp-config.php file
A wp-config.php file residing in a WordPress root directory, stores username and password for your site.
This information is accessible to a hacker and can be used to steal your data and make changes.
Hackers use multiple tricks like creating a vulnerability in a plugin to trick the site into sharing its wp-config.php file.
The best way to deal with this is to always create a wp-config.php file backup with .php extension.
Secure wp-config file
To protect your wp-config.php file from intrusion, add the following code to your .htaccess file to deny access for anyone.
order allow,deny deny from all
This is a type of DOS (Denial of Service Attack). These types of hacks aren’t very common and don’t harm your site.
For a WordPress user, this means a temporary shut down of their website for a few days.
The best way to protect your website from these attacks is to invest in an excellent security service like Sucuri for ultimate protection against this type of attack. WP Uber offers customized security solutions and 24×7 live assistance.
SQL Injection Attacks
Another way for hackers to get into your site by performing SQL Injection Attacks. These are some of the most common and dangerous types of attacks.
An SQL injection attack takes place when malicious code is placed into the MySQL database.
Sensitive information like credentials, medical records, and transaction records are some of the consequences.
This not only leads to loss of data, but a more severe problem emerges when your site experiences loss in SEO rankings due to this.
Since Google emphasizes keeping your site security on top at all times, an SQL Injection Attack can not only tarnish a site’s reputation but can also lead to its blacklisting or even suspension.
The best way to deal with this is by not using pirated software, keeping your site up-to-date, and adding a good firewall service to your site.
Server client communication happens when you or a visitor accesses the website, and data transfer takes place.
This data may be sensitive and shouldn’t be sent over in the form of a plain text. If in plain text can be accessed by hackers.
To avoid this, you need an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer which encrypts the data before its transfer.
With SSL your data gets encrypted and later deciphered for the end-user.
Once your SSL is enabled and working, you need to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS. HTTPS is safer for your website as your information gets locked out from hackers.
Taking these measures may seem a lot, but they protect your website. Using multiple plugins is another solution.
Always take backups
These methods do not guarantee the security of your website.
Backups don’t take much effort but are often ignored by everyone.
Backups are provided by website hosting service providers. If your host does not provide backups, there are multiple plugins and services which automate this process.
You may end up losing all data on your site. There are many reasons why this could happen to anyone, and not all of them can be controlled.
With a proper backup of all your files and data, you can easily switch back to normal without worrying about anything.
There are numerous ways to protect your WordPress site from breaking. Some of them include keeping your site updated, protection against DDOS attacks, and using a good firewall service.
These are some basic methods to protect your site without breaking it. Now that you know securing your site isn’t extremely difficult, make sure to constantly check your site for any vulnerability and report it.
If you liked this article, make sure to comment down below your favorite method of protecting your WordPress site.