13 Dec Top 5 WordPress Security Tips That Beginners Often Ignore
Since the explosion of the internet and world wide web onto the world in the early 90’s, open sourced software platforms like WordPress have given people the freedom to create new projects at will.
With this new found freedom and more people utilizing it each day for a variety of reasons, WordPress users are exposed to a number of potential security risks that you wouldn’t experience with other platforms.
Most of the time it’s not the users fault for being exposed to WordPress security issues, given the amount of complexity that can be involved, but fear not, in this article we are presenting our top 5 WordPress security tips that will help you avoid any future issues.
- Understand Cybersecurity Weaknesses
When a breach in ones cyber security network is discovered, people often begin to scour their online searches and downloads for malicious software.
More often than not, security starts with your computer or device, so if there are weaknesses in your connected device, it leaves you open to vulnerabilities on the internet as well.
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To solve this common mistake, ensure your computer has some form of anti-virus software installed. Just be certain that the anti-virus software you choose has a proprietary firewall programmed into your device’s operating system. It would also be helpful to use a VPN service to protect yourself against risks associated with connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots and other unsecured networks.
- Select A Reputable Web Hosting Provider
A good number of cyber attack payloads extend far beyond the security of your hardware and can be present in the form of malicious software sent via your web hosting platform.
Since most open sourced WordPress sites require a domain to be hosted on the internet, web administrators must ensure their site is protected on the internet as well given the hosting company is the first line of defense when operating on the internet.
It is very important that hosting providers have services that optimize WordPress hosting for faster loading times, additional security layers, premium support, access to daily backups, automatic updates, and no downtime when making changes to your website.
Next, make sure the web hosting provider you choose supports and updates their platforms to utilize current versions of internet software technology, like PHP, HTML, MySQL, etc.
Take a little longer and insure the host utilizes firewalls and regularly scans for malware and standard intrusions of their platform so you don’t have to worry about stopping attacks before they come to light.
- Select Themes and Plugins From Trusted Sources
One of the best features, yet massive vulnerabilities of WordPress for beginners is the massive amount of free themes and plugins one can utilize to spruce up their site or simplify tasks.
Even though most themes and plugins are free, take a second to see through the rose colored glasses and consider the consequences of downloading and installing software from an unknown source. To put things into perspective, poorly coded or malicious plugins accounted for almost 50% of all breaches in WordPress sites.
If you already have a lot of plugins and a theme installed, you may find your site is performing a little more sluggish than usual. Not only does running excess programs slash your performance standards, it also leaves many backdoors for the nefarious hacker to exploit when given the opportunity. Do some digital housekeeping and figure out what you want to keep or uninstall.
- Keep Login Access Strict
Although it should be a no brainer, be extremely selective of who you do and don’t choose to give access to your website. If you’re unsure of a person or what they’d do with access to your website, do not give them access to it.
If you have a team member or someone in mind who would be an asset instead of a liability, give them controlled access with yourself as an administrator of their login credentials so you will have strict control over what they can and cannot do on your site. Thankfully WordPress has these capabilities already built into the software, so you shouldn’t have to mess around with assigning security credentials too much.
- Implement Added Security Measures
While on the topic of securing login information, it would be wise to utilize features such as Two Factor authentication, which requires an extra step for those attempting to access your website login page. You can also utilize technology such as code generators or captcha generators that automatically block out bots attempting to gain access to your site.
Another added security measure to use is limiting the amount of login attempts users have when trying to figure out their password. If they put in the wrong password you assigned them more than the amount allowed by the system, their IP address is tagged and then banned from accessing your site permanently or temporarily.
One drastic, yet highly effective security measure is electing to camouflage the website login page altogether. Most WordPress sites come with a predetermined login page that adheres to a specific URL address. However, with small technical adjustments, you can change the login domain address to whatever you choose so the automated scripts with malicious intent would be unable to access your website via common penetration methods.
If the information on your website is extremely sensitive, you can add encryption that offers several layers of added security. By doing so, it enables information to be transmitted between yourself and the intended recipient you have chosen with the proper keys to access the data, effectively locking out anyone you don’t want to have access.
As you can see, information security is more of an abstract concept as opposed to an absolute construct. Your information is only as secure as you allow it be, your WordPress site included.
Don’t fall victim to rookie mistakes and risk compromising your information and the user database on your site, so take the steps to insure your WordPress website remains secure over the long term.