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WordPress is the most prominent software used for creating modern and feature-rich websites. However, this also makes WordPress an obvious target of several cybercriminals around the world. Its comprehensive security is a primary consideration for every WordPress website owner. The cumulative phishing attacks recognized in 2013 were nearly 450000 and led to economic damages of more than 5.9 billion dollars.
Through this article, we will help you to become familiar with all the important aspects of WordPress security that you should know if you own a WordPress website.
Should You Consider WordPress As a Completely Secure Platform?
The first question that may arise in your mind right now is that if WordPress is fully secure or not? Well, WordPress powers a significant number of websites on the internet. The foundation of WordPress software is highly secure. The majority of the developers keep an eye out for checking the security of WordPress. According to a report, 74% of the websites out of 8000 infected websites were the ones created with WordPress. The potential threats of ransomware have increased where a ransom is demanded by the hackers to unblock a site.
The popularity of WordPress has made it a constant target of hackers. Due to this reason, WordPress is not an inherently secure platform for use, especially for business and financial purposes. The most common reasons that make WordPress prone to hacking are outdated WordPress software, inappropriate plugins, bad system administration, wrong credentials, and insufficient knowledge of the WordPress system.
Who are the Potential Attackers?
The biggest misconception among WordPress users is that only big and popular WordPress sites are a target for hackers. But, in reality, even small WordPress sites are an equally favorable choice among hackers. Personal attacks are unusual because most of the attacks are executed by bots. Bots are specific programs formulated through computer software for hacking websites. A botnet includes the power of more than one bot.
Common Types of Security Threats for WordPress Sites
There are several ways that hackers use to damage or attack WordPress sites. For a better understanding of WordPress security, it is important to know about the potential security threats associated with WordPress websites that are discussed as follows:
- Backdoors – The hackers are in constant search of weak points of a WordPress site to take advantage of the situation. They use the vulnerabilities of a website to damage the website and steal its data.
- Denial of Service Attacks – For the safety and security of your WordPress site, it is essential to use the themes and plugins from trusted third-party developers. The shortcomings of a website are exploited by cybercriminals to flood a website’s server with fake requests, which make it difficult to look at the requests made by actual visitors. This in turn will cause the website to stop responding and can cause a significant amount of loss to a business.
- Cross-Site Scripting – In this method, hackers illegally intrude on others’ websites and steal their data. This can be done by the use of illegal plugins and themes. The hackers can damage a website, conduct cookie theft, perform phishing, or do identity theft.
- Phishing – Phishing is one of the most popular and widespread kinds of security threat. It involves stealing the passwords of WordPress sites. It can be practiced through emails, illegal links, and wrong WP installations. Regular scans can prevent phishing activity but they are difficult to recognize.
- Pharma Attacks – A good way to secure a WP site is the use of updated themes, plugins, or integral files. Sometimes, hackers can place information on or access illegal items on your site that pop-ups to the viewers. This can lead to the loss of traffic to your website.
- Malicious redirects – In this method, the hackers redirect the potential viewers of a WordPress site to another malicious website. This will decrease the credibility and traffic of a website.
Why Should Every WordPress Owner Consider Fortifying the Security of Their Website?
Any WordPress website that is hacked can bring severe harm to your business gains and stature. The hackers are competent to get user details, passwords, and induct nasty software to the website. The terrible aspect is that the hackers can gain access to confidential data such as payment details of your website’s users.
In 2016, Google warned nearly 50 million website owners about the inclusion of malicious data on their websites. Every WordPress site owner, especially the ones who run a business should be more concerned about security and monitor their websites regularly. Just like business owners ensure complete security of their physical workplace, similarly, they should look after the security of their WordPress site.
Can a WordPress Website Hack Damage its Respective Business
The WordPress hacking and security threats have invited several debates over WordPress security. The hackers are more careful than ever with their hacking techniques to attack websites. Cyber attacks and hacks not only damages the site’s data but also the user data.
According to a study, 60% of hacked websites of small businesses can result in the business getting drenched in losses within the next 6 months. Hacking can damage a website in several ways such as identity theft, decreasing the speed of a website, and decreasing the website traffic which leads to loss of potential customers.
Best Practices to Secure a WordPress Site Effectively
1. Keeping A WordPress Site Updated with the Latest Developments
WordPress is open-source software. It is regularly maintained and updated with several security features to eliminate the possibility of cyberattacks. There is a feature through which WordPress automatically installs minor updates to your website without your permission.
But it is always suggested to make updates and upkeep the website manually. WordPress offers countless plugins and themes for the benefit of a user and they are managed by third-party developers. These third-party developers keep on releasing new updates frequently. Any kind of update is essential for ensuring better security and performance of a WordPress site. You need to be sure that these plugins and themes are constantly updated.
2. Use of Strong Passwords and Granting User Permissions Carefully
Most hackers can hack a WordPress site by stealing the WP admin details and login password. This can be prevented by using a strong and unique password that is difficult to guess. Along with that, FTP accounts, database, WordPress hosting account, domain name, and WordPress user login details should also have strong passwords. Many WordPress users don’t go for strong passwords and this can give an upper hand to the hackers. Users can follow the WordPress guide to set a strong password for their WordPress sites. Another important thing that owners should avoid giving access to their WordPress sites to others. In the case of working with a big team, website owners should ensure that they define user roles and give access to team members accordingly.
3. Selecting Secure WordPress Hosting
WordPress hosting plays a vital role in ensuring better WordPress security. With a reliable WordPress hosting provider like Bluehost, website owners do not have to worry about protecting the servers against potential threats. Here’s why opting for the services offered by leading hosting service providers is the ideal thing to do:
- They employ trackers to constantly monitor the network for any skeptical activity.
- They make use of advanced tools to deter potential large-scale attacks on WordPress sites.
- They ensure that their server software, as well as the hardware systems, are updated to prevent any chances of security loopholes. Old systems are more prone to security threats.
4. Taking Frequent Backups of Website Data
WordPress always recommends the users take consistent backups of their data. There are various trusted plugins available that allow users to backup WordPress either manually or scheduled automatic backups.
5. Deleting Unused Themes and Plugins
There can be several unused themes and plugins on your WordPress website that should be deleted. Even the default themes that are no longer in use should be deleted to ensure optimum security of your website.
6. Implementing Two-Factor Authentication to Prevent Force Attacks
For more secure login security, two-factor authentication is always a viable alternative. It sends an OTP via phone call or SMS to authenticate a login. Some popular two-factor authentication logins are Google authenticator and Duo two-factor authenticator.
7. Installing a Trusted Web Application Firewall
An easy way to protect a WordPress site from cyber threats is to use a trusted web application firewall. A firewall will automatically block all malicious software.
Best Security Plugins for WordPress
At present, there are several security plugins that can automatically track, monitor, and audit the security of a WordPress site. They are a popular solution that can prevent hacking and phishing attempts on a WordPress website.
We have listed the best security plugins for WordPress that you can consider using to enhance the security of your WordPress site:
Sucuri is a free security plugin for WordPress. It performs overall security that is very popular among the users. Sucuri can clean a WordPress site with malware or malicious elements with no additional costs. It can be easily set up with firewall protection and security hardening. Sucuri is globally recognized for website security.
2. iThemes Security Pro
iThemes security pro is a popular WordPress security plugin with an easy-to-use interface. It provides two-factor authentication, powerful password execution with scheduled backups, and limited attempts for login. iThemes provide a wide range of flexible security options that do interfere with the website’s functionality and performance. It also automatically blacklists and ban hacking bots.
Jetpack is a good WordPress security plugin. It scans your websites automatically to keep a check over potential threats. Jetpack offers spam protection, decentralized scanning, scheduled backup, and protection against force logins.
Wordfence is a prominent WordPress security plugin known for its distinct features. It includes scheduled scans, frequent monitoring, tracks and alerts, customized email alerts, and protection from forced attacks.
5. BulletProof Security
BulletProof Security is a WordPress plugin with all the basic security services and is free to use. It is easy to set up, allows you to create backups, scans malware, and offers login protection. Also, BulletProof Security provides unique idle session logouts.
6. All In One WP Security & Firewall
All In One WP Security & Firewall is a free plugin that comes with an intuitive interface and offers robust security solutions. It imposes automatic login lockdown after failed login attempts and also helps users with strong password creation, account tracking, regular scans, etc.
We hope that this article has helped you to develop a good understanding of WordPress security and its significance for every WordPress user. Proper security assurance is critical for every website. It is crucial to know about the vulnerabilities and potential attacks that can affect the operation of a WordPress website.
As a business owner, you need to understand that any harm to your WordPress site infers damage to your brand’s online reputation. So, it’s always better to use the above-mentioned tips and choose the most relevant WordPress security plugins to ensure the complete security of your website.
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