Is a WordPress website safe? Yes, WordPress is safe; it is one of the best infrastructures built and designed to be secure from getting hacked or attacked. However, no website is entirely safe, as it is connected to the internet and will always have vulnerabilities or chances of break-ins.
WordPress has in its employ a lot of security personnel. They are all world-class professionals who constantly watch out for danger lurking due to vulnerabilities in the system. They release security updates regularly to their software. So as far as WordPress websites are concerned, we are covered. The problem comes from how it is made available to the users.
The source code of WordPress is free to be used by those who want to modify and distribute it, as it is open-source software. This means that anyone who has the knowledge and skills can have it customized and optimized to a great degree. There are many plugins and themes, and there are also skilled wordpress developers who can make partial or complete changes to the backend code.
The negative aspect to all of these is that when a website is poorly maintained or configured, it is prone to scores of security issues. WordPress grants its users a lot of power and a lot of responsibilities. These responsibilities are often shrugged off, which is not a secret to hackers, so they attack these WordPress websites consequently.
There can never be complete immunity from online threats, but there are measures that you can take to prevent these threats from happening. In a nutshell, WordPress is secure, but only if you take security with earnest intent and stick to the best practices.
WordPress Security Issues
If you decide to disregard security and do nothing to make your website safe from hackers and attackers, a lot could happen. These are the most common attacks on WordPress sites.
Brute Force Login Attempts
A brute force login, one of the simplest attacks, happens when automation is used to enter many users’ name-password combinations quickly, eventually getting the right one. This type of attack can access not just logins but also password-protected information.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
This attack happens when a malicious code is introduced into the backend of the selected site. This code may also be submitted as a response in a user-facing form. The attacker aims to extract information and cause great damage to how the site functions.
A backdoor contains codes that allow the attacker to go past the standard WordPress login, therefore accessing your site. These people also place backdoors with the other WordPress source files that inexperienced users find hard to find.
Denial of Service (DoS)
The Denial of Service attack is done by overloading a server with traffic to cause a crash. As a result of this, you will not access your website. To make matters worse, the attacker may choose to do a distributed denial of service (DDoS), which means many machines are used at once.
This pharma hack is a ploy that takes advantage of the susceptibility of outdated WordPress websites. The hackers insert rogue codes that cause search engines, such as those hosted by Google, to return ads for pharmaceutical products, along with legitimate listings. Your site may be accused of distributing spam and may eventually get blocked.
This type of attack happens when the hacker, posing as a legitimate business, contacts a selected WordPress website. They then attempt to get the target’s personal information or ask them to download a malware or visit a risky website.
Once the attacker gets access to your WordPress account, they may also perform phishing attacks on your customers, posing as the host.
How To Secure Your WordPress Site:
According to statistics, more than a hundred websites are being hacked every day.
Therefore, website security, notably WordPress, comes down to following a set of procedures that are accepted as correct and most effective. Take note of the recommendations given below. If you cannot follow all, maybe some of these will help you improve your website security.
Use secure WordPress hosting
There are many factors to consider when choosing a hosting service for your website. Make sure that security is one of the top priorities. Consider the service company that can protect all your information and acts promptly to recover in case of an attack.
Update your version of WordPress
If your version of WordPress software is outdated, it becomes an easy target for attackers. Ensure that you look out for updates regularly and have them installed in the shortest possible time. This will minimize the vulnerabilities that are common in older versions.
Update to the latest version of PHP (hypertext preprocessor, a scripting language).
This is one of the more important steps to keep your WordPress website secure. When an upgrade is ready, you will get a notification on your dashboard, prompting you to go to your hosting account to effect the upgrade. You can contact your web developer for the upgrade if you don’t access your hosting account.
Have One or More Security Plugins Installed
You can depend on these plugins to do security-related manual work. They will scan your website for penetration attempts or alter the source files that may result in your website’s susceptibility and prevent hotlinking and other types of content theft. Make sure your security plugins are supplied by well-established companies and are legal.
Use A Safe WordPress Theme
To prevent security issues on your WordPress website, choose a theme that suits the WordPress standards. Never use any WordPress theme just because it looks good, and this is just like installing a sketchy plugin on your website.
Enable SSL/HTTPS (Secure Socket Layer/Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
This technology ensures that the traffic between your visitor’s computer and your site is safe from disagreeable interference. Your WordPress site needs to be SSL enabled to boost your SEO and positively affect your visitors’ first impression of your site. Google Chrome also issues a warning to those who would like to visit a site that doesn’t follow the SSL protocol.
Install a firewall
A firewall keeps all malicious activities out of your site, as it eliminates the direct connection between your network that hosts your WordPress site and the others’ network. Unauthorized traffic is therefore prevented from entering your system from the outside.
Back Up Your Website
A website getting hacked is already bad, but losing all your information is worse.
WordPress must back up your website to protect it from an attack or any other incident resulting in data loss. It is suggested that backups be automatic, as well.
Conduct WordPress security scans regularly
Running routine checkups on your site is not a bad idea, and doing it at least once every month may suffice. There are numerous plugins available that can scan your WordPress website for you.
Filter out special characters from user input
If your site accepts any response from visitors, whether it’s a contact form, a payment form, or even a comment on a blog post, know that it is a great opportunity for the hacker to attack. They could enter bad code into any of the texts that could play havoc with your site’s backend. However, you can avoid this issue by filtering out special characters before the inputs are processed and storing them in your site database.
Get a DDoS Protection
DDoS attacks use multiple systems to target a selected system to result in a denial of service (DoS). This type of attack will not harm your site but simply take it down for a few days or hours. Better get your site protected from this type of attack.
Limit WordPress User Permissions
This strategy will reduce the hackers’ chances of brute-forcing into an admin account. And in case they guess the credentials correctly, there will be little damage to be done. So if your site has multiple accounts, each user’s role should be changed to access only what they need.
Use WordPress Monitoring
If you have a monitoring system in place, you will be notified of suspicious activity takes place on your site. It would be great, even if you already have other security measures, because you’ll know the problem sooner, instead of later.
Log User Activity
This is another way of finding out about an issue before it occurs. When you log all user activity on your website, you will know when someone is trying to change a password. You will also know if an attacker is deactivating or installing plugins, altering theme or plugin files without your permission. This will help you keep an eye on everything.
Consider Hiding Your WordPress Version
This measure will ensure that hackers are not aware that your site is vulnerable.
As mentioned above, you should always update to the latest WordPress version. However, if you haven’t done it yet, it is important that you hide the vulnerability.
Delete the Default WordPress Admin Account
Changing the “admin” user name has been discussed in #12 above, but if you want to take things a little further, you should entirely remove the default account. This is great, especially if you believe that your original user name has been known to the hackers.
Change the Default WordPress Login URL
Also, the default URL is very easy to find by attackers, so change this login page for your site’s protection.
Disable the File Editing In the WordPress Dashboard
By default, administrators are allowed by WordPress to edit the code of their files, which makes it easy for an attacker to alter your files. This happens once they gain access to your account. A plugin can disable this feature, but if not, you can do it yourself by doing some light coding.
Change The File Prefix of Your Database
By default, the file names on your database start with “wp_”. Attackers use this setting to locate your database files and perform SQL injections. SQL – Structured Query Language, and it is commonly used as an attack vector, which uses malicious codes to manipulate the backend database. This can be fixed by changing the file prefix, such as “wpdb_” or “wptable_”. This can be set when installing the WordPress CMS.
You can see many ways to strengthen your WordPress security from the above. You can use hard-to-guess passwords, keep your plugins up to date, and choose a secure WordPress host. These and more will help your site stay up and run safely. Because your website is where your income is generated, it would be best to follow the above given best practices.
Brandconn.com considers the security of your WordPress website on top of our list. Our hosting solutions are sure to stop cyber-attacks on its track. We will monitor your site and have software-based restrictions in place. If you have any inquiries or want help in hardening your security, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at www.brandconn.com.