How to Protect Your WordPress Site from Hacks
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems around, with over 250 million active monthly users and over 2.7 million online stores built on the software. It is incredibly popular, which makes it an obvious target for hackers. If you are reading this, then it’s very likely that your WordPress site has been compromised and is now serving ads, pumping out spam, or collecting sensitive information about you and your staff.
This is a serious problem and one you should not take lightly. Protecting your WordPress site from hacks is not as difficult as you would think, but it does require some extra work. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best practices you can employ to secure your site.
Hacks Can Occur At Any Time
WordPress is not immune to attacks and hacks, even when it’s used successfully and securely by thousands of websites. In fact, according to the Sucuri blog, nearly a third of all websites they scan are hacked or compromised. This is mainly because WordPress itself is so easy to install and set up and has such a large community of users who could potentially be tricked or coerced into providing personal information.
This makes it a prime target for scammers, who can use your site’s popularity to trick you into providing them with your login credentials. If you are a victim of this type of attack, your only recourse is to rebuild your site from the ground up. This is both time-consuming and extremely frustrating. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your WordPress site.
Install A Fresh Installation Of WordPress
If you’re a WordPress beginner and have just a few websites, then it’s best to start fresh and install WordPress on a new server. This will ensure that there are no previous infections lying around that could have enabled an attacker to get access to your account information. When you’re starting from scratch, you also won’t have any plugins loaded onto the site that could have been compromised by a hacker. Not only that, but you’ll also have the updated versions of WordPress to ensure that any vulnerabilities are patched up.
Use A Strong And Complex Password
One of the best ways of securing your WordPress account is by using a strong and complex password. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it should be somewhat difficult to guess. The longer the password, the better. Keep in mind that the strength of your password is based on how difficult it is for an attacker to decrypt it. Therefore, if you use a plugin like FirePass to generate random passwords for you, then you’re ensuring that your account is as secure as can be. When choosing a password, make sure that it is not only difficult to guess, but it is also long enough to be secure. A rule of thumb is to use at least eight characters, including at least two uppercase letters, two lowercase letters, and a digit. This makes it much more difficult for an attacker to gain access to your account. As a general rule, it’s advisable to use a different password for each site that you have. This will help protect you from brute-force attacks, where an attacker tries to guess your password by trying several combinations. If you use the same password for multiple accounts, then it will be much easier for an attacker to access your personal accounts.
Check For Updates
WordPress updates are critical for ensuring that your site is always protected from vulnerabilities. It is very easy for hackers to create viruses and other malware that can affect your site’s performance or even expose your data. When updates are available, it is imperative that you apply them as soon as possible. You should check for updates on a regular basis, particularly if you use third-party plugins that could potentially be updated by the developers to fix any security issues or bugs. One of the best things you can do for your WordPress site is to apply the updates as soon as they’re available. This ensures that your site’s security is always at the forefront of mind when developers create new features or functionalities.
Use Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
While it’s not easy for a hacker to gain access to your account if you use a strong and complex password, it is virtually impossible to keep track of all your login details. For this reason, it is advisable to use two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. This is simply a security feature that requires a user to enter a code as well as their password to access their account. Some examples of 2FA include Google Authenticator and a hardware security key.
If you use Google Authenticator, then the code will be delivered to your phone via SMS or a Google alert. When you log in with Google Authenticator, you will be prompted to enter a code that was sent to your phone. If you use a hardware security key, then when you log in you will be required to enter a code generated by the key into the login screen. This adds an extra layer of security and makes it much more difficult for anyone to access your account without your permission. If someone gets hold of your login details, then they can also access your other accounts. That’s why it’s important to always use strong passwords and update your account as soon as security updates are released by the developers.
Use A Security Key
A hardware security key is a fantastic way to protect your WordPress account and avoid the dreaded Man in the Middle attack. A MIM attack occurs when a hacker is in between you and the server that hosts your account’s data. When a MIM attack does occur, your data can be compromised. A hardware security key creates a secure connection between your computer and the server, eliminating the need for you to share your login details or use insecure passwords. It also provides an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code generated by the key to access your account. If a hacker were to somehow manage to steal your login details, then they could not access your account without the code generated by the key. This is because the key is stored on the server, which is physically disconnected from your computer. Using a hardware security key is extremely easy to do and does not require any extra steps to set up.
Monitor And Adjust Your Site’s Security Setting
Once you’ve enabled 2FA on your account and set up a hardware security key, monitoring and adjusting your site’s security settings becomes extremely easy. You can use services like Sucuri to ensure that your account’s settings are always optimized for the highest level of security.
If you use a free service like Sucuri to monitor and adjust your site’s security settings, then they will do all the heavy lifting for you. They will check for updates, apply the updates, and monitor your site’s performance for any signs of problems. If you use a paid service, then you’ll need to adjust settings and check for any problems yourself. Overall, using a service like Sucuri to monitor and adjust your site’s security settings is a quick and easy way to keep your account safe and secure.
Use Strong And Different Login Credentials For Each Website
If you use the same login credentials for multiple sites, then it will be incredibly easy for hackers to gain access to your personal accounts. If you use the same login details for a bank account and a shopping cart account, then a hacker may be able to get access to your bank account. To prevent this from happening, it is advisable to use different login details for each site. You can use a service like FirePass to create and manage unique passwords for each site that you have. This ensures that even if one site is compromised, the others will not be. Using temporary passwords is also a great way to prevent your account from being hacked. It is best to generate a new password each time you login, so that if any of your accounts are compromised, it will be impossible for the intruder to access your other accounts. This is because after a few minutes the password will automatically expire and you’ll have to enter your username and password again. When selecting a new password, make sure that it is not only strong and complex, but it is also unique. Using temporary passwords is also a great way to prevent your account from being hacked. It is best to generate a new password each time you login, so that if any of your accounts are compromised, it will be impossible for the intruder to access your other accounts. This is because after a few minutes the password will automatically expire and you’ll have to enter your username and password again.