If you happen to be a veteran in WordPress, you must be aware that the CMS platform is one its own a very secure platform. So, there is no need to establish security for WordPress from ground up. You need to ‘harden’ security.
Just like installing CCTV for your home premises or adding a biometric access device to your office corridor and so on. You have to bolt in additional security reinforcements to layer up the existing security provisions in WordPress.
But why reinforce your WordPress security when the existing ones serve well?
WpWhiteSecurity recently found that almost 73% of WordPress websites have some kind of security vulnerability. Even disastrous is the statistic that popular WordPress plugins are also affected by the security loophole. Hence, the need for reinforcements.
So, here are some ways you can beef up your WordPress website security.
Ways to secure your admin dashboard
Your WordPress admin dashboard is like a vault of secrets. It has the key to anything and everything of your website. Hence, restricting access and securing it must be the first item in your agenda.
To begin with, set up protection for the wp-admin directory. Password protect the directory or configure two-factor authentication so that only you or those authorized personnel are able to gain access.
There are security plugins like Protect WP-Admin which help lock secure your WordPress dashboard with a password.
Encrypt the admin panel data
Encryption is a foolproof method to secure your admin data. With an SSL certificate you can encrypt the login page and admin dashboard thus ensuring that no hacker can steal information through eavesdropping or spyware.
There are several Certificate Authorities providing high-end SSL certificates like Comodo SSL certificate, Wildcard SSL certificate, Single Domain SSL certificate, Multi-domain SSL certificate and much more.
Moreover, SSL certificates also help boost your search engine ranking as well as conversion rates. Not to miss mentioning that WordPress has already advocated a mandatory HTTPS migration for WordPress websites from 2017 onwards.
Set up strong login credentials
Most WordPress admins make the mistake of setting default usernames and passwords for their WordPress accounts. ‘Admin’ and ‘Password’ are login credentials which any naive user can easily hack into.
If you are also using the same login credentials, change it right away. Make it a practice to set an alphanumeric username and password that nobody can easily guess.
In case you have multiple admins and monitoring password strength is a challenge, you can use a WordPress security plugin like iThemes Security or Wordfence which will ensure that admins are made to use strong passwords.
Prevention against brute force attacks
Brute force attacks are like barging in through your front door by tearing down the protective layers. If you keep the frontal layers of WordPress website security weakers, it becomes easy for the hacker to break in.
Here are some ways you can secure your WordPress website against brute force attacks:
Set failed login limits
A genuine user cannot be failing to log into his or her account for too many times. Only hackers use combination and permutations of login credentials to get into the system. The best way to prevent them from doing it is by setting limits for number of failed login attempts. WordPress security plugins also help you do that easily.
Set email ids as the default username
Emails ensure that only the user alone is able to access his account. It masks the possibility of the username being found easily. Secondly, every WordPress user will definitely have an email id which can be used to notify access from unidentified systems, IPs, devices, etc. Password reset links can also be sent securely to email ids thus preventing the possibility of security threats.
After user credentials and admin logins, the website database is the primary target of hackers. It can contain private information of users which can be used for online identity theft or for further cybersecurity attacks elsewhere in the Internet.
Here are few things you can do to secure your WordPress database:
Set customized DB prefix
By default, the WordPress database comes with wp- as the prefix. Any experienced hacker can trace your database easily by looking for this wp-. So, we recommend changing it to something unique and unrecognizable like mywp-, wpvers1, or so which cannot be easily identified by an outside person.
Take regular DB backups
No matter how secure you are, the worst case scenario can happen. And when it happens, you need something to bank on, like a backup of all your data. Veteran WP users make it a habit to take backups of their databases from time to time. The backup will help restore the WordPress website back to its original form anytime.
WordPress website backup can be taken manually or with the help of plugins. Plugins like WP Database Backup, WP-DBManager, BackUpWordPress, etc. help schedule the backup process. Even if you miss out, the backup process will happen like clockwork.
Other Miscellaneous tasks
Securing your admin panel and database is but one of the many tasks. Additionally, you also have to secure several other things to ensure 360-degree security for your WordPress website. The other things include:
Update plugins and templates
Outdated plugins and templates are easy entry points for hackers. The very reason why WordPress developers release updates and patches is to plug the existing security loopholes in existing versions of the plugins and templates.
Luckily, updating your WordPress plugins and templates are as easy as updating your smartphone operating system. You can allow the update to happen automatically in the background or conduct it manually by selecting the plugins. Regularly updated plugins and templates close all possible entry points for the hackers.
Hide your WordPress version number
Why? Because if hackers know the version number, they just have to pick a suitable strategy to hack into your website. Hiding it provides reasonable safety and ensures that rest of the security measures will keep the website safe and sound.
Your WordPress version number is usually displayed right in the home page. You can hide it easily with almost every security plugin or manually by accessing the functions.php and adding the function “remove_action(‘wp_head’, ‘wp_generator’);.”
WordPress security is heavily undermined by most website owners. They wrongly assume that cybersecurity threats will not harm their website. As a result, they make things easy for hackers who are always on the lookout for loose links to break into.
Once lost, the control or the reputation of a WordPress website is not easy to restore. Hence, the need to reinforce your WordPress website security more than what is provided as default.
The steps include investing in some security plugins which will automate the process of malware assessment, scanning and scheduling backups. They also ensure that the admin does not have to necessarily spend time conducting security tests every now and then.
These proven ways can secure your WordPress website without spending too much of money. They ensure that your website remains immune to all known cybersecurity attacks that hackers deploy against WordPress websites. Once done, your WordPress website will be a digital fortress that hackers cannot find their way into easily.