The internet can be a scary place. Running a website means you are always at risk of encountering viruses, malware, or hackers. Protecting your website needs to be a priority. WordPress is one the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world. Although it is popular, everything has its downside. WordPress is one of the most targeted systems by hackers. Ensuring that your WordPress website has security measures set up should be a main priority. Security measures will mitigate the chances of your website getting hacked.
Here is a current example of potential hacking exploits that are targeting WordPress websites:
If you are new to the world of WordPress and want to create a website that is the focal point of your operations, you must ensure it is secure. Here are the steps to protect your website from getting hacked:
The first step to avoid possible hacking and a compromised website in the future is to determine what security measures you want. Some basic security measures include login procedures, using a firewall, WordPress hosting, and a containing a backup for your website. However, there are many security measures available to keep your website secure. The more security, the better. Examples of this include hiding your WP-admin login page, using the latest PHP version, and disallowing file editing. Here at IGV, ensuring the safety of our clients is a main priority. We require all websites to be hosted on our servers which includes daily monitoring and maintenance, ensuring PHP and plugins are up to date.
This may seem obvious but protecting your passwords is very important to help avoid potential hacking. This can be accomplished using software such as 1Password or writing them down and storing them in a secure space. Keep in mind, storing your passwords within a web browser is not always safe. If your device were to be compromised, those passwords would be easily retrieved by the attacker. In addition to protecting your passwords, it is also recommended that your passwords are strong and not easy to guess. Aspects to a strong password include length, combination of letters (lower and upper case), symbols, and numbers. It is also important to ensure your password does not contain personal information.
Finding the right security plugin may be a challenge as there are so many great options to choose from. Below you can find 5 WordPress security plugins we have featured and detailed for you. If these do not suit your needs, you can find more security plugins here:
Once you have found the plugin that meets all your needs, it is now time for the most important step – install and activate the plugin to your website. We highly encourage you to reach out to your website developer before installing anything. If you do not have one, contact IGV for professional service. While the process may seem straightforward, dealing with updates and compatibility issues can cause major disfunction within your website. With security being the main focus, installing the wrong plugin can lead to more vulnerability. Better to be safe than sorry.
When it comes to determining which WordPress security plugin, you have to first ask yourself “what fits my needs”. Once you have determined what your needs are, it is now time to find that perfect plugin. Here is a list of 5 plugins that are excellent at securing and protecting your WordPress website:
Sucuri is a top-rated WordPress security plugin that comes in a free version, as well as a premium version that provides additional features. Both versions offer security activity auditing, malware scanning, and file monitoring. The premium version offers extra features such as Google Site Browsing, McAfee Site Advisor, and a Website Firewall that helps block brute force and malicious attacks on WordPress.
Wordfence is another excellent security plugin available for your website. By installing this plugin, Wordfence provides users with a free to use service that comes with a malware scanner, threat assessment features, exploit detection, and a WordPress firewall. Additionally, this plugin will scan your site automatically, searching for threats and will alert you if there are signs of a security breach with instructions to fix the issue.
iThemes Security offers users a basic security package that comes with limit login attempts, strong password enforcement, file integrity checks, brute force protection, security hardening, and 404 detections. However, the downside of this plugin is that it does not include a website firewall, and does not have its own malware scanner, as it uses Sucuri’s.
All in One WP Security is a free and easy to use security plugin that even beginners can understand. This plugin uses a firewall to scan your website to uncover any security weaknesses, monitors your website activity, and provides recommendations for preventative measures that you can implement. Although, its firewall may not be as effective in comparison to others, and you will have to occasionally block suspicious IPs manually.
Defender provides users a free, easy to use security plugin, as well a premium version. The features provided in this plugins include site and file scanning, IP deny listing and monitoring, two factor authentication, and instant email notifications of security issues. The premium version includes additional features that are specific to your website needs.
Keeping your website secure and protected is important as any other feature and should always be top mind when you are creating your site. Unfortunately, it is easy to forget about and this opens up the opportunity for malicious attacks on your WordPress website. Make sure you don’t do this alone. Security mistakes are easy to make, and one wrong move can cause serious problems. Always work with your website developer or call us here at IGV.
Are you unsure if your WordPress website is safe and secure? Contact us and we can help.
AUTHOR: Stuart Silcox