According to W3Techs, WordPress sites make up over 30% of all sites on the internet and that has made WordPress sites a huge target for cyber-crime. WordPress is open source which has contributed for it being a desirable target. On the other hand, this freedom affords a great deal of fantastic third-party plugins and themes to help build creative sites.
Plugins and themes are highly vulnerable to attack. Knowing whether your WordPress site is safe from attacks is vital to protecting yourself and visitors from financial loss, data breaches, and damages.
Best Ways to Know if Your WordPress Site is Safe Against Attacks
You may become the target of a cybercriminal which means you need to know how to determine if your WordPress site is safe against attacks and how you can defend yourself.
Get to know the Basic
- Keep your WordPress site clean.
- Make sure your passwords and usernames are both unique and difficult to guess. Admin is a very common username and the first a cyber attacker would try to use. Passwords must be long and contain a mixture of characters and numbers to ensure it is difficult to work out.
- Make sure your core WordPress software is up to date as well maintaining updates for all plugins and themes. A key tip for updating is to make sure you check how often your plugins and themes have been updated.
- If a plugin or theme has gone a long time without an update it might be high time to drop it and use a new one as the developer may no longer be securing the application.
- Rename your login URL to restrict unauthorized users from accessing the login page by making it more difficult to identify. This can easily be done with a high-quality security plugin.
Research, Research, Research
How can you defend yourself from attacks and know if your WordPress site is safe if you do not know how you may be attacked? A great deal of Cybercriminals target WordPress sites because they are hastily built by users who have little knowledge of the technical side of the cyber world.
Research the current trends in cyber-attacks and think about how they could affect your WordPress site. Once aware of the types of attacks you can then use that information to identify what vulnerabilities your site may have.
For example, internet security websites and blogs routinely identify ongoing threats such as plugins that contain backdoor vulnerabilities. With the vulnerable plugins identified you can either update them or change plugins if necessary.
Always conduct research on the use of plugins for your WordPress site. As plugins are the biggest vulnerability to a WordPress site you should limit the amount you use. Good research may identify a plugin that does the job of several plugins ensuring you get the most value and reduce your security risk.
Apply Security Tools & Methods
There are an extensive number of tools, plugins, and techniques available to ensure the safety of your WordPress site.
- Basic security plugins can conduct malware searches on files, prevent intrusion, and build a firewall to protect against bots and suspicious activity. A good security plugin can conduct an Exploit scan right from your Dashboard and identify your vulnerabilities
- Enabling a website firewall can block malicious traffic before it even gets near your WordPress site.
- Use two-factor authorisation plugins such as CreativeMinds Secure Login 2FA plugin to permanently prevent the easy and commonly used Brute Force attack.
- Set up a lockdown feature to prevent unauthorised activity. A lockdown will lock your site when a repetitive hacking attempt is detected.
- CreativeMinds’ Search Improvement Console and 404 Improvement Console autoban IPs that perform suspicious searches and access certain error pages.
- Protect server/client communication by implementing a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate to secure your admin panel. SSL will ensure the security of data transferred between a user’s device and the server.
- If your hosting company does not provide SSL, you can purchase one from a third party. The CreativeMinds HTTPS plugin allows you to generate a free SSL certificate and helps you to install it.
Control Who Has Access
Knowing who actually has full access to your WordPress control panel can identify security risks. As your site or business grows you may find yourself working with contributors that have a variety of roles. Anyone who has access to your control panel could remove your access and take control of your WordPress site.
Always know, check, and verify the user roles of those who have access to any aspect of your WordPress site. Remove inactive users and make sure only the correct people have admin access. Make sure any admin users regularly change their credentials to ensure that only they can access the admin control panel.
Always Perform Backups
Sometimes even the best laid plans and a strong defence can fail. What if you have to start again? It is imperative that you have a backup of your WordPress site in the event of a catastrophic attack. Not only should you backup your site files but also all your databases.
There are many plugins available that offer both cloud and PC backup options, but you can also backup your files yourself.
- FTP backups – Use your File Transfer Protocol to make a backup of your databases using software such as Filezilla
- A comprehensive Backup plugin can schedule regular backups and choose between complete and database backups.
- Server-level backups can also be automated to give you peace of mind knowing that a recent version of your site will be available if you suffer a major attack.
- If you want more control over your backups and where you keep them you can always backup your WordPress site manually. You can do this directly from your Control Panel with a range of backup options including Control Panel Backup
WordPress is a great platform to promote content or operate your business but with open source software comes a great variety of security risks. Whether you are a beginner or a tech savvy user, there are many techniques and tools available to prevent attack and know if your WordPress site is safe.
Knowledge is paramount to safeguarding against attack and CreativeMinds is a must stop for current security and plugin trends for WordPress.