Your business is dependent on how you present yourself, both physically and digitally. In this modern era of online marketing, it is equally important to protect your online-store like it is your real-world store.
A compromised WordPress site can cause severe damage to your business and reputation. Hackers can not only steal your information and passwords but also distribute malicious software to their websites’ users. Or worse, the hackers may demand a ransom to give you your site back.
All this can be avoided with being mindful of your website. How you ask?
How to Keep Your WordPress Site Secure in 2019
Here is a list of things that you should take away from this post, along with some additional notes, of practices that should not only keep your secure but also keep your site running smoothly-
1. Always keep your WordPress Updated
2. Choose Good Hosting
3. Use a security plugin (I recommend Securi)
4. Put up some security questions
5. Change your default username
6. Use a password manager
7. Use Two Factor Authorization
8. Optimize Load Speed using a plugin like WP Rocket
9. Create Backups
10. Use a Secure Web-Host
Keeping WordPress Updated
WordPress is open source, meaning anyone can see the code of the software, to allow better flexibility and security to its users. It is regularly updated and maintained by professional developers.
By default, WordPress automatically installs minor updates. For major releases, you need to initiate the update manually.
WordPress also comes with hundreds of plugins, themes, and frameworks that one can install. These plugins and themes are maintained by their developers, who regularly release updates as well.
It is best practice to keep updating all the plugins and frameworks that you use, and most importantly, keep WordPress itself updated.
The Role of WordPress Hosting
Your WordPress hosting service plays perhaps the most critical role in the security of your WordPress site. A right shared hosting provider like BlueHost or Cloudflare takes additional countermeasures against the hackers that may try to take down a website.
Using a managed hosting service provides a secure foundation to your website, making it tougher for the attacker to access your site. Remember, security is not about eliminating risk, but about reducing it as much as possible.
WordPress Security Plugins
Having a security plugin on your website is like having a guard at your office, who always monitors any suspicious activity and stops/reports it.
As for the online world, this is easier said than done. Since ‘security’ for us means file integrity monitoring, failed login attempts, malware scanning, etc. among a vast array of security measures for a plugin.
Thankfully, all this can be taken care of by arguably the best free WordPress security plugin, Sucuri.
Post installation, you need to set it up on your WordPress admin dashboard.
The first thing you will have to do is Generate their free API key. This enables features like audit logging, integrity checking, email alerts, and other essential features.
Moving on, the second thing, you need to do is to click on their Hardening tab from the Sucuri Menu.
I’d suggest that you go through every option and click on the “Harden” button.
These options help you lock down the areas that hackers often try to break into in their attacks.
That’s it; your website is officially more secure!
Add Security Questions to WordPress Login Screen
This might seem too simple, but I can assure you that it is useful. Something as simple as a security question to your WordPress login screen gives it an extra layer of obscurity, which makes it even harder for someone to get unauthorized access.
You can add security questions by installing the WP Security Questions plugin.
Don’t use admin as a username.
This is probably the most natural step for WordPress security you can take as a user. It costs nothing, and it is easy to do. A majority of today’s attacks target your wp-admin / wp-login access points using thousands of combinations of usernames and passwords by using what is known as Brute Forcing.
A program with a list of the usernames and passwords continually tries every combination at its disposal in the hopes that one of the combinations will turn out to be the right one. Using ‘admin’ as the username knocks out a huge chunk of those combinations and chances are, that the hacker moves on to the next target. This is why it is also essential to choose a strong password, speaking of which bring me to my next tip-
Use a stong (mighty) password:
This is where tools like 1Password and LastPass come into play, as both have password generators. You type in length, and it generates the password. You save the link, keep the password, and move on with your day. Depending on how secure you want the password to be, I usually set length of the password (20 characters is always right) and decide on things like the inclusion of less usual characters like # or *.
I understand, remembering passwords is complicated enough already. But, aside from password generators, the selling point (I shouldn’t say that since they are available to use for free) of these applications is that they remember the password for you! Think of it as a highly secure vault for your ALL your passwords! All you have to do is remember the password for your 1Password/LastPass account, and they handle the rest.
Add Two-Factor Authentication
2FA helps you avoid a brute-force attack, making your website much safer. I understand the hassle of two-factor authentication. But for now, it’s your Fort Knox. A lot of people ( even you might be ) use 2 factor auth for Gmail, Facebook, and are familiar with how it works, why not add it to your WordPress security toolkit as well.
There are also other options for 2FA, like Google Authy, that makes the second factor a random number generated right on the ‘Authy’ app on your phone. Convenient, right?
Conclusion : If you are concerned about WordPress Security, You should consider hosting your website with WPinfy. We have state of the art security measures to protect your website and blogs and ensure they load blazing fast.