How To Secure Your WordPress Site

There is always a black sheep in every community and the advancement of technology brings a lot of ways that this category of people will make themselves useful. These are the type of people who want to use brute force in gaining access to the activities, and privacy of others without permission. They are called hackers. Hackers may break into other people’s privacy either to gain some or even for nothing but fun. WordPress site is used by millions of people for their business and personal activities. Several WordPress users have complained that their websites have been hacked on one or several occasions.

It is believed that this is because WordPress system has an open script which allows websites that are powered by its software to be easily hacked. If you are looking to find a way to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of hacking activities on your website, then you are in the right place as this post will furnish you with few tips on how to block out hackers or hacking activities on your website. Although the open script of WordPress makes it easier for your website to be burgled by hackers, there are few things you can pay attention to that will make it harder for hackers to gain access into your website.

The way WordPress system is programmed makes it easy for users to do what they want with their website, the same goes for hackers. Most users often visit domain.com/wp-admin in order to have access to their dashboard. When a hacker gets to this page using the same procedure, what is left is for him to crack your login details and gain access to your site. Hackers reportedly use brute force attack to test thousands of several possible login details in a short period of time. Since the login page is the starting point for the hacking activities, it is recommended that you make it difficult for the hacker to gain access. The following tips will help you achieve that:

Limit The Number Of Failed Login Attempts

First, you should customize the URL of your login page by changing it from the custom WordPress admin login page URL. You also need to limit login attempt by installing any of the WordPress plugins designed for this purpose such as “Limit Login Attempts” or “iThemes Security.“  This is a brilliant step in the positive direction as it will make harder for hackers to access your website after a few failed login attempts. The plugin automatically bans an IP address for a period of time after a few failed login attempts that will be determined by the website owner.

Enable Website Lockdown And IP Ban

Website lockdown works by shutting a website down and banning a particular IP address after a specified number of failed login attempts. Whenever a hacker tries to use brute force attack to gain unauthorized access to your dashboard, the website gets locked after a few failed login attempt and the website owner is automatically notified of same. You may want to turn to a WordPress plugin known as Login Lockdown to execute this. In addition, do not use word “Admin” as your WordPress username as this is the trend among various users which may allow your website to be easily hacked.

However, there is no course to worry if you have already used admin as your username as you can easily change it by adding a new admin. You should give the new admin all the necessary permits so that you can delete the old admin and continue to use your website as the new admin.

Allow 2FA And Use Email As Your Username

2-factor authentication (2FA) is another amazing way to block out brute force attack on your website. Furthermore, instead of using a username to login, you may want to consider using email in its stead as emails are harder to guess compared to usernames. The WordPress plugin called “WP Email Login” will help you with this task. The plugin starts working immediately after it is installed, and you will need to log in with the email with which you signed up for the WordPress account.

Use Hard-To-Guess Passwords

You should try to avoid easy passwords as much as possible because this may allow your WordPress site to be an easy target for hackers. Consider using password combinations that are harder such as randomly including figures, upper and lowercase alphabets, and special characters. If you are having a hard time generating a strong password, you should try using any of the password generating applications available online. It is important to change your password regularly or whenever you suspect that someone has gained unauthorized access to your website.

Backup Regularly

It is advised to backup your website regularly as this will go a long way in ensuring that your site remains in your control. However, the number of times you back up your website will be dependent on how often you use it. But it is recommended to backup your site at least twice a week. There are several plugins you can turn to in a time like this such as BackupBuddy or Ready! Backup. While the former may cost you up to a $100, the latter is absolutely free. Although BackupBuddy is an expensive option, it is believed that the cost is commensurate with the services offered as it allows website owners to regain control over their website in just a few minutes during a hacking activity.

It is necessary to backup regularly even for the most secure websites because backup files are the major way to restore your website by to its pre hacking state. Other plugins you may want to have a look at are VaultPress and UpdraftPlus.

Use SSL To Encrypt Your Website Data

Using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate to encrypt data on your website is an amazing way to secure your dashboard and make hacking attempts difficult. Encrypting data on your website is a brilliant way to protect your dashboard from hackers because this is the most important component of your website. Even after a successful hack activity, the exercise will be for naught if the hacker is unable to gain access to any data on your dashboard.

The SSL works by ensuring that the transfer of data between users and the server goes uninterrupted. This may sound difficult, but it is not as you can purchase an SSL certificate for your WordPress site from hosting providers who offer it such as SiteGround. Apart from protecting your website from hacking activities, the SSL certificate also influences how your WordPress site ranks on search engines. Google search engines rank websites with  SSL certificate higher compared to those that don’t have it.

Monitor Your Files And Add Fewer, Trusted User Accounts

The iThemes Security plugin or Wordfence plugin is an effective way to monitor the files on your website. They also serve as an effective tool to know when changes have been made to any file. If your business involves employing more than one authors, then it is advised to add users carefully as this may make your website more vulnerable to hacking activities.

Secure Your Database

You may protect all your website’s data that has been stored in its database by modifying the database table prefix. This can be achieved by changing it to something different as the default WordPress prefix would make your site vulnerable to SQL injection attacks. Meanwhile, the WordPress plugin known as iThemes Security or WP-DBManager can be installed to modify that of websites that have already set to the default prefix.

Secure Your Hosting Set Up

You may also want to consider securing your hosting setup by protecting the wp-config.php file. Hacking activities may become even more difficult if this file is out of the reach of hackers. In addition, it is advised to prevent file editing on your WordPress site because that will prevent hackers from altering any file on your website even after a successful break-in. Furthermore, you should ensure that you set the directory permission and connect to your host server properly. Take active steps to disable all directory listing that has .htaccess as this will allow your web page visitors to have complete access to the directory. If you adhere to this tips closely, it will be extremely difficult for hackers to gain unauthorized access to your website.

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