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WordPress is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most popular blogging and CMS (Content Management System) platforms. Currently, WordPress powers over 43.2 percent (around 1.3 billion websites) of all websites worldwide and holds over 65.2 percent of the CMS global market share.
This CMS platform is also responsible for creating over 36.28 percent of the top 1 million websites on the internet. And that figure includes some of the biggest names in the internet industry- The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Guardian, ecommerce giant eBay, the global brand Nike, and many more, according to the latest WordPress Statistics.
And because it is so popular it becomes a common target for hackers and spammers. Fortunately, WordPress supports a wide ecosystem of free plugins and services that can help you protect your site against hackers.
In this post, I listed a few important things that you can easily do in order to minimize the risk of getting your WordPress site hacked, and make your site even more secure.
Don’t Use The “Admin” Username
Most attackers usually rely on this thing during a brute force attack, and if you use “admin” as your login username then you’re leaving the site open to attackers. This is probably the number one rule in WordPress security and strongly recommended that your username to something less obvious. By changing your WordPress username to something strong and unrelated to your own or site name, you can now block a lot of attacks and protect your site immediately.
We heard many stories about massive security breaches by Russian cybercrime groups and the latest software security bugs. Choosing strong and unique passwords for each site you’re using on the net is one of the best things you can do to stay safe and secure. A strong password contains a mixture of uppercase, lowercase characters, numerals, and special characters. Your password must not contain a complete word (such as real name or company name) that can be easily guessed by hackers.
Keep Your WordPress Fully Updated
This is one of the most important things we can do when using any type of software, in terms of security, is to keep up with everything new. Software companies are constantly releasing security updates and news. Make sure you’re using the latest version of WordPress and plugins because if you don’t keep your site updated with the latest versions of WordPress, you could be leaving your site vulnerable to attacks. Hackers often target older versions of WordPress with known security vulnerabilities and issues, so always keep an eye on those updates and security patches.
Manage And Update Your Plugins And Themes
Plugins are another important item that you have to ensure that are fully updated and patched, plugins may contain vulnerable code or flaws which when installed could make or leave your site vulnerable to attacks. Always check your plugins to see if there are any associated exploits or vulnerabilities you are about to install. Also, you can check the online marketplace Envato for the latest WordPress plugins and themes.
In addition, you need also to keep those plugins to a minimum and delete unused or unnecessary plugins. Extra or unused plugins sometimes can become a security risk if they have become outdated, security problems can be traced back to old plugins or unused plugins that won’t work with each other.
Use A Security Plugins
Security plugins provide an effective way to better monitor your site’s security, and also to secure any important files or components in your WordPress installation. This is very important because it provides you the ability to monitor everything and to keep an eye on the various changes occurring within your WordPress environment.
Currently, there are a handful of popular options you can use to tighten your site’s security and reduce the chance of being attacked or hacked. One of the most popular is the free Sucuri WordPress Security plugin, a security toolset for security integrity monitoring, malware detection, and security hardening. It also offers a security service that detects unauthorized changes to your network assets, including SSL certificates, DNS, and many more.
Use Secure WordPress Hosting Provider
Not all WordPress hosting companies are created equal and, in fact, hosting vulnerabilities account for a huge percentage of WordPress websites being attacked. Always select the hosting companies, such as Liquid Web and Nexcess, that make security a top priority (or companies with good security track records) and offer support for the latest versions of PHP and MySQL, as well as advanced security software and intrusion detection systems.
Back It Up
Always rely on strong backup recovery solutions for your WordPress site, so that you can easily restore or recover your site if something goes wrong. Even with the best security measures and solutions, you never know when something unexpected things could happen that might affect or leave your site vulnerable to attacks. You can use WordPress plugins such as BackupGuard WordPress Plugin to back up and restore your WordPress websites and databases to the point you choose.
Force SSL Usage For All Logins
Use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate on your site, and force all login sessions to happen over SSL. This will have the user’s browser encrypt their username and password before it’s sent over the net, adding an extra layer of security and protection to your site.
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