How to Secure Your WordPress Website

People ask…Is WordPress secure? This has been a popular concern in the online community. Questions on whether this content marketing platform is worth people’s time and resources generally come into play. But if you go back to the accounts of history, you’ll find the same concern in any platform—security issues can exist anywhere. Here’s how to secure your WordPress website. Understand its basic concepts, and learn how you too can keep your website secure!

Security on WordPress

Here’s the thing…

You’ve probably heard about the security flaw in WordPress January this year 2017. Remote hackers found a way to exploit content on thousands of websites. The villain? A bug in the Rest API.

But thanks to Sucuri and the WordPress team, the issue was resolved with the release of the 4.7.2 version of the CMS software. WP users were advised to update immediately.

Yet…

After all the security issues that took place, it is inevitable to be unsure on whether WordPress is secure. The answer? It is secure now just as any other platform is from time to time.

The battle between the bad guys and the good still continues. This is why security is a WordPress priority. You’ll never know when the next attack could take place.

“As long as WordPress is around, we’ll do everything in our power to make sure the software is safe.” -Matt Mullenweg

WordPress is regularly on the move to ensure security for their users. They even recently teamed up with HackerOne to identify vulnerabilities and thereby heighten security.

Should you use WordPress and trust it is safe?

If you dare brave the tides, launch your very own WordPress website, and shine, WP still opens itself to possibilities for you to grow. No wonder it exists as the most popular content managing system.

How a Website Becomes Vulnerable to Attacks

It’s not fun when your website gets hacked. That could lead you to following a lot of protocols just to retrieve it. Worst thing is not being able to get it back after everything you went through.

So, how exactly can your website get hacked? What would make it vulnerable to malice? According to WP Template, among the common ways are:

1. Computer Virus

Heighten Security from WannaCry VirusRecently a ransomware named WannaCry infiltrated thousands of computers across the globe. That affected huge companies, such as FedEx and Renault. It demanded a ransom of $300 to retrieve everything.

The victims first received an email from the bad guys. Once opened, a virus contaminates the operating system of the victim’s computer. That locked the user out with only the ransom message on the screen.

The same can happen to anyone who aren’t careful. Viruses can spread like wildfire across networks. When it gets your computer, the unhappy scenario is you can’t access your files or log into the internet.

2. Themes and Plugins

Plugins and themes belong to the most common causes of WordPress errors. With tens of thousands of plugins and themes available, a number of badly coded ones also exist.

When you install a weak or incompatible plugin (or theme), that invites threats to come in. The thing is…bad codes create holes in your system. That makes your security weak, and your website users unprotected.

Apart from incompatibility, there are also outdated versions and unreliable sources. It is wise to protect yourself by updating your software version as is necessary. That could run incompatible with your other website components if you do not consider doing so.

Unreliable sources also teems the marketplace. Who doesn’t want a good looking or affordable software downloads. The downside, however, is you don’t get the same assurance that their developers didn’t put in anything harmful.

For this, it is best to consult the community or experts first before making the decision to download and install. Check the software’s features, latest version, and users’ rating and review as much as possible.

3. Weak Passwords

How strong is your password? Although you are the only person who access to your admin dashboard, that still doesn’t guarantee you are safe. People could try to force their way through your login.

They can guess around until they come up with a password recovery prompt. That can be convenient for them to change your password, and modify your existing content.

What you can do is…

Make sure your password is difficult enough to guess. You can use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Better yet, generate a strong password via LastPass passwords manager and store your passwords there.

Weak passwords may just make up for 8% of the vulnerabilities. But, that 8% is taken from the millions of users worldwide. That’s still a lot to consider and take action.

4. Irrelevant Comments

Ever had the experience of creating content about, say for example, how to write a blog? You put all your passion into it, and readers love it. For that, your get notified with a new comment.

That excites you, doesn’t it?

When you check it out, however, you discover that it has nothing to do with your content at all. Well, what would a comment about medicines or lingerie have to do with a how to blog post? Nothing.

If you are not careful enough to delete such comments—but approve them instead, you leave your website vulnerable. Often they contain links to mischievous sources. Some are quite tricky with just plain words saying, ­“I have been following your blog for some time. Do you have an RSS feed I can subscribe to?”

Or it could be, “Hello from this part of the world! I’m Mr. John Doe, and am so pleased to discover your great content!”

They are commonly referred to as spam, or junk messages. You can see other fine examples in the Museum of Comment Spam. The thing is… they are generated by the computer.

Once you click on the links they provide or accept them, they can redirect you to another website or enable malware just like what WannaCry did. Either way, you want to be very careful in reviewing your comments.

WordPress Security Checklist

How to Fix WordPress White Screen of Death (Beginner's Guide)To help you determine how to secure your WordPress website, here are some valuable questions you can ask:

  • Do you have a strong password for all your login pages?
  • Did you protect your wp-admin folder with a password?
  • Is your WordPress core software the latest version?
  • Are your plugins in their latest versions too?
  • Have you installed a recommended security plugin: WP Security Scan, Wordfence, or iThemes Security?
  • Have you scanned your website for viruses, malware, and security breaches?
  • Is there a new user added to your account without your knowledge?
  • Have you scheduled a weekly backup of your database?
  • Is your hosting provider reliable?

A complete guide has been provided to ensure you don’t miss out on your website’s security. Like they say, it is better to be safe than sorry. But one thing is for sure: WordPress is not the sole culprit for all issues—take action and be safe.

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