How to improve WordPress security and protect your site from hackers
Learn about the latest security threats, best practices to secure your website and the tools that can help protect your website from hackers.
Online security is no longer an option but a must. Whether you are a large company or a first-time blogger, you need this to protect your website and to keep visitors safe.
This post will teach you how to improve website security attacks by identifying and eliminating known vulnerabilities.
Website security is essential for the protection of your online business. This guide will cover the 10 best practices to secure your website and protect your website from hackers.
But before you go live, you should give some thought to safety. You should take every precaution to ensure your website’s security and continued functionality for your dedicated following and clientele.
Why is WordPress security important?
Since 2013, an average of 3,809,448 records have been stolen due to security breaches every single day.
Today there have been 3,809,448 cyber attacks, which works out to 158,727 every hour, 2,645 each minute, and 44 per second every day and we are in 2022.
Your website serves as a virtual business card, informing your target audience about your company and the products or services you provide. It’s a chance to introduce yourself to potential new followers while strengthening bonds with your current followers.
This is why you need to guarantee that your website is always accessible. If it suddenly becomes infected with malware, runs extremely slowly after being hacked, or disappears entirely, it will hurt your reputation.
You may lose money due to fewer visitors, fewer purchases, or fewer ad impressions if your website is hacked. Getting it back in working order might not come cheap. There’s also the risk of a permanent drop in search engine ranks. Make sure your website is secure and locked down to save money (and face!).
Best Practices to Secure Your Website and How to improve Website security.
When it comes to best practices to secure your website, your hosting provider should be considered a trusted ally.
Generally speaking, you get the service you pay for, and the lack of proper security measures at many cheap servers is indicative of this.
Here are a few to decide which option is best.
Indicators of a reliable and trustworthy hosting service include:
- Regular backups, either free or for a cost, depending on your plan.
- Secure Sockets Layer certificates, or SSL certs, encrypt sensitive information entered by site visitors.
- Help is available at any time of day or night in case your website is compromised.
- Automatic firewall protection for your server’s data and files.
- Scans for malicious code and user behavior that will raise red flags.
- The quality of a host can usually be gauged by reviews and referrals.
It’s important to keep in mind that investing in a business with a solid track record of understanding and safety is well worth the additional expense.
2. Keep software up to date
WordPress, themes, and plugins should all be kept up-to-date for maximum website security. Many security flaws are fixed in newer releases, thus it’s important to update as soon as possible.
Picking reliable, multipurpose plugins that have a proven track record will also help keep your WordPress installation safe.
For instance, the Jetpack Security plugin includes a whole range of features for protecting your WordPress installation.
And you may reap the benefits of that extra functionality without raising the vulnerability of your site by adding dozens of plugins.
3. Create secure usernames and passwords
Use a strong password and a one-of-a-kind username to foil hackers’ attempts to get access. Twelve-character minimum, including upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
For websites with several users, it is imperative that you assign appropriate privileges to each user.
For example, you might not want your new intern to have access to sensitive data or key files. This is a fantastic setting up user roles and permissions in WooCommerce, but the principles are universal.
Likewise, if you’ve set up an account for a third party like a developer, marketing agency, or support staff member, remember to delete it once they’re done with it.
4. Set up off‑site backups
Backups are essential in order to safeguard your material, hard work, and client or visitor data. If you have a recent backup of your site, you can restore it quickly if something goes wrong.
However, it is crucial to select reliable backups. For instance, it’s a good idea to save backups in the cloud rather than on the server itself.
If your site or server ever becomes inaccessible, you can always revert to a previous, secure version.
Here’s where Jetpack Backup really shines. They keep numerous encrypted backups for further security, and they store all backups on the same secure servers as their main site.
Aside from that, you have the option of either real-time or daily updates.
Whenever possible, it’s preferable to use a real-time backup for websites like online shops, membership forums, or those that receive frequent updates.
When you make a sale, update a page, or add a remark, Jetpack will automatically save a backup copy of your site. That’s right; no matter what happens, not a single customer or bit of data will be lost.
Sites that don’t change often, like photo galleries, benefit from daily backups. Instead of saving your files and database every time you make a modification, Jetpack does so daily.
Do you want to know the best part? Minimal server configuration is required, making installation a breeze.
Follow the straightforward instructions provided, and if you have any issues along the way, don’t hesitate to contact Jetpack’s top-notch support staff.
The top WordPress backup plugin works equally well on its own or as part of a comprehensive protection package.
5. Add brute force attack protection
In a brute-force assault, hackers use automated software to try hundreds of possible combinations of a user name and password per second, expanding the likelihood that they will succeed in breaking into your system.
These assaults not only put your site’s data at risk but also have the potential to slow things down by overwhelming your server.
Protecting your login credentials is important, but having a tool that can really stop an attack in its tracks is much better. Protect your website from malicious IP addresses with Jetpack’s free brute force attack defense feature.
Wordfence is my recommended plugin to help in brute force attack protection. Just install and activate.
6. Scan for malware
In the event that a hacker is successful in gaining access, you need to know as soon as possible so that you can begin fixing the problem. After all, your business’s credibility and data are at risk the longer your site is unavailable or unsecured.
Instead, Jetpack Scan will routinely check for malicious code, bad actors, and other signs of suspicious behavior on your site and send you an alert if anything is identified.
You may also save time and money by fixing the vast majority of common hacks with a single click.
7. Implement downtime monitoring
If your website goes down, be it due to an attack or an honest blunder, you must act quickly. However, you can’t keep refreshing your site all day to check for problems.
Notification of Jetpack downtime
Every minute of every day, Jetpack’s WordPress downtime monitoring tool checks on your site and sends you an alert if it stops responding.
The activity log can then be used to pinpoint when and why something went wrong, allowing you to take corrective action and resume normal operations in a matter of minutes rather than hours or days.
8. Get rid of unused plugins and Themes
It is not a practice to unused themes and plugins, on your site. It is the point of entry for hackers. Although plugins are a wonderful way to extend a site’s capabilities, it’s important to periodically clean houses and remove unused ones.
And there’s no need to keep extra themes on hand; the default theme can be used as a fallback for site errors while troubleshooting.
Also, if you delete them, your site’s load time may increase.
9. Install two-factor authentication for all logins
Having a hacker in possession of both your password and a physical item is highly improbable, making two-factor authentication an exceptionally effective method of protecting your login page.
A one-time code will be texted to the administrator’s phone and must be entered before they can access the admin area of your site.
In addition to using strong passwords, you may make use of Jetpack’s free two-factor authentication option.
Many people use this?
Put all of them under a category that needs two-factor authentication and it’s a breeze to do so.
10. Install a WordPress Firewall
A WordPress firewall may protect your site from intruders by keeping tabs on all incoming and outgoing data. If you have a solid hosting plan, the firewall protecting your server will also protect WordPress, but you should still install one just in case.I recommend wordfence
A decent firewall plugin can identify malicious visitors (including bots and IP addresses) and prevent them from accessing your site. The most widely used plugins are represented in the WordPress plugin repository.
Monitor traffic to your site regularly.
It’s far simpler to spot any strange activity on your website if you keep a diary of it all. Even if your site is hacked, you’ll have a far simpler job pinpointing when it happened, understanding what was done, and determining which accounts were affected.
Happenings on the internet
Everything from login attempts and published pages to uninstalled plugins, updated themes, and adjusted settings are recorded in Jetpack for WordPress’s activity log.
Every action is accompanied by its respective timestamp, the identity of the person who made the modification, and a detailed explanation of that person’s actions.
This data can be used for diagnostics or to roll back to a time before an issue arose, if a backup was created.
Can WordPress websites Be hacked?
Recently, Google published a report detailing the most common entry points used by cybercriminals to breach online services. Allow me to touch on a couple of them:
One of the most prevalent methods hackers use is a brute-force attack on the site’s security. They utilize bots to attempt thousands of possible combinations of usernames and passwords each second, perhaps one of them will work.
Insecure plugins and themes
Threat actors can easily get access to your site by exploiting security flaws in plugins and themes. Though remedies for these flaws are typically released by premium theme developers in newer versions of their products, not all WordPress users update their sites regularly.
The backdoors in the code of many free versions of paid plugins and themes make it easy for hackers to gain access to your site and do anything they choose.
Poor security policies
Using insecure passwords or granting access to users who don’t require it is both poor security practices that make it simpler for hackers to breach your website’s defenses.
Why would someone hack a website?
They intend to rob your bank. They might be interested in stealing payment details from customers or sending people to scam websites.
It is important for them to gather data. They could hostage information or sell it to third parties for a price.
Want to pull the plug on your site (DOD Attacks). This is typically done for nefarious reasons and poses little danger to the average website owner. They intent to take over your site and make sure they use it for any purpose.
They plan to deface your site with vandalism. Once more, this is an extremely individual matter. As a form of protest, the hacker could deface the website of an adversary.
They’re planning an assault on a third party. Malicious actors can use your website or web server to launch an attack against another target on the internet, or even to spread malware or ransomware.
They’re eager to pick up new information. If they want to get better at hacking, hackers must find some way to practice. They could be using your website as a stepping stone to more lucrative and significant targets.
What happens if my WordPress site isn’t secure?
Most hackers aren’t out to get you explicitly; they’re just hunting for soft targets. If your WordPress site isn’t adequately protected, it’s more vulnerable to being hacked. In the long run, this might cause:
One’s honor has been tarnished. Site visitors will form a negative impression if they encounter security alerts, site outages, or unexpected redirects to potentially malicious domains.
They may stop visiting or patronizing your blog or company altogether if they develop mistrust.
Data on a large number of customers have been stolen. A hacker who gains access to your online store may steal customer information for their own gain or to resell.
Injured website files. It’s possible that you could lose access to your entire website, along with years of hard work.
Elimination from indexing systems If Google discovers that your site has been hacked, it may blacklist it and remove it from search results entirely.
Reduced website visits. Site traffic may drop dramatically due to a combination of poorer search engine ranks (or no rankings at all) and consumers not wanting to visit a site with a security warning.
Less money comes in from ads. Advertisement networks will not allow their ads to appear on unprotected websites. If your website is hacked, you risk having your ads removed from ad networks and possibly even being blacklisted entirely, which would drastically cut into or wipe out your ad revenue. Ad clicks would suffer regardless of whether or not it was taken down.
How do I know if my WordPress site has been hacked?
Sometimes it’s hard to know if a website has been hacked or if it’s just having technical difficulties. On the other hand, here are a few signs that your website has been hacked:
There is a security alert when you load your URL, which means your website is not safe to visit.
Problems have been detected by your security plugin.
One of your hosts has emailed you about an issue.
You haven’t changed the fact that your website now leads to a completely different location.
Pages on your site include seemingly random lines of code.
There may be other reasons why your website is inaccessible at the moment.
There is a risk that clicking on your site’s ads will take you to malicious locations.
You may have noticed that your site has been unusually slow to load or is behaving in various ways.
What do I do if my WordPress site is hacked?
If your WordPress site has been compromised, you can take the following measures to restore your files and database:
- Find out what went wrong. To observe when users logged in and made edits in Jetpack, you may view the activity log. Discovered compromised accounts and affected data can be located with this method.
- Start a virus scan. To check if your website has been hacked or infected with malware, use a program like Jetpack Scan. The bulk of WordPress problems may be fixed with a single click when using Jetpack’s malware screening function.
- Bring back a backup. If you regularly back up your website, you can simply roll back to a point in time before the hack. Using Jetpack Backup, your data is kept in a location apart from your server, making it more secure.
- Remove any potentially malicious users and force a password reset for everyone. If you’re using WordPress, you should change all of your passwords and those of your hosting service. Remove any user accounts that look suspicious or that you didn’t create.
- Get the help of a professional online security specialist. Consider employing a security specialist from a firm like Codeable if you are unable to eradicate malware on your own or if you simply want peace of mind.
- Get the latest version of WordPress, plugins, and themes. The holes the hacker could have exploited will be closed up by this measure.
- Get Google to look at your site again. Through Google Search Console, you can ask for a review of your site’s status and have it removed from the block list.
Concluding How to improve website security
Investing time and effort into WordPress security at the outset ensures that your site will function securely and efficiently for the long haul. Keep in mind that stopping hacks before they happen is far simpler than correcting them after they’ve already happened.
There’s no need for a developer or intricate configuration; the vast majority of these criteria can be checked off in just a few minutes with the Jetpack Security package.