How to Secure Your WordPress Site in 5 Simple Steps
So you have chosen to use WordPress for your website. Good choice! WordPress powers over a third of all websites on the internet today. It is a favorite for many webmasters due to its low barrier to entry for newbies and virtually unlimited extension for professional users. With this popularity, WordPress also attracts many hackers and security threats.
There is no reason to panic, however, if you take a few simple precautions. Here they are:
1. Use secure login information
Using unique connection details can seem like a very basic and obvious tactic. But, it is quite often overlooked. In fact, according to a report from TeamPassword, “123456” and “password” were two of the most popular stolen passwords in 2019. They are easy to guess for humans and much easier for bots which can generate multiple combinations of numbers and letters. in seconds in a brute force attack.
To keep WordPress secure, be sure to create a unique and complex password when setting up your website. Also, while it may seem convenient, you should avoid using the same password on multiple platforms. Instead, you should use a unique password for each account you have on the Internet.
If you are worried about forgetting your passwords, you can use a tool like KeePass to store your passwords in an encrypted database on your computer. Or use tools like 1Password or LastPass to save your passwords in the cloud.
Strong passwords are only part of login security. Equally important is using a secure username, as usernames are also susceptible to brute force attacks.
By default, your WordPress username is “admin”. You can change this when creating a new website. However, once your WordPress website is installed, you will no longer be able to edit it directly. You can work around this problem by adding a new administrator user profile to your site and setting the user name to something unique.
Once done, you can go back and delete the original “admin” profile.
2. Change your connection path
The URL you use to log into your WordPress site’s dashboard is usually domainname.com/wp-admin by default. Any hacker knows this and that’s part of what makes WordPress sites so vulnerable. With a few simple steps, you change that by changing your login URL path to something unique.
You can do this manually, but the easiest way to do it is to use a plugin. All you need to do is download and install a plugin such as WPS Hide Login. With these tools, you can change the default URL to something unique and less easy to guess within minutes.
Although you can manually change your login URL without using plugins, this is not recommended. This is because every time you update WordPress, the default login page will be recreated, forcing you to change your login path again. Additionally, attempting to manually change the login URL can cause errors in your logout screen and affect other crucial WordPress functions.
3. Keep all themes and plugins up to date
One of the easiest ways to secure your website is to make sure everything is up to date. Typically, updates contain fixes to issues that developers have found in previous versions of WordPress themes, plugins, or core. These include security issues, which can be exploited once hackers find out.
Apart from keeping your themes and plugins up to date, you should avoid using poorly coded or canceled themes or plugins which can also make your website vulnerable to hackers.
In addition to the plugins and themes you install, you need to keep your WordPress core itself up to date. If you’re worried that an update will damage your site, create a backup that you can easily revert to if something goes wrong.
4. Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is a great way to make sure that even if your login details are compromised in some way, hackers still won’t be able to get to your website.
With two-factor authentication, you’ll need to provide additional information – outside of your website – when you sign in to your site. For example, this could be an additional access code that is randomly generated and sent to your mobile phone or email address.
The easiest way to enable two-factor authentication on your website is to use a plugin aptly called Two-Factor Authentication.
5. Hide the name of your theme
Most WordPress themes display their names in the footers, code, and various folders of the websites they are used on. While this is usually for harmless advertising purposes, it could help guide hackers to vulnerabilities on your website.
This is especially true when the theme you are using has a known vulnerability. Hiding your website theme is therefore a powerful way to improve the security of your site, and this can easily be achieved with a plugin like WP Hide & Security Enhancer.
With minimal input, this plugin filters WordPress and rewrites URLs to make desired changes without affecting your files and directory. You can also hide your theme name manually. But it’s a somewhat risky business that requires quite a bit of coding knowledge.
Be proactive about the security of your site
While there is a lot more to WordPress security, simply taking these five steps will put you ahead of most WordPress-specific security threats. The most important things to remember are to maintain good login security by using secure details and changing the default WordPress login URL to something unique.
Remember to keep all the different components of your WordPress installation up to date, and you can further improve these security measures by preventing hackers from understanding which theme you are using.
Take the time to implement these simple tactics on your website and you will turn it into an almost impregnable fortress. As you may have noticed, WordPress security might require the use of a few different plugins.
Blogging with WordPress? It is possible that your site is being targeted by hackers — use these WordPress plugins to secure it.
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