Over the years, WordPress has become one of the most popular platforms for building websites, but with that popularity comes the risk of security threats. In this listicle, we will explore 10 important tips to fortify your WordPress website and safeguard your business from potential cyber attacks. Let’s research into these critical security measures to keep your online presence safe and secure.

Keep Software Up-to-Date

Regularly Update WordPress

Assuming you are already aware of the importance of keeping your WordPress software updated, it is crucial to prioritize this task. WordPress regularly releases updates that include security patches to address vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit. By regularly updating your WordPress installation, you can ensure that your website is less susceptible to security breaches.

Update Themes and Plugins

There’s another vital aspect of software updates that often gets overlooked – updating themes and plugins. Just like the core WordPress software, themes and plugins can also contain vulnerabilities that hackers can target. It is important to regularly update your themes and plugins to not only ensure that your website runs smoothly but also to enhance its security.

Any outdated themes or plugins on your website can create potential entry points for cyberattacks. Hackers often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated themes and plugins to gain access to a website. By staying on top of theme and plugin updates, you can mitigate these risks and keep your website secure.

Use Strong Passwords Always

Password Strength Matters

While it may seem obvious, using a strong password is one of the most important ways to protect your WordPress website from potential security threats. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable passwords like ‘password123’ or ‘admin’ as they can be easily compromised by hackers.

Use Password Manager Tools

If you struggle to create and remember complex passwords for your WordPress website, consider using password manager tools. Password managers can generate strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts and store them securely in an encrypted vault. This way, you only need to remember one master password to access all your other passwords.

Managers like LastPass, Dashlane, or Bitwarden not only enhance the security of your website by ensuring you use strong passwords but also save you time and effort by auto-filling your credentials whenever you need them.

Limit Login Attempts Made

Prevent Brute Force Attacks

Now, one of the most common forms of hacking attempts is the brute-force attack, where automated tools are used to repeatedly try different combinations of usernames and passwords until the correct one is found. These attacks can compromise your website’s security and lead to unauthorized access.

You’ll want to implement measures to prevent brute force attacks, such as limiting the number of login attempts allowed within a certain time frame. By doing so, you can thwart automated bots from gaining access to your site through trial and error methods.

Use Login Attempt Limiters

Little known to many website owners, WordPress has plugins available that can limit the number of login attempts made from a single IP address. These login attempt limiters can be customized to your preference, allowing you to set the number of retries permitted before a user is locked out of the system.

Attempt setting up a login attempt limiter to add an additional layer of security to your WordPress website. By restricting the number of login attempts, you can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access through brute force attacks.

Use Secure Protocols Only

Switch to HTTPS Protocol

An important step in securing your WordPress website is switching to the HTTPS protocol. This secure communication protocol encrypts the data exchanged between your website and its visitors, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected. Not only does HTTPS enhance security, but it also boosts your site’s credibility and SEO rankings. You can easily enable HTTPS by installing an SSL certificate.

Get an SSL Certificate

Protocols are important for securing online communications and transactions. One of the most effective ways to ensure a secure connection is by obtaining an SSL certificate for your website. This digital certificate authenticates the identity of your website and encrypts data transmitted between your site and users. With an SSL certificate in place, you can protect sensitive information such as login credentials, payment details, and personal information from potential cyber threats.

Only trusted SSL certificates from reputable providers should be used. Implementing an SSL certificate not only safeguards your website and visitors but also establishes trust and credibility for your business online.

Be Cautious with Plugins

Many WordPress websites rely on plugins to enhance functionality and add new features. However, not all plugins are created equal, and some may introduce security vulnerabilities to your website. It’s crucial to be cautious when selecting and managing plugins to ensure the security of your business website.

Choose Reputable Plugins Only

If you decide to use plugins on your WordPress website, make sure to only download them from reputable sources such as the official WordPress plugin repository or well-known developers. Avoid downloading plugins from third-party websites or unverified sources as they may contain malicious code that could compromise your website’s security. Always read reviews, check ratings, and ensure that the plugin is regularly updated and compatible with your WordPress version.

Keep Plugins Up-to-Date Too

Any outdated plugin on your WordPress website can be a potential entry point for hackers to exploit. Regularly updating your plugins is just as important as updating the WordPress core for security reasons. Outdated plugins may have vulnerabilities that hackers can easily exploit. Set up automatic updates for plugins whenever possible, and also regularly check for updates manually to ensure all plugins are up-to-date.

Reputable plugins often release updates to patch security holes or fix bugs, so by keeping your plugins up-to-date, you are not only ensuring better security but also benefiting from improved performance and new features. Make it a habit to review and update your plugins regularly to minimize the risk of security breaches on your WordPress website.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Add Extra Layer of Security

After implementing strong passwords, the next step to fortify your WordPress website is to use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). This is an additional security step beyond a username and password that helps to verify the identity of the user. By adding 2FA, you greatly increase the security of your website and protect it from unauthorized access.

Choose 2FA Methods Wisely

Any business using Two-Factor Authentication should carefully select the methods they offer for this extra layer of security. It’s important to choose reliable and secure 2FA methods that suit your business needs. Some popular options include SMS codes, authenticator apps like Google Authenticator, biometric verification, or hardware tokens. Selecting a method that balances security with usability is crucial for ensuring that your website remains protected.

Clearly, some 2FA methods are more secure than others. For example, SMS codes may be convenient, but they are also more vulnerable to interception by hackers. On the other hand, authenticator apps generate time-sensitive codes that are more secure as they are not transmitted over the internet. It’s necessary to weigh the pros and cons of each method before implementing them on your WordPress website.

Monitor Website Activity

Keep an Eye on Logs

Clearly, one of the most important aspects of maintaining WordPress security is keeping a close watch on your website activity logs. These logs can provide valuable information about who is accessing your site, what actions they are taking, and any potential security threats that may arise. By regularly monitoring your logs, you can quickly identify and address any suspicious activity before it escalates into a full-blown security breach.

Use Security Monitoring Tools

To effectively monitor your website’s security, consider using security monitoring tools such as Sucuri, Wordfence, or MalCare. These tools are designed to actively scan your site for malware, vulnerabilities, and unauthorized access attempts. They can also offer real-time alerts and notifications to keep you informed of any security issues as they arise.

With the help of these security monitoring tools, you can proactively protect your WordPress site and ensure that your business website remains secure against potential threats.

Backup Your Website Daily

Use Automated Backup Tools

Your website is the heart of your online presence, and losing it can be devastating for your business. An efficient way to ensure the safety of your website is to use automated backup tools. These tools can automatically create and store backups of your website on a regular basis, eliminating the need for manual intervention. By setting up automated backups, you can rest assured that your website is always protected, even if you forget to back it up yourself.

Store Backups Offsite Too

Even with automated backups in place, it’s important to store copies of your backups offsite as well. In the event of a server failure, hacking incident, or any other disaster that may affect your hosting provider, having offsite backups ensures that you can still restore your website. By using cloud storage services or remote servers, you can securely store your backups in a separate location from your website, adding an extra layer of protection.

Even though automated backups are convenient and reliable, storing your backups offsite is an additional precaution that can save your website in critical situations. Recall, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your business website.

Limit User Permissions Set

Despite WordPress being a user-friendly platform, it is crucial to manage and limit user permissions to ensure the security of your business website. By defining user roles clearly and restricting access to sensitive areas, you can minimize the risk of unauthorized actions that could compromise your website’s security.

Define User Roles Clearly

For effective security management, it’s crucial to define distinct user roles with specific permissions. WordPress offers predefined roles such as Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. Assign roles based on job responsibilities to limit access to only necessary features and functionalities.

Limit Access to Sensitive Areas

User access to sensitive areas such as the WordPress admin dashboard, file editor, and plugin installations should be restricted to authorized personnel only. Implement strong password policies, enable two-factor authentication, and regularly review user permissions to prevent unauthorized access and actions.

Sensitive areas of your WordPress website contain critical settings and data that, if tampered with, could result in significant security breaches. Limiting access to these areas reduces the chances of accidental misconfigurations or intentional malicious activities that could harm your website’s integrity.

Summing up

On the whole, safeguarding your WordPress website is crucial to protect your business from potential cyber threats. By implementing the 10 critical security tips discussed, including using strong passwords, keeping plugins updated, and conducting regular backups, you can significantly reduce the risk of security breaches and ensure the safety of your website and sensitive data. Note, investing in robust security measures is a proactive approach that can save you from costly damages in the long run.