In the recent months, WordPress hacks have made tech headlines around the world, causing many website owners to wonder if their sites are secure from such attacks. Whether sites fall victim to outdated plug-ins or vicious hackings, there are several tips that website owners can follow to make sure their site is protected from these security issues.
More than 23 percent of sites are hosted by WordPress, making the platform a huge target for hackers. Although the company has gone above and beyond to build prevention measures against unauthorized access, there are still too many instances of malicious activity. However, most of these attacks could of been prevented if users would of taken more steps to secure their site.
Always Keep It Updated
We can not stress the importance of keeping your site and all of your plug-ins updated. Usually, when a developer pushes through update is because it fixes a flaw. Also, these updates usually keep up with the latest security trends to protect from the newest hacking trend. While WordPress is great at quickly pushing new updates as soon as any problems are discovered, it is up to the user to choose to update.
It is extremely easy to see if your WordPress installation is up-to-date. You can check to see if there are any available updates by going to the Admin panel. Click updates to reveal any available updates. You should also stay on top of updating plug-ins, as letting these become outdated can leave your site extremely vulnerable to attacks.
In fact, security firm, Sucuri explains that many WordPress site hackings can be pinpointed to three outdated plugins, RevSlider, GravityForms and TimThumb. Even though the developers of these plugins have made updates available, many users have neglected to download them.
“These statistics talk to the challenges website owners face, regardless of size, business, or industry. Website owners are unable to keep up with the emerging threats. As well, the guidance they receive to ‘stay current’ or ‘just update’ is not enough,” Sucuri explained. “Website owners are turning to other technologies, like Website Application Firewall (WAF), to give themselves and their organizations the time they require to more efficiently respond to the threats by way of virtual patching and hardening techniques at the edge.”
Delete Default Admin User
One of the most simple steps you can take to make your WordPress site more secure is to secure your login credentials. Immediately after creating your site, experts recommend deleting the default admin user from your site. You can then create different username and choose which one you want to have administrator privileges.
Create an administrator account with a unique name and password that cannot be easily guessed. Do not use this account when you do your daily postings. Create a separate username for that purpose. You can choose whether you want it to have editor, author or contributor preferences.
Use A Secure VPN
If you find yourself accessing your site from home or a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you need to consider extra safety precautions. While many choose to use a secured file transfer protocol (FTP), experts suggest taking even more precaution by using a VPN. Using an unsecured network leaves your computer vulnerable, but by using a VPN, your connection will become encrypted as you transfer information between your device and the remote server. VPN networks are easy to set up. While many use their company’s servers, this is also an option for personal use. Several reputable companies offer reliable VPN services.
WordPress security is a topic that any website owner should educate themselves on. Unfortunately, having a WordPress site hacked is a common occurrence. With more than 80,000 reported hacked sites in the past year, it is more important than ever to take extra steps to ensure a secure WordPress site.