What Everybody Ought to Know About WordPress Site Security
Hackers target WordPress because it is the most popular content management system on the planet. Each minute over 90,000 cyber-attacks happen in WordPress. That number accounts for 90% of all attacks to CMS services.
So, if you have a WP site yourself, here are some of the essential things you need to know about WordPress security.
Why Hackers Target WP Sites?
To start with, it isn’t just WordPress. Hackers can and do attack everything. Email, social media, streaming platforms, and websites are all constant targets. But WordPress has specific vulnerabilities that make it more attractive to cybercriminals.
That’s because WordPress sites contain tons of valuable data. An eCommerce WP site not only has sensitive product information but also access to addresses and payment details of your customers.
Moreover, hackers know that downtime is costly for businesses. Even knocking a site down for a couple of days can do irreparable damage. Fraudsters know this; they leverage the damage they can do to extort money from businesses.
Big or small, complex or simple, your site has something of interest to cybercriminals.
What Hackers Attack?
You never know what weaknesses hackers may exploit. With that said, they usually focus on specific points of entry. The first is the plugins.
Plugins help make WP site feature-rich and customizable. But not all plugins are created equal. If the developers left back doors in the code, a hacker can gain entry into your site and cause damage. For this reason, you must pay attention to your plugins. Double-check the developers and read reviews to ensure you don’t install a dangerous one and put your site in jeopardy.
Hackers also attack weak security credentials. WP comes with a default admin username. If users don’t disable or change it, then hackers can succeed in their brute-force attacks on passwords. That’s why it’s necessary to change the default usernames. At the same time, you should change your public display name to something different than your login ID.
Then, you still need to update everything, including WordPress itself, frequently. WordPress updates automatically, but sometimes it issues minor fixes that site owners should download asap. Once a week, check for this as well as for updates for your plugins, so you don’t miss anything urgent.
How to Keep Your WP Site Secure?
The steps above provide a stronger foundation for WordPress security. But there’s more you can do to protect your site.
1. Safeguard Your Internet Connection
Fraudsters and other snoops can track your internet activity and use this information against you. They can gather up enough clues to steal your identity or harvest your login credentials on one site to attack your WP.
Use a VPN or virtual private network anytime you’re online. VPNs both encrypt and anonymize your internet connection so nobody can track what you do. They’re compatible with both desktop and mobile devices and are easy to use. Don’t forget your VPN login when you connect to a public WiFi because it’s often riddled with cybersecurity threats.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Nowadays, most platforms offer some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA). Most often, it comes in the form of a one-time passcode (OTP) that the user receives via email or SMS. MFA is a considerable security improvement. Even if somebody manages to figure out login credentials, they still need the passcode.
Sure, it’s not a fool-proof method. But if you combine MFA with a strong, unique to WP password, it can make your account credentials as secure as it gets. You can enable it on your account right now.
3. Educate Yourself and Your Team
When it comes to cybersecurity, knowledge is everything. Most attacks happen because of a human error. So learning about the threats can go a long way in preventing an attack. Take time to educate both yourself and anybody else authorized to use your WP site. You can start by discussing the practices like these:
- Updating all devices, apps, and operating software frequently
- Recognizing social engineering scam emails and websites
- Securing accounts with unique passcodes and MFA
- Using anti-malware tools
- Running a VPN at all times
- Encrypting all essential files and data
- Making backups at least once per week
- Following tech news for the announcements of the latest threats
Your WordPress site is your company’s connection to the world. But hackers can attack you anywhere and anytime. So protect your investment by incorporating these strategies into everything you do online.