5 Important Tips to Keep Your WordPress Website Secure & Updated
Did you know that WordPress now powers more than 30% of websites on the internet? That number is consistently growing month-to-month, so it’s not hard to understand why hackers and other malicious individuals target WordPress installations to spread their misdeeds.
Here are five tips and tricks you should follow to make sure your WordPress management solution is staying up-to-date with the latest web security threats.
Always have a back-up of your site ready to go.
Having a website on the internet means it’s not a matter of if your site will get hacked, but when. You can minimize the impact of any malicious activity on your WordPress installation by having a website management plan that includes daily back-ups.
Most web hosts offer nightly back-ups of your SQL database and content, but you have to enable this feature in your control panel.
Even if you have turned on this feature offered by your web host, you should make sure the nightly back-ups are appearing in your back-end.
Don’t install plugins you don’t trust.
WordPress is so popular because it is extensible and can be customized to suit a variety of needs, but this is also one of its critical flaws.
Plugin developers can unwittingly contribute to hacks by developing a plugin that grows in popularity but features vulnerable code.
Hackers can immediately identify SQL injection vulnerabilities just by recognizing if a WordPress installation is using a popular plugin, so it’s best only to use plugins from a source you trust, and that continues to maintain secure code.
Plugin developers can also sell their plugins to another company once they become widely used by the WordPress community.
This new company can then modify the code to create malicious injections in your WordPress backend to start generating income with the plugin and causing your site performance to suffer.
Stay on top of WordPress security updates.
WordPress security updates are released nearly every month. Because it is such a popular platform and new issues like Heartbleed crop up every month, it’s important to stay on top of keeping your WordPress installation updated.
The admin panel now alerts users when there is a security update available for WordPress management, so you should install these updates as soon as they become available.
Implement SSL for your admin panel.
To keep hackers out of your admin panel, consider implementing a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate.
Sites using SSL encrypt sensitive information before it’s sent and SSL-certified sites are ranked higher in Google’s search engine algorithms. With an SSL certificate, hackers are unlikely to intercept your login details using advanced techniques like WiFi packet sniffing.
Limit log-in attempts for your site.
It may surprise you, but social engineering is still one of the best ways hackers have to gain access to your website management backend.
If you re-use passwords for your WordPress installation that you’ve used elsewhere, you may be contributing to the problem.
One way to address this is to limit the number of log-in attempts available each day. That will prevent brute force attacks that are attempting to use information gathered from another security breach on the internet.