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Securing your WordPress site

Guide
by Sean Thornley Agency Partnership Manager

It is not uncommon for people to complain about WordPress security but, when a site gets hacked, it is usually because you aren’t taking the necessary measures to secure your WordPress site.

There are a lot of reasons why hackers might want to hack websites, and they usually fall into one of two groups: White-Hat Hackers and Black-Hat Hackers. White-Hat Hackers are usually looking to find vulnerabilities that they can report responsibly, whereas Black-Hat Hackers have malicious intentions such as to steal credit card data, email and contact data, or to inject malicious code and attack other websites.

Whatever the motivations, it is important to do what you can to protect your site. Here we will go through a few measures that you can take in order to secure your WordPress site and prevent attacks from hackers.

Limit login attempts

Don’t allow your login form to permit unlimited attempts as this is how hackers succeed. Set your site to lock down when it detects multiple incorrect password attempts to prevent hackers from repeatedly trying until they manage to access your site.

Use secure passwords

Make sure that you and any other site users have strong passwords that contain a variety of letters, numbers, and special characters. If you don’t trust your users to definitely do this, you can use a plugin to force strong passwords, and force them to be changed regularly in order to make it as difficult as possible for hackers to guess/work out.

Get an SSL certificate

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypts the connection between your server and your visitor’s browser so that any data that they input is transferred over a secure network. This makes it difficult for hackers to breach the connection and steal the data as it is being transferred. Read more about why you should get one here.

Rename your login URL

Changing your URL so that it is no longer the default is wise – make it harder for hackers to find you by avoiding using the classic “www.website.com/wp-admin”

Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication should be enabled on any and all WordPress sites. A great way to do this is through the Google Authenticator app, which sends secret codes to your mobile device that you can then input on login.

Change your admin username

Keeping your default username, ‘admin’, means that hacker only need to guess your password before they can access your site. This combined with a weak password is a recipe for being hacked. For any additional users, it is a good idea to require emails rather than usernames to login as this is more secure.

So there you have, some very simple ways to secure your WordPress site and prevent attacks from hackers.

Do you have a project you need development support for? Get in touch with our team today – we are always happy to help.