WordPress hacks are increasingly common. Whether it’s for malicious reasons, to harm a site or to just insert backlinks, WordPress can be very vulnerable if not cared for and updated regularly. How to Prevent hacks?
So, how do you prevent these security blips – this post aims to show how.
Regular data backup can save you lots of frustration and headache, and especially after a hack. Taking the necessary measures to ensure information on your WordPress site or blog is backed up before making any significant changes, and doing the same after updates are recommended.
Although most people prefer to backup their data manually, using a plugin can make your work much more manageable. Plugins provide a convenient way to handle data backups at set times or intervals. Backup buddy (a plugin) is pretty good at this.
Although a paid option, this plugin exports everything on your WP from settings, files, images, and content on the database. You could also opt for free plugins as well.
- Update the WordPress Version as Quickly as the New Comes
Updating your blog/site to the latest WP version can also save you lots of trouble. The regular updates are not only meant to make your experience much better but also patches security loopholes that could otherwise be manipulated by hackers.
You can simply follow WordPress feeds to find out about new updates, or just log in to the blog as admin. Be sure to follow WordPress Development blogs to get the latest updates on when the next patch or fixed will be released.
- Check Themes and Plugins for Continued Support
Only used plugins and themes with continuous support and updates. It is through the continued support that developers of the same can release patches to make their plugins hacker-proof.
Any outdated or plugins/themes that no longer receive updates should be avoided, or uninstalled altogether. Most developers only provide support for about a year or two, then discontinue support for the same.
Be sure to look for themes or plugins with active support, receives frequent updates, well-rated, and customer support. You will be surprised to know most of the top-selling themes are outdated or longer receive updates. Look at the comment section for red flags and other indicators of flaws in the same before making an order.
Most of the premium WordPress themes will come bundled with third-party plugins. Some of the plugins bundled with the theme may or may not receive frequent updates.
Revolution Slider is an excellent example of plugins that come bundled with lots of themes on ThemeForest. This plugin had a major vulnerability back in 2014.
The thousands of sites that used this plugin were hacked with most of the hacks redirecting traffic to malicious sites. Although the developers of the same were pushing out updates for their themes, one loophole cost many websites a fortune.
As a precaution, consider investing in plugins that aren’t bundled with extra ‘freebies’. If need be, buy each plugin individually to reduce vulnerabilities to your site. You also need to turn on updates on these plugins to keep your site safe as well.
- Keep the WP Admin Directory Protected
The admin directory in WP should always be password protected at all times. It holds the key to every function and security of the site. Password protecting the WP-admin directory helps keep hackers and other malicious people at bay.
This also means the admin will be required to enter two passwords to access the admin directory. The first password gives access to the login page with the WP-Admin directory still protected. The fun part about password-protecting this directory is that you get to control all aspects of the site, including unlocking various parts for access to authorized users only.
One way to protect the WP-admin directory is by installing the AskApache Password Protect plugin. The plugin configures enhanced security file permissions and encrypts the directory with a .htpasswd file.
- Encrypt Data with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate
Using the SSL certificate to secure the Admin panel is not only wise but a smart move. This certification ensures data transfer between the server and user browsers is encrypted and almost impossible to breach.
This enhances data security on the site. Getting an SSL certificate is easy too. You can have your hosting firm for one, or just buy the certificate from a dedicated company.
The Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate is available for free and is an open source product as well. This means it does a pretty good job of keeping your site and data secure. Using an SSL certificate on your WP site can also help boost the site’s rankings on Google
- Rename the Login URL
Changing the default WP login address to a different one gives your site an extra layer of security. You can do this by accessing the site’s admin URL.
Renaming the URL makes it hard for hackers to brute force their way into the site. Test the new login details with GWDb to see if anyone can guess your login details.
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