Building and sustaining a secured web environment is of utmost importance to any webmaster. Although a full-proof website is practically impossible to develop/maintain, we can always minimize the risk by identifying potential vulnerabilities and formulating preventive measures to tackle the underlying threats.
Adopting some basic security precautions, you can effectively secure your WordPress website from getting compromised by attempted security breaches. Discussed below are 5 important security precautions that can help you to keep your WordPress installation out of the hackers’ reach.
#1. Always Use the Latest Version of WordPress
If you are a loyal WordPress user, then you must have noticed the frequency at which new updates are released by the WordPress community. That’s for a reason though. WordPress is updated regularly to address emerging security issues. Keeping your website updated with the latest version of WordPress will prevent it from getting exposed to the latest vulnerabilities.
#2. Protect WordPress Administrative Interface
WordPress admin interface is a vulnerable surface which is often targeted by the hackers. If a malicious user manages to access your admin dashboard, then that’s a serious security compromise. Besides changing the default username (admin), you must set a complex password which is difficult to guess.
To prevent brute-force attacks, you can use a nice little plugin called ‘Limit Login Attempts’. After three failed login attempts, it would blacklist the IP address from which the attack would originate.
#3. Force SSL to Authenticate Users
Protect all authentication gateways on your website with secure HTTPS (SSL/TLS) protocol. SSL authentication uses the concept of public/private key pair. It means, a user must supply the corresponding decryption key for gaining administrative control of your website.
To enforce SSL login, first you need to configure SSL on your web server. Then you can easily enable (and enforce) WordPress administration over SSL by adding the following line of code to your site’s wp-config.php file.
Open the wp-config.php file using any text editor, set the constant ‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’ to true and save the changes.
#4. Keep all the Plugins Up-to-date
Hackers can expose the vulnerabilities in outdated plugin files to gain access to your website. Before installing any plugin, ensure that it is compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Also, if you are not using a certain plugin, then don’t keep it in active or inactive mode. It is always better to clean up all the unnecessary plugin files on a regular basis.
#5. Find a Trusted Web Hosting Partner
Your wordpress website is as secure as your hosting environment. Website Hosting vulnerabilities account for a significant percentage of websites getting hacked. All your efforts to enhance the security of your wordpress website will go down the drain if someone can exploit a vulnerability in your hosting platform. That’s why it is important that you opt for a well-established wordpress hosting partner with a proven track-record for being one of the very best WordPress hosting providers.
WordPress developers are continuously working in the background to devise innovative strategies to fight against any emerging security threats. Having said that, it is also the responsibility of webmasters to consider the security aspect seriously. When you start a WordPress blog, do ensure that you are following the best practices guidelines laid down by the WordPress security experts.