Are You Following These Basic WordPress Security Practices?

Are You Following These Basic WordPress Security Practices?

Starting a business is not always easy. The real battle is building up its digital identity. And we all know that the digital identity of a business begins with the website.

WordPress would be your ideal choice If you like to get things done faster.

Hey! The internet literally runs on WordPress. At least one quarter of websites have their roots grounded on WordPress. It is free (almost) and is user-friendly. Now that checks all boxes one looks for when building a website.

Or is it?

Here is the hard truth. WordPress could be the Internet’s favourite CMS (Content Management System). But, when it comes to security, things do slide a bit giving way to worry.

According to a Sucuri’s Website Hack Trend Report 2018 Website Hack Trend Report 2018, more than 90% of hacked websites were hosted on WordPress. Other CMS platforms like Magento, Joomla and Drupal shortly followed suit. The study also mentions that the number of WordPress infections have rose from 83% in 2017 to 90% in 2018.

WordPress is user-friendly. Unfortunately, it is not always safe.

Below are few tips to help keep your WordPress website secure.

It all begins with staying up to date

You can have the latest iPhone (or Android if you wish). Even the latest fashion wear. Nike sneakers and what not. But, if you don’t have the latest version of WordPress, nothing else matters. Your website has a good chance of being doomed.

Running outdated versions of WordPress accounts for a major reason for security hacks. It is surprising to know that only 26.8% of users are running the latest version of WordPress. The previous versions — 1.0, 1.6, 2.2 and others account for the Lion’s share of WordPress users.

The trouble with older versions is that they are vulnerable to hacks. They have loopholes which a hacker can exploit to gain entry and wreak havoc.

Hence the need to update your WordPress version on a regular basis.

Make the right choice of add-ons and plugins

The stock version of WordPress is like a bare room with no furniture. You must buy third-party plugins and add-ons to make it work the way you want it.

While there are a countless number of WordPress plugins available in the market — many free and most premium — not all of them are safe for use.

Amidst those add-ons and plugins could be dangerous extensions or poorly coded ones that can act as gateways for hackers. One poorly chosen extension is all it takes to bring down your website security and its entire contents.

Below are some pointers that could help you from running into the traps of malicious plugins.

  • Always download plugins/extensions/add-ons from legit sources
  • Check for social proof — star ratings, reviews, marketplace reviews, etc.
  • Check if it is endorsed by the WordPress user community

Choosing safe plugins and add-ons itself will help close the doors to uninvited hackers.

Ensure login best practices

When you keep a simple password for admin accounts like ‘admin’, it has highly possible chances of being theft or broken. Do not write password on a post-it notes or anywhere that can be easily obtainable.

Someone unauthorised can get into the admin panel and do some mischief that brings your website down for a couple of days.

If somehow login credentials are accessed, then the first thing to establish is a hygiene login practice for all admins.

As a part of the practice, all admin accounts should be renamed to usernames that are tough to spot as admins. The passwords should also be reset, and only stored in a secure location.

To further ensure the sanctity of the admin panel, limit all unnecessary admins to other roles of editors, administrator, contributor, etc.

You can also do so by going to WordPress settings and choosing the role you want the user to enjoy.

Harden website security from within

You can secure your website from within in a simple way. It will cost a tad bit but given the benefits it will accrue in the long term; it is worth the spend. Buy SSL certificates and configure them in your website.

An SSL certificate is a bit sized encryption file that ensures that the data sent between your website visitors and the website server is not tapped into by unauthorised personnel, especially hackers.

SSL certificate brings with it several benefits like tight security, SEO-friendliness and brand identity. Certificate Authorities who issue SSL certificates provide trust seals which you can display on your website. This will help boost the trustworthiness of your website. In fact, studies have proven the same. If you are a website that has a strong brand identity and the highest validation, consider investing in an Extended validation SSL certificate. It will give your website the green address bar and the padlock symbol that are considered as hallmark symbols of online security.

A study conducted by Actual insights found that 61% of consumers didn’t make a purchase simply because there were no trust badges.

Of course, there are also trust seals that consumers recognise the most than the rest. But that is a discussion for another time.

In a Nutshell

WordPress is an awesome CMS. But before pushing out your website into the internet ocean you should ensure that they are secured from all corners.

If you are in the works to create and launch a website, make sure you follow these tips to keep your website safe. Remember, all it takes a minor mistake to let the hackers have a feast day with your website.

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