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This is how you can protect your WordPress page

A website is your company’s business card, through which many customers get their first contact with you. Therefore, a website must be well designed, as first impressions matter a lot. You can, for example, improve the appearance, improve usability or reduce the loading time of the website. However, in many cases, website security issues receive less attention than others. This in itself is understandable because security issues are not a visible part of the website. In general, security issues only come to mind when there are problems with them, and that may be too late. In this blog post, you will be introduced to the myths, tips and tricks related to your WordPress site security to reduce the risk of your site falling into the wrong hands.

Why worry about security?

Before we jump into the tips and tutorials, let’s start with the basics. What do you need to know about your site’s security and why should you care about it?

The security of your site is the sum of many factors, and in the worst case, neglecting one of them can leave your site vulnerable to attackers. Break into always kills the nerves of the site owner. In the simplest case, the situation can be resolved by restoring a backup, but without a backup, an attack can, in the worst case, take a large amount of data.

Always take security seriously. Under no circumstances should you minimize the problem, for example by thinking “ there is nothing important on my website” or “ that someone can exactly attack my site

Most website attacks do not specifically target your website. However, this does not change the fact that security issues should be taken seriously.

What can be the result of negligence?

If someone lands on your site, they can really do whatever they want there. Page appearance can change in many ways as bots add content to the site that sets its own agenda. In many cases, the first signs that a site is being hacked are several vague links that appear on the site.

Very often, these links will take you to some online casino, a loan provider, or a website that sells exercise drugs for men. Regardless of the purpose of the link, it gives customers an unpleasant impression of your company. While site visitors likely understand that this is non-site content, it causes customers to create a negative image of your company.

In addition to the spammy links and ads, there are other potential problems. Any customer data that may have accumulated on your site may fall into the hands of third parties as a result of a security breach. Also, there is a risk of your site sending malware or spam.

Tip 1 – Don’t rely solely on WordPress security plugins

Let’s start with a myth that is very common in WordPress pages. For WordPress, you can get various security plugins that are paid and sometimes even free. Sometimes you can hear statements that “Our site has a security plugin, so there is no risk

However, using security plugins alone is not the path to happiness, but aside from using plugins, everything else on the site should be fine too.

Tip 2: Use the correct passwords

One of the biggest risk factors for website security is weak passwords. Sometimes we get a little lazy and put bad passwords on the site that are easy to remember and type.

Surprisingly, many people set their own passwords, such as “cat”, “12345”, “password”, “[Имя]” or “company name 2020”. While attempts have already been made in the last of my examples to use longer words and numeric values, they are still too simple passwords.

The correct password must include:

  • 15 characters
  • Mix of uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Numerical values
  • special symbols

The easiest way to set a password that is strong enough for a WordPress user is to use the WordPress password generator tool. The tool provides you with a ready and secure password in one click.

Tip 3: Pay special attention to administrators

Users with administrator rights, i.e. users with administrator rights in Finnish – you need to be careful with them. If possible, it’s not a good idea to create your own user for everyone in your company, or at least not all users should have admin-level permissions.

A long list of admin users combined with the poor password hygiene mentioned above is an incredible combination. Remove additional site administrators, access restricted user permissions where possible, and ensure passwords for your site users are correct.

Plus a simple tip about admin users. Never name the admin user admin. However, admin is one of the most common usernames, so attackers will surely be among the first to try it.

Tip 4. Use captcha on the login page

An easy way to secure your WordPress site is to set a captcha on the login page.

A captcha can be a simple formula, a set of numbers, or an image view. The purpose of this is to prevent bots from accessing the page, as bots don’t know how to answer the captcha. Captcha can be installed on the page, for example, through various plugins.

Tip 5: Keep your plugins and website up to date

The world is evolving and we are in it. The same laws apply to websites whose technologies are regularly updated. Updates can be found in WordPress as well as plugins.

Updating can vary greatly depending on the package you have with your service provider. Some service providers automatically update their site, while others do nothing without a separate request to update the site.

Whether you receive updates automatically or not, it’s important to keep them up to date on your site. Outdated versions may contain vulnerabilities. Updates are being made to improve plugins as well as to fix discovered security vulnerabilities.

Very often, not updating sites is justified by the fact that after updating some section of the site may stop working. However, such situations are quite rare. The biggest risk to your site is that someone can access it through an outdated version. Sometimes a single discovery in plugins can open the way for an attacker to hijack your site.

Tip 6 – Completely remove unwanted plugins

The previous tip was about WordPress plugins, with each site using anywhere from a few to dozens of plugins. As mentioned above, a vulnerability in a single plugin used on a site can be enough for an attacker.

For this reason, it is recommended to use plugins wisely. You shouldn’t be afraid to use plugins, but you shouldn’t install them on a site just to install them. Additional plugins not only pose a security risk, but also slow down the page. Long load times can reduce your site’s ranking in search engines.

It is also recommended not to forget to completely remove unused plugins from the site. In WordPress, you can install a plugin on your site, but you don’t need to enable it. However, it is important to remember at this stage that disabled plugins can also pose a risk.

Tip 7. Take care of your website backup

Backing up your website also depends a lot on the service provider you use. Some providers may back up multiple times a day, while other providers may not back up at all.

A backup may seem useless if you don’t need it, but when the situation arises, its value skyrockets. In the worst case, no backups are done at all, in which case restoring the site may be difficult or impossible.

If your service provider’s plan doesn’t include a backup, you can backup your site using various plugins like Manage WordPress.

Conclusions: pay attention to safety before it’s too late

You should always invest in the security of your website. By taking information security seriously from the start, you’ll avoid many embarrassing and difficult situations.

Safety issues are both actions and attitudes. For example, when it comes to passwords, you should always learn to use passwords that are as complex as possible and make sure that other people in your company do the same. In addition to this, it is worth paying attention to ensure that your site is constantly updated and that backups work automatically.

Also, security can be improved by your own actions. Install an additional captcha on your site’s login page and take care of site admin users. Remove additional users and set the appropriate permissions for each user.

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