In the Internet, it is a common knowledge that many WordPress websites are hacked and a lot more are prone to hacking. There are many contributing factors why WordPress is so vulnerable against hacking. Among the top reasons is the fact that it is widely used, from newbies to experts, and even multinational companies use it as a website platform. WordPress is also very versatile; you can use plugins to make it more functional. Many owners seek for WordPress malware removal tools later on because they have unknowingly added infected plugins on their sites.
Being a popular target by hackers and malware is not a fun thing. There are a lot of people who have important stuff on their sites. Some use it for business and some are using it to share knowledge or to document life events. It is not easy to find out that you have a hacked WordPress site and you may need to have expert WordPress malware removal or the help of professionals to recover WordPress site.
It can be a big mess to fix whenever a site is hacked. Once a malware is in your files, it can affect everything in the server, including important files. Unusual activities, such as spamming and unauthorized posting, can also happen. If the hacker decides to post content that violates the rules, then the website will be banned from Google and other search engines. Worst of all, future website visitors will be warned against going to your website, losing potential income if you are having an e-commerce site.
Related Post: How to Remove WordPress Malware [Complete Guide 2019]
This is why you need to be extra vigilant when it comes to your WordPress security. A clean WordPress site is not only about having the best WordPress virus removal tools. In fact, having even the best malware removal for WordPress is not a guarantee that you will not be victimized by hackers. Securing WordPress would take a set of diligence, reliable software, basic measures, and knowledge about how you can remain safe from being vulnerable.
15 Tips to Prevent a WordPress Hacked
Prevention is always better than cure, they say, and this is also true when it comes to securing WordPress. Luckily, there are many things that you can do to prevent getting hacked. Here are 15 tips to start with so you will not be part of the growing number of hacked websites.
1. Run the Latest WordPress version
The simplest thing that you can do to protect your website is by running the latest version of WordPress. This is true among other software since updates mean having bug fixes and security fixes. When you have the latest updates from WordPress, you are safe against common vulnerabilities that hackers have learned to exploit. If you are going to update, hackers will be unable to access your site through the known vulnerable areas.
About 54% of WordPress installations are still running using the outdated versions.
Along with updating WordPress, you must remember to also update the device that you use in accessing the website. Both your mobile device and computer can be hacked too and the virus or malware on it can be used to destroy your site.
2. Update Themes and Plugins
Themes and plugins are very useful in making your site look fabulous and functional. It is, however, very common to get hacked because of them. Many hackers offer plugins as if they are safe software to have in your site. Once they are in your codes, it can be pretty difficult to remove them even with a WordPress malware removal tool.
Just like WordPress, plugins and themes can also be hacked when they are not updated. Even the most popular plugins can be hacked once hackers have identified its vulnerabilities. It is a must that you update so you will not fall to their preys.
3. Choose Themes and Plugins Carefully
There are thousands of themes and plugins to choose from. Many of them also comes for free so it is understandable why they are so enticing to have. A lot of plugins make the website more functional so you would think that they are essential. Well, this is true and you really can use a good plugin to assist you in managing the website. Since it cannot be avoided to use themes and plugins, you have to be extra vigilant in choosing which ones to have.
Check if it was updated very recently because if not, then hackers have surely found a vulnerability already. Although not all free plugins and themes are bad, they are more prone to attack especially if it does not offer a reliable developer support. It would also be good if you will run a WordPress malware removal scan every time you download a new theme or plugin.
4. Moderate WordPress Users
When you have multiple people, who can access the site, you are opening up a lot of doors for hacking activities. If you have inactive users, it is best to remove their access, most especially if they have administrative privileges. You may keep them as subscribers instead so they cannot perform important actions in your site.
You must also remind everyone who can access the site to avoid using weak passwords and to also update their devices. Any of the users who gets hacked pose as the biggest threat for the website. It will be easier for hackers to get in control once a user becomes vulnerable.
5. Disable File Editing
The WordPress dashboard is very powerful as you can edit PHP files to control plugins and themes. It gives you a convenient access and an easy method of making changes, but it also opens up an access for the hackers. Once the hacker is able to get into the dashboard, it will also be simple to edit the files and execute codes. Even if you have a WordPress malware removal plugin installed, the damage will be difficult to rectify once the files have been manipulated already.
To avoid this scenario, consider disabling file editing through WordPress. Do this by entering this code:
define (‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true); into the wp-config.php.
6. Conceal the Login Page
If you are going to use the default WordPress login page which is the URL+wp-login, hackers can easily find a way to brute force their way into the website. You can actually customize your own login page as a form of concealment. It will be difficult for hackers to find if you will change it.
You may do so by having a security plugin and change the URL into something unique, original, and only you are aware of. This basic is actually genius to make it a little harder for the hackers and may even discourage them in hacking your site.
7. Use Two-Factor Authentication
You may have heard of the two-factor authentication a lot of times since it is common among social media platforms and online banking. Did you know that you can use it too for your WordPress site? With this type of authentication, your identity will be verified using another method aside from the usual username and password.
There are numerous ways to do it but the safest way is to send a verification code either through email or your phone. Aside from an easy login when you have your device with you, you will also be alerted when someone else is trying to login to your account. You may also choose the option to ask for a security question or enter a unique PIN before logging in.
8. Change the Admin Username
During the process of setting up the website for the first time, the username is set to “admin” by default. It is almost every time that users choose to keep the default username because it is easy to remember. This, however, is what hackers are hoping for. In order to make it a tad harder for them, change the WordPress username into something that will be difficult for them to guess. You can change it even after you are done setting up through the user information section.
9. Encrypt Data Using SSL
Secure Socket Layer or SSL is a great way to secure the admin panel. It basically encrypts all data transfers between the browser and the user’s browser. Aside from providing a layer of protection, Google also counts having SSL when determining a website’s search ranking. It is important that you make it a part of your SEO strategy.
A third-party company or a hosting provider can add SSL to your site. There are plugins that can be used to put the SSL certificates to your WordPress account.
10. Limit Login Attempts
When hackers try to login to your account, do not give them unlimited chances of trying to do so. Using brute force to gain entry to the site means guessing the login credentials. Having unlimited login attempts will give them time to try and guess for the correct username and password. If, however, you choose to limit the login attempts, any user, including hackers, will be temporarily blocked if they keep keying in the wrong password.
11. Have a Reliable WordPress Security Plugin
More than a WordPress malware removal tool, it will be best to have a full security plugin for your WordPress account. With a security plugin, keeping the site secure is easier and will not feel like a full-time job. Most security plugins for WordPress are built to monitor login activity, verify users, and even conceal admin and the login pages. There are even plugins that can be set to give you alerts if there is something suspicious going on your website.
Related Post: 11 Best WordPress Malware Removal Plugins in 2019
12. Stay Alert When Using Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks may increase the risk of being hacked when you login to your WordPress site. Other people who are using the same connection may access your login credentials. You are safe if you have an SSL certificate or if you are using a Virtual Private Network. With VPN, all traffic on the network will be encrypted, making it safe for you to access the website. Even if it is your favorite coffee shop, you can never be too sure that you are exposing yourself out for the hackers.
13. Monitor Audit Logs
If you have multiple admins and contributors, you can see every action that they execute in the website. You have to monitor what is going on and make sure that they are not doing unauthorized actions such as changing the themes and widgets, or anything without approval. It can be them that are doing it or their logins may be hacked by other people.
14. Always Remember to Backup
What hurts the most when your website is hacked is not the fact that your WordPress malware removal tool failed. It is too depressing to learn that all the content that you have worked hard for may be gone for good. The best plan of action is to be prepared and get a proper backup tool for everything. With a backup, your site will be restored to a working state as soon as the security breach has been sorted out. A secure off-site location is recommended in storing backups.
15. Be Sure About Your Web Host
Having a web hosting provider to help you manage your WordPress site is ideal if you are too busy to maintain your website all the time. With a webhost, almost everything in keeping the website secure is covered, like having WordPress malware removal plugin, automatic scanning, backups, and more. Take note, however, that not all web host providers offer the same security features. You need to check what the host can do and whether you need to impose better security features.
Related Post: 11 Web Hosting Security Best Practices (2019)
It takes more than a WordPress malware removal plugin to secure your website. As you can see on the list, these are all basic methods that you can do to secure your WordPress account. They are free but are mostly ignored by a lot of users. A website’s security is your concern as the owner.
If you want to have a reliable partner to secure your site, check out Airflour’s security solutions today!