Website security is not often a concern for clients. It really should be. Hackers target websites of all sizes. Most clients think “why would anyone bother to hack a little site like mine.” Actually, there are several reasons. If you think your site isn’t tempting because it’s a relatively small site, you’re wrong. It’s because of this thinking that your site becomes a target. Large sites usually have layers of security. When a website doesn’t employ security measures, the reward might be small but so is the risk.
I know you’re thinking, “but I don’t process transactions on my website.” Hackers aren’t only looking for credit card information. Information you collect from a simple contact form can be valuable to hackers. Moreover, an unsecured site can also be used as a phishing scam.
There are some steps you can take to protect your site from hackers. Start with this WordPress website security checklist.
WordPress security checklist
Installing SSL and set up HTTPS on your website.
Even if you aren’t processing transactions, you should have a secure website. Search engines have started warning users when they are on an unsecured website. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a technology that created a secure connection between the website and user browser. An SSL certificate can be gotten in a matter of hours or days, depending on the type of validation needed. Once installed, your website’s URL goes from http:// to https:// and all warnings go away. Any information submitted through your website is encrypted, protecting it from hackers.
Using strong passwords.
When it comes to creating a password, the longer it is, the harder it is to guess. That means using passwords that are more than 12 characters long. Remember to keep it random by ensuring that your password does not have a pattern and is unpredictable. Read more tips on creating a strong passwords.
Reseting those passwords every 6 months.
Most of us only change our passwords when a situation forces us to. Very frequent changes sometimes weaken password choices. Changing your password for your WP site does help keep it secure.
Enabling two-factor authentication.
You’re probably familiar with two-factor authentication. This usually happens when you log into a site from an unrecognized device. You might have to get a pass code emailed or texted to your phone to prove it’s really you. This type of authentication is useful in protecting your website as well.
Updating WordPress plugins and environment regularly.
WordPress is designed to prevent security threats rather than identify them. Consequently, new versions are released quite frequently. Staying up to date with the newest version ensures you have latest security measures in place.
Beware of plugins.
Using the minimum number of plugins necessary to give your site functionality improves security. Make sure those plugins come from a reliable source. Always check to see that the plugin is regularly updated and has good reviews.
Limit access to admin panel by IP.
IP whitelist is a security feature often used for limiting and controlling access only to trusted users. Most website hosts allow you to whitelist IPs.
Enabling WordPress backups.
This is a great idea even if you’re not worried about hacking. Periodically, run a full backup of your entire website. If you ever have to restore your website, you’ll be so happy you did.
Using antivirus scanners.
To increase security, make sure you’re using up-to-date anti-malware software and that your operating system is up-to-date.
Do not share private data and passwords.
If you need to give someone access to your website create the appropriate user account for them instead of sharing your password. This keep your private information…well, private.
You don’t want Google or other search engines to flag your website. The last thing you want is to go to your URL and not see your website. Don’t wait until something happens, then it’s too late.
In conclusion, following this security checklist you can prevent hacking attempts and improve security of your site. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help or a consultation.