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What are the guidelines for securing your WordPress site? This CMS, which runs on almost 25% of websites on the Internet is very secure in itself. But the more plugins, themes and extra code you add, the greater the risk of being hacked. Here are ten tips that will help you avoid problems with your WordPress security.
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Hackers often use “brute force” attacks, which means they keep trying to log in to the site until they have guessed the password. So, make sure to take the following measures:
If you work on a website as a team, make sure that you assign proper roles to each team member when creating their accounts on your site:
The golden rule: never log in as an admin when you do not need to perform maintenance tasks.
Just as you have an antivirus installed on your computer, which checks your machine for viruses and malware, you should actually also use a scanner with WordPress. It will scan the code in your plugins, your core files and your themes to verify if it has not been changed. Popular scanners include Theme Authenticity Checker, Antivirus and Sucuri Security.
Install a tool that keeps an eye on what happens in your admin module. It is a fact that WordPress automatically logs this information, but the data are not easy to read. Therefore, you should use WP Security Audit Log, Aryo Activity Log or Simple History. When something goes wrong on your site, you can return to the critical point (the installation of a certain plugin, a change in your code, the upload of a file…).
Every time you log in to your admin panel, your browser adds an authentication cookie to the request that is sent to the server. If communication is not encrypted, anyone may be able to intercept this cookie and use it to log in to the server and execute commands.
By using the https protocol, communication (including the cookie) will be encrypted. For this, however, you will need an SSL certificate. Feel free to read our articles on this topic: “SSL: what is it and how does it work?” and “The SSL certificate: what should you do?”
Feel free to use the SSL wizard that will help you find the SSL certificate that will suit your needs
If you do not have a decent hosting provider, all your efforts will be wasted. According to security experts at WP White Security, 41% of hacked WordPress sites were hacked through a security vulnerability on the host itself. This is why you should choose your hosting provider very carefully!
A Managed hosting provider that specialises in Content Management Systems, like Combell's range of Managed WordPress hosting, usually provides (in addition to hosting) a firewall, regularly runs malware scans, makes sure that PHP and MySQL are up to date, and has a helpdesk team that knows WordPress inside out.
Be cautious at all times and pay particular attention to the following:
The tips above do not require any particular technical knowledge. You just need to have some common sense and be familiar with the installation of plugins. In a next article, we will look deeper into this matter and give you a few concrete examples of codes you can add and settings you can change in order to make your WordPress site even more secure.
READ MORE: Panama Papers: a huge leak caused by a WordPress plugin
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