Best WordPress Security Practices For 2020

When we talk about the leading content management system in the world, WordPress pops up on the top. It is unquestionably a very user-friendly CMS platform trusted by millions of bloggers, developers, designers, and businesses internationally.

 It is believed to be the most popular content management system in the World with millions of users and that’s where the question of security comes in. Almost 35.1 % of all websites on the web are built and powered by WordPress, and its rising popularity can draw potential hackers.

Despite having tough security measures and building your site with the best website builder, is it still prone to hackers and cyber-attacks?

Yes, it is. 

The security WordPress provides might be solid, but there is no guarantee that your WordPress site can’t be penetrated by hackers or any other kind of cyber-frauds. 

Being one of the most efficient and dynamic tools, its main responsibility is to increase the security and data protection measures.

While building a website you must remember to integrate the best security practices. Because more or less every site can have drawbacks and the major one is data protection and security measures.

Businesses spend a huge portion of their funds in perfecting security and protection measures and be it a small or a big business, the main motive is to keep hackers from getting a point of entry to your site and sensitive information. 

According to a report, more than 170,000 WordPress websites were hacked in 2012 alone and the number is likely to rise by 2020.

To make sure that your WordPress website runs freely without falling into any trap, I have compiled the best WordPress security practices that could help your site in 2020. 

But before hopping into the best practices let’s figure out what intention hackers have in mind if they get access to your website.

What could happen if your site gets hacked, unfortunately?

  1. Hackers can redirect your customers to other sites which will be beneficial for them.
  2. Their tendency is to upload malicious code on the server.
  3. They can take control of your server and send spam emails, or your site could also witness brute force attacks.
  4. Your theme can be modified by hackers.
  5. Hackers can add unknown users with administrative privileges to the WordPress database.

These are the most common reasons that come up when you ask what will hackers do with your WordPress site.

Now, one more question could pop up in your mind.

How does one get a point of entry in your WordPress site despite having decent security measures

What are the Common Points of Entry for hackers into your WordPress Website?

Now, we know why hackers intend to hack your WordPress site but how do they get a point of entry?

Here, the below-mentioned points will enlighten you on the most common points of entry to your site.

  • More than 44% of websites get hacked through vulnerabilities in the hosting platform
  • 30 % of WordPress websites get compromised due to insecure theme
  • Vulnerable plugins contribute over 22 % as a common point of entry.
  • Weak passwords are another reason which adds 8 % or more 

More than 65% of people didn’t know that their website was hacked. But, now you have the information on how the hackers try to and establish a connection to your website. 

Now, the most important step is to set up preventive measures, to keep the hackers away from your WordPress site.

1. Start With Opting For a Better Hosting Provider

You must begin by picking up the right hosting service provider for your site. There is jillion hosting providers in the market but you should choose one with better security features. Better companies are expensive, you may use siteground discount coupon for discounts.

A solid hosting company may charge you a little more, but there are a few who perform regular malware scans and remove them. So, the hacker first has to break through the hosting security wall to get an entry to the site. 

While choosing for a better hosting, check they have the latest version of PHP and MySQL(If your hosting has both of them you don’t have to invest in them later). And above all ensure they have a robust firewall.

2. Always Update Your WordPress Security Keys

WordPress security keys are basically generated from each user and they are usually secure. The security keys are generally used to protect important information that is stored in the user’s cookies.

Here are the 4 types of variable strings :

  • SECURE_AUTH_KEY;
  • AUTH_KEY;
  • LOGGED_IN_KEY;
  • NONCE_KEY

New sets of generated keys will let you access the wp-config.php file by replacing the old security keys with the new ones. You can use a free proprietary tool from WordPress to generate security keys.

3. Stronger Password Is The Key

Stronger passwords can prevent and keep hackers away. Ensure passwords for your website and your hosting account to be as strong as possible. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers to create an unbreakable password. Longer and stronger passwords will be hard to go through by hackers.

4. Disable The Script Injections

Hackers can try to inject malicious codes into the existing PHP documents. You have to make sure that they are prevented from injecting such codes on your site. In order to do that you must disable the script injections using the below-given codes.

Options + FollowSymLinks RewriteEngine  On  RewriteCond  %{QUERY_STRING} (<|%3E)  [NC, OR] RewriteCond  %{QUERY_STRING} GLOBALS (=|[|%[0-9A-Z]{0, 2}) [OR] RewriteCond  %{QUERY_STRING} _REQUEST (=|[|%[0-9A-Z]{0, 2}) RewriterULE   ^(.*) $ INDEX.PHP  [F, L]

5. Make The WordPress Version Number Invisible

An intentional hacker can analyze the version of your WordPress by taking a look at the source code of your site. Every version of WordPress comes with public changelogs which have the details of security patches and bugs and this will help the hackers determine which is the weakest security hole to break. 

<meta name = “generator” content= “Wordpress 5.3”/>

To prevent hackers from peeping at the source code, you can remove the WordPress version number by editing function.php file and adding the below-given code :

remove_action (‘wp_head’, ‘wp generator’) ;

Rolling down to the next important security practice

6. Back-Up Your Website On a Regular Interval

Taking regular backups of your site is one of the best security practices as you can restore the website even after a security breach. Daily back-ups for big and medium-sized businesses are recommended to prevent loss of data if your site is hacked somehow. You can also go for a solid security plugin for WordPress to lessen your job.

7. Update Your Plugins Regularly

Your WordPress might have many essential plugins to make your job easy, but you have to make sure that you keep them properly updated.  The older version can increase the chance of your site security getting compromised. Updates are pushed and installed automatically by WordPress, you just have to ensure all your important plugins are updated manually.

8. Integrate Auto-Logout Plugin

On your website, there might be several users with proper admin rights and if they in case forgets to log out of the dashboard your website can be in real trouble. Always ensure that you have logged out and closed all the tabs in your PC before leaving. 

In this circumstance, it is recommended to go for a plugin that will automatically log out idle users from dashboards even if you forget to do it manually.

9. Set Up Your Site With 2 Factor Authentication

2 Factor Authentication by many businesses to protect the websites from potential cyber frauds and hackers. It is to exaggerate security authentication by making a user confirm his/her identity twice before getting access to your site. 2 FA is an added layer of authentication to keep the hackers and phishers away from your WordPress website.

Extra Tip:  Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to access your site because any malicious file can infect your website.

The Final Statement

Creating a website today has become very easy but the ultimate hardship is to maintain the website with the best security practices. Today we have discussed the Best WordPress security practices for 2020 and I hope you will set-up all the preventive and protective security measures that’ve been illustrated above to keep your site running seamlessly.

Start today and step by step implement all the best security practices to strengthen your website and make it less vulnerable to hackers.

Author bio:

Rintu Biswas has been working as an SEO expert since 2011. He is very passionate about SEO and white hat link building. His main aim is to learn new things and do experiments, especially in link building. 

Admin

Admin is a dedicated author of PureTech Blog. He has been doing the right way by covering various topics related to Technology and the Internet. His forte is to analyze the latest technological trends, a trait you can see in his writing.

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