The internet can be a scary place, with data breaches, malware, and nefarious attacks being common. It’s scary when it happens to you, and it’s devastating when your customers’ info is available. Once that trust breaks, it’s hard to regain it.
Fortunately, WordPress website security is constantly evolving. It has to protect the 40% of the web that uses it.
But that’s only part of the solution. Part of being a business owner or nonprofit is understanding what you can do to take action and protect yourself and your site’s visitors.
You can’t sit back and be idle, you need to take action. Here’s how to have the best WordPress security in 2022.
Educate Yourself and Be Proactive
They say knowledge is power. What does that mean when it comes to website security?
It means a little knowledge goes a long way. You don’t have to be a high-end computer expert to understand security basics.
But if you are proactive about educating yourself you can avoid potential security issues. For example, understanding social engineering and how it works will go a long way in preventing malicious access to your site.
You may think that a website security horror story can’t happen to you, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The world of cybersecurity is constantly changing and evolving. If you are not willing to take security seriously, then you will always be at risk.
Even if you understand website security, do your other users? Social engineering could lead to one of your employees being a victim of a phishing attack.
If you embrace change, stay motivated, and are passionate about your site and your customers, then partnering with Cosmik Carrot can help with your WordPress security. If you have any questions about your WordPress site, we can help.
Keep Your WordPress up to Date
WordPress development is ongoing and ever-evolving. Each update comes with security fixes – not just quality of life improvements. Keeping your WordPress up to date will ensure a faster, safer experience for you and your visitors.
You may be slow to update your WordPress, thinking it is not a big deal. But an up to date WordPress is a secure WordPress.
Or maybe you’re worried about a WordPress update breaking some of your plugins. While that can happen, plugins are often updated frequently by the developers, so it is unlikely that your plugin will stay broken for long.
Of course, if you have a lot of plugins, the odds of at least one breaking with a new update increases. Still, it is far more important to keep your site secure by updating WordPress.
Also, when your plugins have new updates available, you need to keep them up to date too. Otherwise, you will have a mish-mash of a brand new core WordPress update, but you may have several out of date and insecure plugins installed.
Let us imagine that the worst-case scenario happens and something does break with a WordPress update. Do not panic!
A daily backup of your site can give you confidence knowing that even if something does go wrong, you can roll back to a previous version of your site. It is like the update never happened.
Even if your WordPress installs go smoothly, it’s always wise to have a backup of your site. Don’t settle for an on-site backup only, you need an offsite backup too. In the event of a natural disaster like a flood or fire, you will be grateful to have an offsite backup.
Enhance Your Login Security
A lot of WordPress users hate strong passwords. They want something they can easily remember. Unfortunately, that usually means they have a weak password.
Even worse, they reuse the same password across multiple sites and accounts. Your WordPress admin password, hosting account, FTP account, and email address passwords should not be the same, or even remotely similar. That’s just asking for trouble.
What makes for a strong password? A strong password has the following characteristics:
- Exceeds 8 characters in length
- Mix of both lowercase and uppercase letters
- Mix of numbers and letters
- Includes at least one special character, such as #, @, or !
- Includes zero personal or identifying info (such as a birth date, name, etc.)
Don’t just create a strong password and forget it. Change it often.
How often is enough? If you cannot remember when you last changed your password, then it is time to change it.
You should also limit the number of potential login attempts. Otherwise, a hacker could brute force attacks their way into your site with an unlimited number of login attempts.
Finally, enhance your login security with 2FA or 2-factor authentication. 2FA adds an extra step to your login, prompting you to enter a code correctly every time you attempt to log in. While this may seem annoying, it will further enhance your login security.
Have a Good Website Host
Your WordPress hosting plays a huge role in your site’s security. Not only can a good host keep your site up and running with high uptime, but they can also keep you safer.
A good web hosting company will work behind the scenes to protect your site by offering:
- Continuous monitoring of suspicious activity
- Up to date server software and hardware that prevents hackers from exploiting known security issues
- Disaster and accident recovery plans
- Tools to prevent large scale DDOS attacks
Trusting the experts with your web hosting gives you more time to focus on your business. At Cosmik Carrot, we can be your frontline of defence with our secure web hosting.
Install a Firewall (Or Two)
A firewall acts as an intermediary between outside traffic and your internal network. It blocks unwanted traffic from accessing your network.
There are two types of firewalls: hardware and software. A hardware firewall is an option built into routers to analyze the information sent from the router to the user’s device. A software firewall is a program that monitors traffic going to and from your device.
Firewalls are customizable. Filters can enable to allow desired traffic through.
Aside from preventing unauthorized users from accessing your site, a firewall can help prevent viruses, trojans, and other malware. For the best protection, consider using a combination of hardware and software firewalls.
Understand WordPress Roles
Out of the box, WordPress has five default user roles. They are:
Administrators are the most powerful role. An administrator can add, edit, or, or delete posts. They can do the same with plugins and themes.
They can also add and delete users – and change user passwords. An administrator role should be only for the site owner.
A user with the editor role has full control over your site’s content. They can add, edit, delete, or publish posts.
A contributor can add and edit posts. However, they can’t publish any posts or upload files such as images.
An author can write, edit, delete, and publish their own posts. They can view, but not approve or moderate any comments.
A subscriber can log in to your site and update their profile or password. However, they can’t do anything else. This role is good if you have an eCommerce site or a site that requires online membership.
Once you understand user roles, you can determine who gets what role. Obviously, subscriber roles are great for users who want to shop on your site.
A user with an editor role can oversee users with the author role. For example, a media site could have an editor review an author’s post, then publish it once they deem it fit to publish.
It is very important to understand these roles and how they function. The last thing you want is a disgruntled user with easy access to your WordPress dashboard.
Follow These Security Tips for the Best WordPress Website Security
If you want to protect your site in 2022, following these security tips will definitely help. The best security is like your health – you want to be proactive and take care of problems before they happen.
For even greater WordPress website security, reach out to us. We have 14+ years of WordPress experience. We know we are not a good fit for everyone, that is why we only work with those who are passionate, motivated, and responsive.
Let us know what your goals and requirements are for your website. Send us a message and let us know how we can help.