5 Simple Steps to Achieve Better WordPress Security
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Hackers attack websites every 39 seconds on average, a Clark School study at the University of Maryland shows. Since more than 40% of the web uses WordPress, it is one of the popular targets in danger of hacker attacks. What is more, as an open source software, which every developer can contribute to, there can be some potential vulnerabilities in the code. Cyber criminals take advantage of WordPress security vulnerabilities and other issues that can be easily avoided such as common usernames, weak passwords, outdated plugins, and others.
Thankfully, there are at least 5 easy things that you can do – usually without the help of a developer – to improve your WordPress security.
Most Common WordPress Security Issues and Vulnerabilities
But first, let’s take a look at some of the most common WordPress vulnerabilities and issues that cyber criminals tend to exploit when attacking a website:
- Out-of-date core software
Having an out-of-date core software is one of the things that hackers look for in a website. That’s why you need to be on the watchout when an update comes out for a program or library.
- Outdated themes and plugins
Make sure all your themes and plugins stay up to date, so that any existing bugs get fixed with the newest release.
- Brute force attacks
You can stop brute force attacks in several ways such as using a security plugin or having brute force mitigation with your web hosting provider.
Prevent the injection of malicious software to your website by different means such as malware scanners and cleaning services on a regular basis.
- Denial of service attacks (DoS) or Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS)
One way to avoid these types of attacks is having a caching system or a DDoS mitigation system built in the infrastructure of your web hosting provider.
- Poor hosting environment
When searching for a hosting partner, make sure they have a good reputation, deep WordPress knowledge, and above all, can be trusted.
This is just a small part of it. Watch the full video below for more in-depth information about these vulnerabilities, and the things you can do to protect your site.
Improve Your WordPress Security in Five Easy Steps
Are you ready to address these vulnerabilities on your own? To take the burden off your shoulders, I’ve got you covered with five easy steps to follow in order to make your WordPress website more secure in just a few clicks:
1. Change the Admin Username
This one is a no-brainer. If you are still using admin, administrator, or anything really easy to guess as your administrator’s username, STOP! To compromise your site, an attacker needs 2 things – a username and a password. If you use a default admin username, then you’ve given them half of what they need. Let’s make it a little harder, shall we?
To change the admin name manually, you need to:
- Log in using your existing Admin account.
- Under “Users” click “Add New”.
- Create a new user account and make it an Admin. Make the username anything you want, except for Admin, Administrator, or your name.
- Log out of WordPress and log back in using your new Admin account.
- Click on Users to list the users, and under your original admin account, click “Delete”. Make sure you select “Attribute content to” and select your new admin account, so you don’t lose any content.
If you want to disable common usernames in just one click, install the SiteGround Security plugin. It’s a free tool that provides you with easy options to protect your site and will greatly improve your WordPress security. Use it to disable the creation of common usernames and if you already have one or more users with a weak username, it’ll ask you to provide new one(s). Additionally, when toggled, a pop-up window will appear where you’ll be able to choose a new username and automatically replace the existing weak one(s).