When choosing to design your own website, you want to make sure that you take the necessary steps to keep it safe from hackers and other malicious intruders. Luckily, this isn’t as hard as it sounds, and there are plenty of free or low-cost options available for you to secure your WordPress website against even the most tech-savvy hackers on the web today. This article goes over 8 different tips that you can use right now to improve your website security and prevent anyone from accessing information they should never see.
1) Install an SSL Certificate
One of the most simple ways to help secure your website is to install an SSL certificate. This way, when users type in your URL, they will see a padlock in their browser bar and know that their information is encrypted before being sent over the web. Another benefit of SSL is search engine optimization. Google has announced that beginning April 2016 all websites without an SSL certificate will be labeled as not secure. If you're interested in boosting your search engine ranking, having an SSL certificate should be high on your list. Additionally, installing an SSL does not require any programming experience or special coding knowledge—it's as easy as copying and pasting a few lines of code into your website source code file.
2) Use Google Authenticator For Stronger Passwords
When you think of a strong password, what comes to mind? Typically, we think of at least 12 characters and containing upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. A strong password will frustrate hackers by making it more difficult for them to guess. But how do you create a strong password without taking too much time out of your day? That's where third-party apps like Google Authenticator come in handy. This 2FA app will generate strong passwords for you with minimal effort on your part—the only thing required is that you memorize one code from your authenticator app.
3) Limit Login Attempts
Limiting login attempts prevents brute force attacks and can prevent malicious activity from gaining access to your site. If you’re unfamiliar with how brute force attacks work, it’s basically when a hacker tries many different passwords in an attempt to gain access. With brute force attacks becoming more popular, it’s important that you secure your site as best as possible. Luckily, there are some easy ways to limit login attempts on your site—all of which are free! For example, Sucuri offers a free plugin called WP Limit Login Attempts that limits the number of times users can attempt to log in using one IP address. This is a great option for those looking for minimal involvement because it automatically updates without any effort on your part!
4) Disable File Editing Rights
This is a huge security risk. If you’re using WordPress, file editing rights are enabled by default. This means that anyone who can access your files has permission to modify them. Though most users do have good intentions, there are still some that may try to exploit security vulnerabilities or inject malicious code into your files in order to steal private information or otherwise compromise your website. Disable file editing rights to ensure that no one but you can modify any of your files and thus reduce your site’s vulnerability to attack by malicious users or hackers. You should also make sure that all of your plugins, themes and core files are up-to-date as often as possible.
5) Use a Backup Plugin
The number one way to secure your site is by using a plugin that will automatically create and store backups of your entire website. If you’re running an online business, you should be regularly making copies of your data, because there’s always a chance it could disappear forever. Automated backups are important for any website administrator, but are especially critical if you run an e-commerce site or a site with user-generated content. There is no perfect solution to securing your web design as hackers and crackers have become more sophisticated than ever before but having adequate firewalls in place along with automation built into daily tasks (such as backing up) can help ensure maximum security on most sites.
6) Scan your Site for Vulnerabilities
After you have a website, you need to keep it secure. The easiest way to keep a website secure is through constant monitoring and scanning. There are many tools and plugins that can help you scan your site for vulnerabilities but one of my favorites is WPScan. WPScan allows you to scan your website for vulnerabilities by crawling each web page and doing an analysis of each file on your web server. It will also scan URL requests, headers, cookies, superglobals, and other information that might be useful during a penetration test or security audit. You can run these scans against a production website or even use it as part of continuous integration in your development environment.
7) Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication is an effective way to secure your account by adding an extra layer of protection. This ensures that even if someone gains access to your username and password, they won't be able to get into your account without also having a separate piece of information—like a code texted to you via a smartphone app or generated using an authenticator like Google Authenticator. Two-factor authentication apps are available for both iOS and Android. If you have trouble remembering codes and entering them into websites when prompted, there are also SMS services like Google's sign-in verification system or Duo Security's Duo Push which will send you one-time login codes as text messages whenever you attempt to log in. Set up two-factor authentication on all of your important accounts as soon as possible!
8) Update your Plugins Regularly
Plugins are what make WordPress so flexible. They can also introduce vulnerabilities, especially if they’re old or not updated regularly. Always check that all your plugins are up to date and run regular updates on all of them. You can do it manually through your dashboard, or use a plugin like Automatic Updates Notifier to schedule automatic checks for you. As well as being important security-wise, updating is vital to making sure your site functions properly. It’s also a good idea to check which plugins you don’t actually need; you might find
one that's been slowing down your site without you realizing it! If you're looking for a new way to stay on top of things when creating secure websites contact web designers companies like thekinsmen ICT.