WordPress Security Blogger Guide
Almost 60,000 sites are attempted to be hacked almost every day. In the perfect world, a stable system like WordPress could protect you from many potential troubles and threats. However, unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and WordPress cannot guarantee you absolute data integrity and security. The main purpose of WordPress is to manage online content or digital assets and not to protect them. Therefore, if you aim to protect any
business-critical information, then you are to take a few additional steps apart from preparing
a content management environment.
Of course, the latter does not mean that you must become a kind of technical guru. There is a different mission for you behind the scenes. For this reason, we have prepared a comprehensive guide to strengthen and protect your WordPress website with less financial resources and efforts. Selecting Best VPN is one of the effective approaches we have for you over here. Keep reading to learn more.
Why Should You Safeguard Your WordPress Profile?
Many people wonder why it is necessary to protect an ordinary website, which is far from being a financial platform with lots of sensitive information. Who may need to hack a website? It is extremely easy to assume no one will need to spend their time and energy on attacking your blog, but there are reasons that many people do not think about.
As a rule, websites are hacked by those pursuing the following goals:
● to get personal info of a website “owner,” including info about your users. For example, many hackers strive to get a database with email entities, which they can then sell to spammers or spam themselves;
● to promote other sites, brand goods and services, distribute malware and adware. If you have at least a medium-promoted website, then attackers can use the popularity of your online platform for their purposes taking control of the domain;
● to do the blackmail. You can only return access to it by paying a certain sum of money to the cheaters. The common scenario is the following: one morning, you try to open your page and see the inscription that your site was hacked, but you can recover it by transferring a specific amount to a particular account;
● to embed dangerous malware on your site. As a result, the website may be still available. You may even get the impression that everything is in order, while your users may become a victim of harmful programs. As a rule, malware thing will be immediately detected by search engines, which will immediately block your site;
● to get rid of your site. DDoS attacks are another way to make the site is down.
In addition to the above, your site can also become a victim of a more serious attack. For example, cybercriminals can simply scan vulnerable WordPress accounts knowing about certain system weak points. That is why it is critically important that your online platform is absolutely secure. You can always use VPN for this purpose; however, it all should start with the property settings of the working environment.
Chapter 1 – Customize Your WordPress
The essence of WordPress is that you can easily and quickly share any information with others; the system is easy for use and doesn’t require any technical knowledge and skills from the administrator. Therefore, the initial setup of WordPress is easy to access by other people.
Before you start using the CMS after configuring the program, set it up correctly.
#1 – Change Your Admin Username
As a rule, “admin” is a default user name in WordPress. It makes life easier for attackers because, in order to hack you, they only need to play with a password. They are aware of the username, which significantly speeds up the hacking process. It’s not possible to change nicknames directly in WordPress, but you can add a new one and then remove the old admin user.
How to change your admin name
In the admin panel, click on the “Users” tab, and you will review a list of all users. In this list, you see the administrator, which you can easily remove from the system by right-clicking the item and selecting the “Delete” option. After clicking the “Add New” button, you can create a new user. Specify your details and assign an administrator role to the one.
#2 – Add Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication creates an extra layer of protection over the traditional credentials. Imagine a lock that can only be opened with two different keys. One of these is your credential info, and another one can be a mix of the following options:
● “Something” that belongs to you, for example, fingerprint, a scan of the iris, and other biometric details.
● A smartphone or any similar machine that can be used to verify your identity. It is most often meant to send an SMS with a PIN code, which must then be submitted to enter the system.
#3 – Install 2-Factor Authentication Using Google Authenticator
Go to the plugins section inside the system and click on “Add New” icon. Find Google MiniOrange, click “Install,” and then “Activate.” You will soon receive an email with a plugin installation confirmation. Once you get it, you can customize your account. Select the “2fa” tab to configure two-factor authentication. Configure security issues that will prevent you from self-locking. You can internally define which roles the two-factor input has.
WARNING! Using the optional Jetpack feature, it is possible to connect all your sites through one login, which is not very reliable. In the case of a single hack, all your online resources will be endangered.
#4 – Set up Captcha
Everyone knows what a captcha is. Designed to protect you from bots, a captcha will help you improve your website performance and make it 100% stable. Captcha plugin allows you to add bot detection features to the forms for login, registration, commenting, contact, and more.
Go to the “Plugins,” open the “Add” window, find the Captcha by BestWebSof, and install the solution. Then move to the section with settings and activate captcha for login forms, registration statuses, submitted passwords, and comments left. Save the changes. From now on, the captcha code will greet you every time you enter the system.
#5 – Enable Spam Protection in Comments
At first glance, spamming comments do not pose a serious danger, as spam bots just try to promote other sites on your platform. However, the danger may be hidden in the links that they keep posting on your platform. By default, WordPress does not provide spam protection; however, there is always a way out – to install the Akismet plugin or to use the alternatives in the form of the official WordPress plugin or systems on an all-in-one basis like Sucuri.
How to install the Akismet plugin
Go to the “Plugins,” click on “New,” and search for Akismet. Once found, install and run the solution. Having done all of the above, click on “Set Up Your Akismet Account.” Pick any of the options and get an API key for free. You can then use the received key in the account settings, which will immediately initiate your protection against spam.
#6 – Remove the Version of Your WordPress
In WordPress, you can easily see the version of the engine is in use. This can be not only a curious thing but also very dangerous info. An attacker may search for bugs and pitfalls of the engine version and will use them to break the solution. Therefore, it is better to remove the public display version of your engine.
#7 – Disable WordPress API
WordPress provides developers with a REST API, which allows them to integrate their own programs into the engine. But there are a few points to be considered here. For example, the API can bypass the authentication system, covering 2-factor authentication. Therefore, if you do not use custom applications, it is better to simply disable this API, which can be done using the Disable REST API plug-in.
#8 – Disable XML-RPC
XML-RPC is a special WordPress feature that enables you to access the directory backend and create posts. This can be a security issue because the solution provides additional opportunities for attackers to access your site. If you are interested in the feature of posting posts remotely, then you can leave it enabled. In a different case, it is better to disable XML- RPC, and the best way to do this is by installing the Disable XML-RPC plugin.
#9 – Do the Security Monitoring with Wordfence
Wordfence is a leading shareware all-in-one solution for WordPress security; it includes a huge inventory of both free-of-charge features and paid options. Affordable Wordfence boasts a multimillion audience worldwide. It has a firewall, malware scanner, secure login services – everything for WordPress. Even the free version features a limitless list of functions, the most significant of which are the following:
● Web application firewall – This firewall detects attacks similar to SQL injection, downloading malicious files, and attempting DDOS;
● Site scan – Wordfence can provide reinforcement to your site by detecting issues in public configuration, posts, comments, and passwords. Premium stuff is also available:
● Protection from spam – the app can review comments, detect and get rid of spam;
● Protection against blacklists – the app can check if your site is spamming other sites. This is a common tactic to blacklist someone’s resource. If Google understands that your platform is being used in this way, the search engine can remove it from search results;
● Limiting rates – the app can limit high traffic; in other words, bots can still enter the
site, but they could not harm it. This is especially useful in the case of bots that
browse sites for indexing in search engines. Wordfence can significantly affect the
operation of sites with high traffic.
#10 – Do Security Monitoring with WordPress Security
WordPress grants you some cool features via its WordPress Security plugin. However, the functionality of the plugin is rather primitive, and you should not rely on it completely. You can get basic functionality through Jetpack Personal / Business, each of which includes the official WordPress security plugin. The latter includes spam filters, technical support, daily site backups, and one-click recovery. However, it is not created in such a way as to monitor and safeguard you against any type of threats. Security WordPress is designed mainly to quickly use backups in case of unexpected incidents. This is very convenient if your site is hacked, or its employee accidentally damages it with some kind of mistake. But now we are talking about dealing with the consequences and not with their prevention.
At first glance, it may seem that preserving security in WordPress is not an easy task, but if you get used to the suggested approaches, everything will become simple and straightforward. Moreover, many things you will need to do just once. And thanks to third-party systems and plugins like Sucuri and Wordfence, part of the routine processes will run automatically for you in the 24/7 mode.
By automating security work with plugins, you will not only increase accuracy but also save you time. There are an infinite number of potential threats to your online resource and the reasons why attackers might attack you. Therefore, the safety of your platform is a very important thing. Having secured the site in a timely manner, you can get traffic much faster. So when it comes to selecting a VPN or installing a plugin, do not to put off indefinitely since it can significantly affect your business!
John Peterson is a WordPress architect with extensive experience in online IA. Having working as an external consultant in leading IT companies, John has an in-depth understanding and solid expertise in building online products featuring iron-clad safety and high-tech features.