Your site’s security is something you’d wanna take seriously. Most bloggers don’t ever think hacking is something that will ever happen to them.
WordPress being one of the most commonly hacked CMS, don’t consider yourself safe.
There are many ways to protect yourself against hackers. There are many WordPress security plugins out there that are useful in preventing WordPress hacking.
You on the edge whether or not your site needs a WordPress security plugin, then this post definitely for you. This article focuses on the popular security plugins that your WordPress blog website needs to have to prevent hacking or spamming activities and improve the security system.
Once hackers find and exploit these vulnerabilities, then WordPress will patch those holes and release an update for its users. However, there’s a time gap between the time when the vulnerability is exploited and the patch is issued.
During this time you’re totally exposed.
You Can Keep Your Site Secure Without a Plugin
You can keep your site relatively secure without the use of a WordPress security plugin.
Taking the following steps will help a lot:
- Keep your WordPress core, themes, and plugin up to date. By running the latest version of all these there will be less bugs, and vulnerabilities. Failing to update is like leaving your back door open.
- Use strong passwords. Your username and password is your first line of defense. Make sure you create an incredibly strong password, and that you change this password on a regular basis. The same thing should be done for every admin account.
- Limit user access. If you do have multiple user accounts you should limit the amount of access that each user has to the backend of your site. This will reduce the chance of any settings accidentally being changed.
- Install an SSL certificate on your site. Using an SSL connection will help to encrypt your user’s connection and secure any data transferred between the browser and server. But, it can also help to encrypt your admin data.
However, there are certain vulnerabilities you won’t be able to overcome without using a security plugin.
Installing WordPress plugins Really comes in handy:
Here are the few things WordPress security plugins can help you do:
1. Secure Your Login Page
Just like I said earlier, having a strong password is the first step to securing your login page.
But, you can elevate its security even further with a WordPress security plugin.
For example, you’ll be able to do things like:
- Add two-factor authentication for all users
- Limit the number of failed login attempts
- Block certain IP address from accessing your login page
Your login page can be vulnerable to brute force attacks and are one of the most common ways hackers will gain access to your site through login attempts. By hardening your login page you’re making one of the most vulnerable aspects of your site impenetrable.
2. Scan for Malware
Are any suspicious messages appearing on your website? Are there site changes live that you never made?
are you the only person with access to your your site? Then you could have malware or other malicious software installed on your site.
WordPress security plugins have built-in malware and security scanners that act similarly to your computer’s anti-virus software.
These scans will look through your entire website to find any malicious code and remove it if they find anything. Usually, these tools will scan your site on a regular basis to ensure you’re fully protected.
3. Secure Your WordPress Database
Your WordPress database is where all of your site’s information is stored and can be vulnerable if you used the standard naming conventions on creating your database.
Unless you’re a technical WordPress user, changing your database prefix yourself can be challenging. But, through using a security plugin you can easily change the prefix of your database, to make it more difficult to locate.
Plus, you can also regularly backup your database. This will ensure that if you ever need to restore your site, you’re completely covered and don’t have to start from scratch.
4. Create a Website Firewall
Some users will want to add a firewall to their WordPress sites. Firewalls have a lot of features for websites, but the main selling point is the ability to block unwanted connections. Plus, they’ll also help to stop any brute force or DDoS attacks from taking down your site.
The easiest way to add a firewall to your site is by using a WordPress security plugin. Otherwise, you’ll need to have full server access, and some technical skills, to implement a firewall.
Top WordPress Security Plugins to Improve Security:
1. Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan
Wordfence is a firewall and WordPress security scanner plugin.
Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress with over 3+ million downloads and 3,257, 5-star ratings.
2. Sucuri WordPress Security plugin
Once installed and activated the plugin, you can start by configuring the settings.
Here are features of the plugin:
- Security Activity Auditing
- File Integrity Monitoring
- Remote Malware Scanning
- Blacklist Monitoring
- Effective Security Hardening
- Post-Hack Security Actions
- Security Notifications
- Website Firewall (premium)
- Away mode ( Disable access to the WordPress Dashboard when on vacation)
3. Jetpack Scan:
Some of the features of Jetpack scan are:
- Automated daily scanning
- Instant email notifications (If plugins finds any issue with your website)
- One click fixes
- Offsite servers (Scanning happens on the Jetpack server, so your server stays load free)
Jetpack plugin that you can use even on a hacked WordPress website to find hacked files, and fix it as well.
4. Jetpack Security
Jetpack comes with many modules which you can enable and disable individually.
As the WordPress team mentioned, they are occasionally adding new features.
- WordPress.com Stats: A great way to view the analytics of your blog.
- Jetpack Comments: You can disable the WordPress default commenting system in favor of the Jetpack commenting system, which offers social media logins.
- Subscriptions: This is one of the best things about the Jetpack plugin. The Subscriptions feature lets your commentator quickly subscribe to your blog’s updates via a checkbox in the comment. For now, there’s little control over newsletter sending in the plugin, but it’s still very useful. In fact, when I comment on other blogs, I use that checkmark to subscribe. It helps encourage readers to come back to your blog.
- VaultPress: VaultPress is one of the premium WordPress backup solutions offered by Automattic. I have used it in the past and was not really happy with their performance, but they have since made some major changes. With Jetpack, you can quickly configure VaultPress and keep a secure backup of your site.
- Mobile Theme: This module will make your blog mobile friendly by offering a responsive design. Here is a guide to activating the Jetpack mobile theme option.
- Auto-Publicize Feature: This module will let you automatically share your latest blog post on various social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many others. Here is a detailed guide on configuring the Jetpack Auto-Publicize feature.
- Widget Visibility: This is an amazing feature which will let you control your widget visibility. This is very useful to improve conversions on your blog.
- Website Uptime Monitor: In the 2.6 version of Jetpack, they have added a new feature which will check your website uptime after every 3 minutes.
- Carousel: This module of Jetpack will let you transform your standard image gallery into a great, full-screen experience
4. iThemes Security
iThemes Security is a well-known WordPress security plugin developed by the folks behind BackupBuddy.
The plugin has an attractive dashboard that showcases all the available tools in the plugin. You can enable or disable the tools you want from the dashboard.
iThemes Security also gives you:
- File change detection
- Two-factor authentication and strong password enforcement
- WordPress brute force protection
- Automatic database backups
- Lock out bad users
- 404 error detection
5. BulletProof Security
BulletProof Security is another popular WordPress security plugin. It doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, but does its work efficiently.
BulletProof Security comes with a number of features such as:
- One-click Setup Wizard
- MScan Malware Scanner
- Login security and monitoring
- Database backup and easy restore
- Security and HTTP error logging
- Email notifications
Pricing: BulletProof Security comes in a free version as well as a premium version that just costs $69 for lifetime use and unlimited install. If you don’t want to spend on premium, the free version is packed with enough features for most small websites.