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6 Ways to Avoid Having Your WordPress Site Hacked

The first step to avoid being hacked is ensuring the security of your WordPress website or blog. WordPress is the most used open source CMS in the world. It has so many advantages due to its flexibility, and you can do almost anything with it. But it also has one disadvantage: it can be attacked by hackers somewhat easily (if you do not maintain it properly), and other vulnerabilities can compromise the performance of your WordPress website.

Many users try to protect their WordPress sites at all costs, and there are plugins designed to achieve that. To avoid attacks by hackers, webmasters have always thought of adding an extra layer of protection. The following security plugins can help with this task. This post is focused on six of the best plugins that can give more security to your WordPress website. We will take a look at each of these plugins as well as their features

1. Wordfence

WordFence WordPress security plugin

Wordfence is my first choice when it comes to security plugins. Both free and premium versions do a fantastic job of detecting and protecting your site from virtually every threat. Wordfence constantly updates its databases to try to detect all possible attacks.

Wordfence starts by checking if your site is already infected with a deep server scan, checking the source code against the WordPress repository, themes and plugins. Then Wordfence secures your site and makes it load 50 times faster.

Some of the best features in Wordfence include their ability to detect when files have been changed or created, giving you the option to restore them to their original version or removing them with one click. Wordfence also comes with a firewall, along with many other outstanding features.

2. VaultPress

VaultPressWordPress security plugin

VaultPress is an all-in-one plugin for security and backup. You can get a free copy from the WordPress directory, or upgrade to the paid version. It was created by Automatic, the same people behind WordPress.com, so you can be sure that your website is in good hands to install and activate this plugin.

Regular backups help boost protection by giving you a restore point that can be easily accessed. They also protect you with many safety features built into this plugin.

The Premium version includes features such as daily scanning of suspicious code, viruses, malware, Trojans, and more. It is also easy to clean your site if you have been hacked. If you are looking for a way to safeguard your WordPress website, this is a plugin you should give serious consideration.

3. iThemes Security

iThemes WordPress security plugin

iThemes Security (formerly known as Better WP Security) is a great plugin that protects your site. It keeps up with known hackers and their past attacks, so this plugin can fix any known exploits, backdoors, and other similar vulnerabilities as they arise.

The free version is ideal for protecting your site and cleaning, but if you want to know when files change and have the ability to perform more powerful explorations, you will need to upgrade to the paid version.

The good news is that iThemes Security is a plugin that helps with backup. So, if you learn that your site has been hacked, you can quickly restore your site to a clean version.

4. Sucuri Security

sucuri WordPress security plugin

Sucuri Security is a great free plugin that doesn’t just strengthen the security of your site, but can also scan for malware and similar threats. It checks to see if your site has been blocked, and even includes actions to clean your site if it has been hacked.

You can also have piece of mind knowing that this plugin notifies you if anything looks suspicious. There is also a firewall available if you upgrade, but the free version works just as well as the premium.

5. Acunetix WP Security

This plugin increases the security of your site but does not help you if you have already been hacked. Still, it is a great compliment to certain security measures that may not be included in other plugins.

For example, Acunetix WP Security can hide your version of WordPress, secure the file permissions, change your prefix database, and disable the front end report errors, among a bunch of other features. It also functions as a backup plugin, so you can easily recover if your site has been hacked; although, it is not advanced enough to fix your site after a hack. It is a great plugin to add to your security arsenal once your site returns to normal.

6. All In One WP Security & Firewall

All In One WP Security & Firewall WordPress security plugin

This plugin includes lots of advanced safety features, including an intuitive defense system, options and extensive rules, firewall protection, enhanced security, user registration and login, blacklisting of IP addresses and applications’ users, protection against spam comments, and a couple of other useful tools. All functions are divided into three groups according to the level of invasion site functionality: basic, intermediate and advanced.

Installing the above plugins does not mean you will be able to detect all malicious code, but it is a big step towards securing your WordPress website against any malicious code in the plugins you want to use. The presence of these plugins does not mean your website cannot be hacked, but is a good measure to have this in place to make it difficult for hackers to gain access to your website.

The main security vulnerabilities of WordPress include poor server security issues, poor security plug-in, problems with file permissions, lack of security of databases, FTP vulnerabilities and specific components of WP (such as wp-admin, wp-config and so on). A single vulnerability can lead to thousands of attacks.

In addition to the aforementioned WordPress plugins, it is equally advisable to put up some other measures to ensure the security of your website. These will help you in improving the security of your blog.

Ensure that your WordPress installation is up to date. Once a new WordPress version is available, update it as soon as possible to avoid opening up your websites to vulnerabilities. Often, most of the websites prone to hacking are those using an older version of WordPress. It is crystal clear that older versions of WordPress always have a few known security issues. Hence, this is the reason why an update is important. You are not safe if your website is still running on older version of WordPress.

Always keep plugins and themes added in your blog updates to the latest version. New versions always come with new features and security fixes. So, updating plugins and themes is necessary. Most of the time, these third party plugins and themes are the reason for the vulnerability in WordPress websites. Attackers can exploit these plugins to gain access to your website or inject a malicious script into your website.

All themes and plugins that you want to use on your WordPress websites should only be downloaded from trusted sources. Nulled themes, as well as themes from untrusted sources, may have malware injected into the code. Avoid putting your WordPress website in unnecessary dangers.

Use another username other than ‘admin’ that most WordPress users always use. The reason for this is not far-fetched; it is the default and common username. It will be easier for the hacker to guess your username, making it that much easier to hack you. You can make you site more secured by using a username that is difficult to guess. Even if your website would be hacked, you should at least give the tracker a very tough time rather than delivering it to them on a silver platter.

Another thing you should pay attention to is using a strong password for your WordPress website. Do not subject your website to unnecessary risk. You can make use of a long password with a combination of capital letters, small case letters, numbers and special characters. Making use of these will result in a strong password which is difficult to guess.

The security of WordPress websites depends on a lot of factors. Using plugins does not usually guarantee you won’t be hacked, but it does reduce that chance and makes it easy to restore your WordPress website. Hence, you should not leave anything to chance; you should take every protective measure possible.

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Author: Marcel Sobieski

I elaborate and manage IT products, startups, and groups. Drafting the product and business development, planning and executing. I’m able to simplify complex issues to benefit from everyone's contribution.