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7 Ways to Protect Your WordPress Website from Hackers

There is nothing more terrifying for a website owner than the thought of seeing all of your work altered or entirely deleted by a hacker.

Hacking is a concern, even to people who don’t believe their website has any value to hackers. Websites are compromised all of the time, and most security breaches are not to steal data, but to use your server as an email relay for spam.

Data breaches happen all the time – so it’s important to take the time to protect your WordPress website with these basic hacker protection tips.

1. Install security plugins

If your website is built with a content management system (CMS), you can make it better by using security plugins that actively prevent website attempts. All of the major CMS options have security plugins, most of them for free.

Security plugins address security vulnerabilities that are inherent in websites, preventing hacking attempts that could threaten your website.

2. Keep your software up-to-date

Making sure you keep all software updated is important in securing your site. This applies to both the server operating system and any software that might be running on your site such as a CMS or forum. When website security holes are discovered in software, hackers can attempt to abuse them.

Those using a managed hosting solution don’t need to worry about security updates for the operating system because the hosting company should take care of this. People that use third-party software such as a CMS or forum, should ensure they apply all security patches.

3. SQL injection

This happens when the hacker uses a web form field or URL parameter to gain access or to manipulate your website data. When using standard Transact SQL attackers can easily insert rogue code into your query that is used to alter tables, get information, and delete vital data. This can be easily avoided by always making use of parameterized queries, and most web languages have this feature and it is easily implemented.

4. Use a secure username and password

Most people leave their login details as ‘admin’ and ‘password1234’ because they can easily remember them. But hackers can easily guess simple usernames and passwords. This allows them to gain access to your website. Additionally, there is a possible way of putting SQL injections to throw these queries.

Hackers target any website using a method called brute force attacks. They make use of bots to comb through the web looking for sites to attack. With just one command, they can make hundreds of guesses in just one second.

In order to protect your WordPress website, you should always use unique usernames to easily ward off such hacking attempts. Also, use strong passwords such as a passphrase together with numbers and symbols.

5. Beware of error messages

Take note of the amount of information you give away in your error messages. Only provide minimal errors to your users to ensure they don’t leak secrets found on your server, such as database passwords and API keys. Avoid providing full exception details because these can make complex attacks such as SQL injection easier. Keep detailed errors in your server logs, and show users only the information they require.

6. Make use of HTTPS

As a website visitor, you may already know to always look for the green lock image and https in your browser bar when giving out sensitive information online. That green bar called HTTPS is shorthand for hacker security: it indicates that it’s safe to provide financial information on that particular page.

HTTPS is used to give security over the internet. It guarantees that users are talking to the server they expect and that nobody else can intercept or change the content they’re viewing in transit.

7. Take note of file uploads

Permitting users to upload any sort of files to your website is a huge security risk. Any file they upload could potentially carry a script that opens your website up when executed.

If file uploading is permitted you must treat all files with great suspicion, and file extension or mime type is not a reliable method of identification because they can be faked easily. Most formats of pictures have room for a comments section that could contact risky PHP code.

The best way to prevent this is to restrict users from uploading any file. By default, web servers will not try to execute files that contain image extensions, but you cannot completely depend on checking the extension.

In Conclusion

Securing your website and learning how to protect it against hackers is a major part of keeping it healthy and safe. Don’t procrastinate on implementing these vital steps.

Taking security measures on your site is an absolute necessity to keep hackers out. But security is not something you can set and forget. These measures have to be reviewed or re-implemented regularly.

It is recommended by HIPAA to install a simple yet powerful security tool on your website. This tool will constantly monitor your website and defend it against malicious traffic. The HIPAA guides website owners on ways to effectively protect their websites from hackers. Check out the HIPPA Compliance guide here

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