BEST WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
BEST WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN

Using WordPress can be a very tedious task if it comes to traditional digital marketing. But it is the way of performing it on the most brilliant professional level. Though the responsibilities that are performed in WordPress isn’t ordinary but also the results that come in the form of huge likes and views, also feel extraordinary.  

There are many things that you need to take care of when creating sites in WordPress. The site making, addition of plugins and themes and the site’s security, all the terms are important. Especially the third one, the security of the site is literally important. As you can see what a high level graph of the cyber crimes is there.

So what is the instant remedy for this thing? I can bet you are thinking about this question right now. Well, for this you can opt for the best WordPress security plugins. And here I will tell you about one such plugin, about BlogVault.

By learning the features of this tool, you can automatically realize that why I had chosen to write about this plugin.  Now let’s take a look at the features of this plugin through the upcoming points –

Well, jumping straight to the feature won’t be fine, so first let’s know that what is BlogVault tool. So it is one of the leading data security and backup plugin for WordPress.

  • Data Backup

The best part of the tool is the feature of data backup itself. The tool provides secure backups that assure you to have a 100% protection. Your data isn’t going to be touched by any outsource malware with BlogVault protection. This tool stores the backup in multiple locations, so your data will be completely safe and secure of any kind of threats.

BlogVault’s backup approach is Incremental, that means the backup of your whole data is taken once, and then the changed data backup is taken at regular time intervals. So the storage space is required lesser, and your work is also done as well.

After data backup comes the data security, it is the steps for the protection of data against all kinds of malware and threats including the hacking and malfunction of the site. BlogVault holds great features for malware check, like the automatic scanning for malware, automatic restoration like terms. They really help you to make your wordpress data safe. In addition to it, you can perform regular data checkups and malware detection processes.

BlogVault comes with ‘One click malware’ removal feature, which will eliminate all the malware that may be causing your site to be malfunctioning. You will away from the problems regarding data hacking, incompatible plugins and themes, human errors and hosting issues, server crashes,storage issues and all the other accidents causing problem in your site.

  •  Data Management –          

So BlogVault features ace data management options. Whatever the updates you want to perform in your site, regarding the plugins, themes, or even content, you can do it with the use of this tool. Also it allows you to manage the user roles as well. You can easily take the help of this tool to perform all kinds of manipulation, data edition and addition as well.

The most illuminating feature you will get by using it is, the Staging and migration are one of the most important processes that needs to be there for a complete site management. There are so many issues regarding the hostage of the site, that most of the times the web host are unable to complete the full migration process.

Also the testing of the site before making it LIVE is necessary. As you maybe not sure whether your plugins and themes will work correctly or not. So staging will help you to manipulate all the data and edit it as per your requirements.

Plus Note –           

Here I am adding a plus note to throw light on some of the best benefits you are going to have by the use of BlogVault –

WordPress Security Plugin
WordPress Security Plugin
  • Time Savvy

The very first benefit you will get is the saving of the time. By using this tool, you just need to click on the button you want to, and your work will be completed soon. The best part is that you need not to consume lots of time by searching about the things here and there. Everything you can do with the help of certain buttons in an easy manner.

  • Backup Options –

The tool provides many different backup options for your site to be protected completely. You can even check the storage of your site with one click site restoration option provided by the tool.

  • Data Accessibility

It’s very simple to access your data anywhere from the dashboard, as the data will be present in an independent form, so you can access it anytime from the dashboard itself. You won’t have to search for it everywhere, you just can call for it, and the data will be secured.

  • Data lock

All the data can be kept in the secure encrypted form, so that no one besides you could see your data stuff. In this way you’ll be making your data safe from the hands of the hackers. It’s one of the best ways to protect your data.

So in this way BlogVault can give you these different options of a completed data maintenance, manipulation and security. Basically BlogVault provides Incremental backup, On demand backup and the backup validation like options for your backup to be done in a faster and easy mode.

So now it’s all up to you to decide whether BlogVault will help you to get the best solution regarding the sorting out of the site and its data. You may also look for the other competitive plugins if you wish.

That’s all from my side in this Blog, I hope you have liked it, thanks for reading this. Also do share it with your friends as well.

Best-WP-Security-Plugins

Well with the end of 2017, here I would like to give a treat to all the WordPress users, as I am a digital marketing associate myself and I know how important WordPress is for the overall online marketing and promotions.  In addition to it, I am also concerned regarding the protection of my sites, therefore WordPress security is a must.

 

So what are the ways to protect your WordPress website to remain protected from the outside threats? You can take help from the best WP Security plugin to solve the issues. But first, let’s know what kind of issues can occur on your WordPress website.

 

  • Malware and Hacking –   

 

The malware and hacking are the most famous terms in case of threats of any WordPress site. There are many different types of malware that can ruin your site and thus eliminate them is important. Similarly, the term hacking is also the one that’s really needed to be taken care of.

 

 

  • Web hosting Issues –

 

 

Especially while Migration, the different web hosts can have different policies. So, selecting a good host is important. Web hosts are the one who provides you with storage space and management tools, that’s why there is the need for good hosts. And if not, your site can face difficulties while migrations.        

 

  • Incompatible plugins and themes –   

 

The plugins and themes need to be updated, well maintained and managed. Since they all together make up the website, and if there will be any problem with them you can’t get the desired results.

 

  • Errors and Sudden disasters –                

 

So there are certain errors and sudden disasters as well that can ruin your site anytime. Like sudden malware attacks or the human errors and the server errors etc. They all can give your site as many problems, which can cause problems like site downtime and data loss.

 

So what’s the remedy for all these? Well, the answer will be the features of the best WP security plugin.

best-wp-security-plugin

Here I will describe them all for you, take a look at the features here –

 

  • Daily Automatic Scans –      

 

The most important thing to have in any security plugin is the facility of daily automatic scans. They help to detect the presence of any kind of malware on your site. With the help of daily automatic scans you can easily check the updates in your site and with the regular data scanning, you can detect malware(virus, trojans etc.) if they are present in your site.

 

  • Malware removal –      

 

If there is a way for detecting malware, then there must also be a way for eliminating malware as well. This feature involves the tracking of malware and then eliminating it. The best security plugin is the one that could provide ‘One click malware removal’ technique. If you are able to eliminate all the malware with a single/minimum number of clicks, then that particular plugin will be worth using.

 

  • Harden Site security –

 

Like you, I also believe in ‘Precaution is better than cure’ policy. If you know what might cause threats to your website then you can make necessary steps to avoid it.

Site security can be hardened with the data encryption process. The best plugins have the data encryption feature, which saves the data in an encrypted file whose backup has been taken. In this way, no data threat can occur as it is protected with the help of strong usernames and passwords. All things will be under your control.    

 

So the point is to make it really hard(nearly impossible) for any hacker or malware to enter your site. This can be possible with the site’s security only. Therefore you must choose the best one that could provide you with the hardest site security.

 

  • Updates Tracking and Performing

 

Okay so who will be tracking the updates that are going to your website. There are some plugins which provide you with this feature with which you can check the plugins, themes and WordPress core when an update is available. Also, you will be able to perform the updates as well. You can easily update the themes, plugins and even the WordPress core with a single click.

 

Managing the user roles is also an important thing in terms of website management. With the help of the best plugins, you can see the user roles easily, and also you can regulate your site efficiently.

 

Talking about the benefits of using the WP security plugins, well there are many. The best ones give you the complete security of your website. Having a complete website security is what protects your site from being hacked. And so your security will be in your hands only.

 

Like this, there will be no problem of organised working. With the help of the best security plugins, you can do whatever you want for your WordPress security. And not only the security but the plugins also provide the overall manipulation facilities for the website.

 

Choosing the right plugin totally depends on you. The features which I have described should be included in a plugin that claims to be the best one. However, you should also keep an eye on the price tag and the trial days as well. Though some of the plugins do not provide the trial, at least you should know the features they provide before installing them.

 

So here was my Blog telling you about the different features of the best plugin for WordPress security. Now it’s your turn to choose the right one for your WordPress site. Some of the examples which involve the above-mentioned features are, BackupBuddy, BlogVault, Wordfence, Bulletproof security and Sucuri security.

 

Thanks for reading my article, hope you have liked it.                                                                                                      

WordPress Security Action
WordPress Security Action

Working with WordPress makes a sense of good professionalism, but at the same time it also has lots of responsibilities to take care of. If not, there can be problems regarding site and data management. So, now you know what I am trying to say right!

In addition to it, WordPress security is an in-trend term now. It is associated with the overall protection of the WordPress site you are creating, and thus the safety of the data inherited in it. So there arises the use of something that could make your data completely safe, but safe from what? Here are some of the options –

  • Data hacking – The most prominent danger for your website, hacking of data is related to the deletion, change, locking or any unauthorized manipulation done in your site’s data, either in the content or in the programming, thereby making it unworthy for you to use and thus getting the information illegally.
  • Incompatible plugins/themes – WordPress is all about the themes and plugins. The best way you will be able to use it, is the best way you can create your site. But any problem in the plugins can cause problem in your site as well. Like there can be site downtime, site crash or any other thing like that. Also your site’s functionality will be disturbed as well. So the use of highly compatible plugins is as must.
  • Human errors/Hosting issues – These are the most commonly occurring problems in any wordpress website. The hosting issues can occur anytime in a website. Especially when you are migrating your site or performing staging-like operations in it. There could sufficient source from which you can performing these complex like actions with it.
  • Server crashes/Storage issues – Whatever the reason is, the server crashes are always painful. So you must opt for better choices like backup dat or site clone for avoiding this. Similarly there can be storage issues, especially while creating big sites, as they have lots of data in it.  So either your WordPress must have lots of data space, or you should have a seperate proper arrangement for it.  
  • Accidents/Natural disasters – Here I am not talking about the natural accidents, but the once related to the site maintenance. Also there can be problems like battery shortage, sudden battery down, light off, or any other type. There must be prevention from any such type of problems.

What can be a helpful Answer to this?

A really helpful answer is the use of Data Backup plugins. Thay can provide all the solutions for the problems I have described above. Actually it can be a powerful solution for providing a complete wordpress security for your site. You are thus advised to use the best plugins for wordpress.

In addition to site security of WordPress,the plugin tool should be able to perform these actions preferably –

Improve your WordPress security
Improve your WordPress security

For eliminating any problem, first you gotta know the problem. The plugin must have daily automatic scanning feature. Automatic scanning will let you to regularly check for the site’s functions whether they are working properly or not. And also it checks for any problem that might occur in the site and damage it anyway.

The daily scanning can have many forms, like the quick scan, custom scan and the full scan types are common. Full scan usually is more helpful than the custom scan and the quick scan types, as it checks for all the areas of the site and its functions. So you can opt for this scan on regular basis.

Though this is to note that the scan time duration totally depends on the amount of data present in the site. So larger will the site, more will the scanning time duration.

  • Malware Removal

So with the daily scanning you can easily find out any kind of malware that may be existing in your site. And once you will catch it, the following step will be the elimination of them. Search for the plugins that could provide you the best options for eliminating malware from your site. The best ones will be those with one-click malware removal technique.

There can be options like ‘Auto cleaning’, that could itself perform the actions to remove the malicious codes, virus or trojans that can harm your website and do damages like data loss, and dat lock etc.

Your plugin must also be able to give you alerts regarding the hacked files or notifications for it. BackupBuddy, BlogVault, Updraftplus are some of the best plugins that can provide you the malware removal options.

  • Awesome Site Security

When you work in WordPress, you site is everything that need to protect. So the plugin need to have proper site security options for you. As they allow to harden the security walls for any hacker to get your confidential information details. The plugin must be able to detect the most complex hacks as well, and thus have awesome site security.

The plugins can clean your site of malware, clean the hacked files and notify you about the whole process as well. You must also be able to scan the site wherever you want, and the plugins must also have other important site security features as well.

Along with the site security, the navigation ability of the site must be good as well. The dashboard should be completely functional, also the backup features must be vibrant. So that you can save your data and use it anytime. The best part of this is, that you can access your data anytime from the plugins directly. Your site will be completely secure and safe.

So here I described about the easiest way to perform a complete WordPress security action for your website. Now it’s your choice to know the best plugins that could provide you all these features and help your site to give a worthy protection, the one that your creation deserves.

I hope you have liked my Blog, please share it with your friends as well.      

   

 

Storing WordPress backups on your PC can quickly become laborious and the risks outweigh the convenience or economic benefits. Find out why.

Locally storing your WordPress backups means storing them on your PC or desktop. The other option is maybe to store them in an external storage device like a USB drive or or an external HDD/SSD.

 

Saving backups of your WordPress site to your computer seems convenient, but how reliable is it?
Saving backups of your WordPress site to your computer seems convenient, but how reliable is it?

 

In this article let us look at how you can do it, why you may be looking at this option and also answer the question which matters the most– should you do it?

How To Make WordPress Backups Locally

There are 3 ways through which you can download backups to your computer:

  • Manual WordPress Backup Download
  • WordPress Backup Download via cPanel
  • Plugins

 

Manual WordPress Backup Downloads

You can download WordPress files by using an FTP client— eg: FileZilla, CyberDuck. Making a full backup includes backing up files as well as your WordPress site database. To make WordPress database backups you can use phpMyAdmin.

However, once you download your backup files, labeling and organizing them is important. Otherwise it may be impossible to find the desired version when you want to make a restore.

cPanel

Usually web hosts provide a cPanel account to users. Using the tools in cPanel– Create Backup or Backup Wizard, you can download backups. Again these backups are usually .zip files with filenames containing date names. However, that is not enough information when you make regular backups. You may have to spend more time organizing your backups with descriptions to ensure restores are easy.

Plugins

Most WordPress backup plugins; at least all the popular ones, offer the option to download WordPress backups to your computer. However, regardless of the WordPress backup plugin you use, downloadable backup files; especially of the full site, are available in .zip format when you download a full WordPress site backup. On top of that not all plugins give you the option to download individual files. This means we are back to our recurring theme of how downloading and storing backups also means maintaining them.

Storing WordPress Backups Locally

There are some key concerns when thinking of destinations for WordPress backups.

  • Storage space
  • Security
  • Organization
  • Restoration Issues
  • Ease of use

An ideal WordPress backup solution addresses all of these concerns.

Pros and Cons of Storing WordPress Backups Locally

Storage Space

Backups must be made regularly; daily if possible. If you are making regular backups then storage space will become a concern for you. Your PC’s internal HDD will eventually run out. You can solve the problem by investing in an external HDD/SSD, or USB drives dedicated for storing your backups; especially if you have large sites and you make regular backups. If you use USB drives for example you may be forced to make backups once in awhile and and overwrite previous copies. This is not a good solution.

Security of WordPress Backups

Making a backup is a security measure. Which means your backups must be secure. However, storing them on your PC or on a storage device is not the best idea when considering the security of backups.

Malware

Backups stored on a PC may be infected with malware from a few sources. They may either already be on your computer, or your browser may have been infected by a malware from an unsafe site, or your backup files may be corrupted by malware in external storage devices like USB drives or HDD/SSD.

Storage Location

Apart from malware issues, there is the concern of where your backups are stored. Even if you have a dedicated external storage device– HDD/SSD, it may not be enough as they are not reliable. They do have failure rates, and may crash or be infected with malware as they have to connect to your computer at some point. HDDs/SSDs may also stop working due to heat or natural wear and tear. Along with all of these points, if you choose to store backups locally on a hard drive, then your backups are in a single location, this raises the risk of losing them significantly. As a result, they may not serve as the most secure environment for storing your backups.

Organization

Downloaded backups have to be organized if they have to be useful when you have to restore your WordPress site. Consider that your site is down and you have to restore it. If you are left going through all your backup versions one by one trying to make the right decision, then you might spend a lot of time and effort which you could have invested in developing your business ideas.

Restoration Issues

Manual downloads or locally stored backups usually mean manual restores too. This may suit some developers or those who have spent time working on WordPress but for the majority who are business owners, or bloggers who are utilizing the CMS, this may not be a viable option.

Restorations usually have to be done via your cPanel account or via an FTP Client and phpMyAdmin. There are often limits to the size of files that can be uploaded via cPanel or PHPMyAdmin. These restrictions can cause restores to fail. Again, the lack of backup descriptions, and easy options to make restores, together make extra demands of your time and energy. Expending this extra effort may be unnecessary if you utilize a complete WordPress backup service.

Ease of Use

First of all since this is a manual process. If you are following best practices than you have to make backups daily. This can get tiring, and worse, you may forget to make backups at all.

After taking all of the above points into consideration, the answer to this one seems to be clear. Storing WordPress backups locally doesn’t seem to be a great idea. However, there may be a couple of benefits. It is an economical option, and you can be sure that backups are done as making manual backups or downloading them from plugins allows you to keep track  of your backups.

However, even in these cases, you may end up spending on storage devices, or professional help when you need to restore.  Along with those issues, if you account for the time spent doing the work— making, downloading, organizing, and maintaining backups; and the time spent worrying about their safety, then the economical benefits and surety about backups being done seem to be nullified.

Instead choose a professional WordPress backup service like BlogVault, for worry free backups so you can do what you do best.  A premium WordPress backup service  would allow you to easily track backups, makes one-click WordPress restores, and even one-click WordPress migrations; leaving you worry free.

 

WordPress is a popular target for hackers because every website has something to offer them, and the returns on attacks are high.

 

Hackers gain something from every WordPress site

 

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, and a popular target for hackers too. The scale of the problem may make it seem like the hacks occur randomly and for random reasons. In reality, every website has something to offer hackers. The exact nature of the payoff also depends on the intentions of the hackers.

 

Hackers can be grouped into three categories, depending on the purpose behind their attacks:

White-hat hackers usually test a website or a computer system for vulnerabilities. They do not have malicious intent, and disclose vulnerabilities responsibly.

In the WordPress community, white hat hackers are either a part of a web security team, or are developers within the community who contribute by discovering vulnerabilities and helping protect the community against such risks.

Hacktivists, (who are ‘activists’ acting by means of hacking) target websites mostly to bring awareness to socio-political issues, but the means they pursue for these ends are questionable. This is why it’s difficult to categorise what they do. Most of the time, hacktivists deface websites, or publish sensitive information.
Examples for hacktivist defacing websites range from  Anonymous’ hack of the Phillipine Comelec that asks questions, to the defacement of the ISIS website with ads for performance-enhancing drugs. Hacktivists could also publish sensitive information. Examples of such attacks include the  Panama Papers leak, and the hack of the  CIA  and FBI websites that released officers’ personal information and put them in danger.

Since the classification of what hacktivists have to gain, and the means they use to achieve their ends can fall in gray areas, we’re going to exclude hacktivism from this article.

Black-hat hackers, who hack websites indiscriminately, purely because of more ‘materialistic’ gains. They exploit vulnerabilities to their own ends. Any website can be targeted by these hackers, since they are not looking to test a specific system for vulnerabilities, nor do they want to further a socio-political agenda.

 

What Black-hat hackers can gain from hacking websites

Black-hat hackers could gain one of three things from hacking websites:

  • Reputation
  • Access to resources
  • Information

 

Reputation

In terms of technical know-how, and the scale of the reputation they seek, black-hat hackers could be ‘script kiddies’, or ‘experienced hackers’.

‘Script kiddies’ depend on tools to perform hacks. While the scale of the havoc they wreak can vary in degree, they usually hack websites to be accepted, or to gain reputation among their peers. They usually don’t have criminal intent. However, the more they learn, the more they could move towards higher levels of experience and reputation.

Garnering reputation among other black-hat hackers depends not only on the technical know-how they have, but also on the damage they have the ability to wreak independently. This is when/why they move away from readily-available tools, and craft malicious code of their own that can bypass usual security measures on websites.

‘Experienced’ hackers look to earn a more ‘professional’ kind of reputation. You might know that there are black markets for the sale of illegal goods, but there are similar establishments for cybercrime too. One such black market/forum, was Darkode. Hackers have profiles on these websites and are ranked. These hackers look to earn higher ranks so that their ‘customers’ will pay more for their services, and their work will be recognized more.

How high a hacker’s rank is, on cybercrime forums, depends on:

  • The number of sites they’ve hacked.
  • How proficient they’ve been (the difficulty of the hack).
  • The reputation of the sites they’ve hacked.
  • How satisfied their customers are with their ‘service’.

In short, even if  your website has great security, it’s better for them: they get a better ranking if they succeed in hacking your site.

For example, if your site had tight security, and a hacker successfully retrieve contact information of all your customers, they only garner reputation and have no use for the information afterward. They could go ahead and publish it on the cybercrime forum so other hackers could use the information to send spam mail to your users, send them downloadable malicious code, or send them mails crafted for phishing.

 

Access to resources

The resources on your WordPress site include your site’s database, the server it’s hosted on, as well as the users and visitors to your site. Black hat hackers hack your website in order to gain access to these resources. Attackers have a number of ways that they could exploit your site’s resources:

  • They could plant malicious code on your site to do anything they need to do, without the action getting traced back to them. An example of this would be that of hackers planting malicious code on your server to send their spam mail to your site’s visitors. This would not only get your server blacklisted by mail servers, but also could lead to your WordPress site getting blacklisted by search engines (since it has malware).
  • They could use your site to perform Black Hat SEO practices that allow them to hijack your site’s traffic and redirect it to their own websites, or their customers’ websites. A common type of attack on WordPress sites that uses this technique is the WordPress Pharma hack.)
  • They might use malicious code on your site to trick the visitors of your site into downloading malicious software to their computers.
  • Cross-site scripting attacks  could be used to steal cookies from your site’s visitors and use their credentials.
  • They could use your server as a bot in a DDoS attack.
  • They could manipulate your site to trick users into entering sensitive information that could be used for phishing.
  • They could use ‘ransomware’, which is malicious software that doesn’t allow you access to your resources, your website, or important files on your website unless you pay up. Ransomware keeps popping up in tech news because of technology’s progression into the Internet of things (smart home appliances that can be connected to the internet). In the context of websites, ransomware could be used to either lock you out of your site, or encrypt all the data on your website until you meet the hacker’s demands. If you don’t give in to the hacker’s demands, they could keep all the data from your WordPress site to themselves until you do, or worse, delete it all. The only sensible way to protect yourself from such an attack, is to have a reliable WordPress backup solution that has updated backups of your site.

 

Information

As any website owner knows, information is probably the most important thing on a website. From your site’s data to your visitor’s data, all of the information on your website is unique to you, and is hence valuable.

Hackers could hack your site to retrieve information that belongs to your site’s visitors, such as their personal information(which includes contact information, photos, medical records and other information about their identity), or financial information.

Hackers could use this information in the following ways:

  • They could use it for their own purposes (such as to send spam mail). Sending spam mail from your website’s server could get it blacklisted by search engines, and other mail servers.
  • They could publish sensitive information from your site.
  • They could sell it to others looking for this kind of information.
  • They could also retrieve confidential information from your WordPress site (such as information about your investors), and ask you to pay a ransom to make sure it isn’t published, or sold.

 

Publishing sensitive information

Sensitive information on your website doesn’t have to just be related to the financial information … it could be anything that is specific to just your site, such as the personal information of your site’s users (like their email addresses), that could be used in line with malicious intent (to fulfill a job request, to damage the reputation of the company whose information they publish, to help other hackers send spam).

For example, a hacker could publish your users’ email addresses, to ruin your establishment’s reputation and the trust your customers have in you.

 

Selling sensitive information online

This is another dangerous way hackers target the information on your site.

While some hackers sell personal information of celebrities online (like in the case of Pippa Middleton’s iCloud photos that the hacker attempted to sell), in the past few years, a number of medical websites have been targeted.

This is because social security numbers, medical and healthcare information could prove to be more valuable in terms of identity theft than even financial credentials.

Hackers who sell financial information are in a race against time; they only get the best price for their hard work as long as the credentials are recent, and valid. If the people whose information was stolen, blocked their cards or switched banks, they don’t get paid. However, with identity-theft, the validity of the crime is much longer; and the payoffs for the buyer is considerably higher.

The parties that buy this information could use it to:

  • Create online loan applications
  • Create applications online for credit cards
  • Apply for prescription drugs
  • Create fake IDs

This poses a serious risk for any website, but especially for those that store any sort of user-information.

 

With reasons/aims like these, it’s no wonder that hackers continue to do what they do. They know that there is no such thing as a secure website, so any website can be hacked, and used to any end. The returns for them on hacking websites is high. This is why hackers who seek to obtain information or access to resources on your site make sure to keep their tracks hidden. They do this in order to utilise your site for as long as they can, and make sure to leave backdoors in inconspicuous file so that they can always gain access back to your site.

This is why the best way to stay safe is to have a solid disaster recovery plan in place. The prime element in such a plan, would definitely be a WordPress backup solution like BlogVault that is truly reliable, and an intelligent malware scanner+cleaner, like MalCare, that leaves no malicious code behind.

 

WordPress has become the most preferred content publishing platform online, and its popularity is continuously growing. For hackers, this means a bigger target with greater payoffs. Are you, as a WordPress site owner committing basic security mistakes that make it easier for them?

 

Common mistakes Website owners make

 

WordPress is the most popular platform to build websites on, and its popularity has only been growing. The CMS has something to offer anyone who has ever wanted to own a website. The WordPress community is supportive, and consists of developers who can build anything in code as well as code-averse site-owners who are given a world of add-ons to make their sites extensible, and more functional.

 

However, maintaining a WordPress site comes with a number of caveats, which are difficult to navigate. The case is worse for new site-owners, since committing a small mistake could knock their site offline, or make it vulnerable to hackers’ attacks.

 

Knowing the common mistakes made, and avoiding them, is key to keeping your WordPress site safer. This is why we’ve come up with a list of the basic security mistakes that WordPress site owners and users make. Are you making any of these mistakes currently?

 

1. Not updating WordPress and its add-ons

Now while the rest of our list talks about mistakes to definitely avoid committing, this issue is a little more complicated. This is why we’ve chosen to get this out of the way right in the beginning.

Everybody talks about keeping WordPress Core and add-ons (themes and plugins) up-to-date, for the sake of security, as well as to add new features to the site. However, you as a WordPress site owner, have one good reason for not doing so– incompatibility.

Your WordPress site could break because of:

Updating WordPress Core

There are two kinds of updates on WordPress Core that keep it up-to-date with the best features, and security measures on the web.

  • Major updates (like 4.5 or 4.6): These add new features and functionality to WordPress.
  • Minor releases like Release 4.5.1 and 4.5.2: These are dedicated to security patches, and bug fixes.

There are a couple of catches with these releases. For one, it can be cumbersome to keep up to date with all of them. Version 4.5, for example, was released on April 12, while 4.5.1 was released 14 days later, and 4.5.2 was released about 10 days after 4.5.1. Secondly, while WordPress Core upgrades are designed to be compatible with all the previous versions; (even the first one), it doesn’t always work out that way. So when WordPress site owners update their WordPress core, their site crashes.

Updating WordPress add-ons (plugins, themes, and widgets)

There a number of problems you could run into while updating WordPress add-ons. Since the developers could be pressed for time or not have the expertise, they can’t make sure that their updates are compatible with every single version of WordPress. As a result, they could be incompatible with previous updates of WordPress Core. Moreover, even add-ons that are coded to be backward compatible might not be developed with other add-ons in mind. Lastly, add-ons’ updates contain significant security patches and bug fixes, which change the way they work and hence cause conflicts. One example of this was the security patch for RevSlider (a premium carousel plugin), that changed the way the plugin worked.

As a result, updating even just one plugins could cause your site to break. If compatibility issues between WordPress Core and an add-on are a concern, the safest route to take, would be to ask the plugin developer to release an update for the plugin, while also looking for alternatives that work with your other add-ons.

The key to keeping your WordPress site secure, is to update every part of your WordPress site. The consequences to your site, its data, and your site’s visitors are all too great to not update.

 

2. Buying/using bad add-ons

As mentioned, WordPress add-ons don’t necessarily have the stringent code quality or security measures in place that WordPress Core does.This is why it’s important for WordPress users and site owners to pay attention to pick a good theme/plugin. Every good add-on has one basic characteristic– it has has good code. But even if you don’t know how to judge the code of a theme/plugin, there are a few characteristics which you spot:

  1. They’re available via a reputed source: This means they’re on the WordPress.org repository, or with well-known theme/plugin seller, like Themeforest, Elegant themes, etc. Just as with material goods, buyers should be wary of a premium theme being available on a questionable website at a huge discount.
  2. They have good reviews and ratings from genuine, long-time users.
  3. They’ve stood the test of time: The longer a theme or plugin has been available, the more bug fixes and security updates they should have.
  4. They get updated often and have been recently updated (in the past 2 months) from the developer’s side

Installing a bad theme/plugin could have a number of consequences for your site, whether in a way that affects function (such as slowing down your site), or in a malicious way, such as sending spam mail on your site’s behalf. Apart from all this, having an add-on with malicious code on your site causes search engines to mark your site as malicious, and hence blacklisted.

 

3. Using bad login practices

There are a number of simple login mistakes that WordPress site owners make, from sticking with easy to guess credentials, to stay logged in on their sites. This makes it easier for hackers, who usually use bots (just like search engine crawler bots), to look for websites with vulnerabilities.

Sticking with the default username (admin) reduces the time bots need to crack your login credentials, by 50%. Combining that with the use of a weak password only makes attacks on the login page (like a Brute Force attack, or a Dictionary attack) that much easier. Once the bots crack your login credentials, the hacker can log in as you, and legitimately perform admin-level functions. This is why it’s important to enforce good login practices, and secure your WordPress login page. A couple of other simple ways (and there are more ways) to protect your login page are renaming the administrator account to reflect a different username. WordPress site owners have to look out for legitimate ways to harden their login page though– some widely recommended practices such as  moving your login page to a custom URL, are unnecessary, and can ruin your site’s user experience.

 

4. Making every contributor to the site an ‘administrator’

WordPress sites have different system users with different levels of access, in order to give the site owner the power to assign responsibilities to different users. This also serves as a way to give those with fewer responsibilities, the access to only specific areas they need access to. This principle (known as the Principle of Least Privilege), is one of the basic elements of security on any system.

WordPress has five different user roles:

  1. Super admin or Admin: Has full control over add-ons, content, files, and users on the site. (Super admin is someone who has Admin access over multiple sites, and controls the network administration for those sites too).
  2. Editor: Has full control over content and files, can publish anyone’s content, and is allowed to add script tags for formatting.
  3. Author: Can only create, modify, publish and delete their content.
  4. Contributor: Can only read, edit and delete content. No publication rights.
  5. Subscriber: Can only read content. No other rights

So say you run a successful news website or a blog with a regular guest blogger contributing once a month… You would best assign the guest blogger the role of  ‘Contributor’ or ‘Author’.

Assigning the ‘Admin’ role instead, however, will put your WordPress site at a greater risk. Just imagine what would happen if they deleted a post by another author, a plugin or even an Editor by mistake!

Giving users unrestricted access could also allow hackers to exploit your site more easily. A good example of this kind of damage, was how TechCrunch got hacked by OurMine, a commercial security group that hacks accounts to publicize their services. The site was hacked using one of its contributors’ accounts.

 

5. Being a hoarder

Keeping old add-ons and users presents a number of opportunities to hackers. As a site owner, it is only natural to experiment with plugins and themes. In the process though, it is easy to forget about unused add-ons in your site’s repository. However, since you no longer use them, you also don’t update them. This opens up your site to a number of exploits.

Forgetting to delete old users (especially contributors) long after they’re gone, allows hackers access your site legitimately after a previous hack (like a Brute Force attack). This is one of the ways WordPress site owners are hacked for a long time without even knowing about it.

 

6. Not checking past uploads

Similar to hoarding add-ons and users, WordPress site owners also fall in the trap of never cleaning out their Media Library, the uploads folder, or the includes folder.

Hackers know this too. This is why they could easily upload a hack-file that looks like an image, and execute a hack later. This is how a number of exploits on the TimThumb vulnerability were carried out.

This method could also be used to create a backdoor. So even if malicious code is removed, and the WordPress site is kept up to date, it will still be susceptible to hacks.

 

7. Not having a reliable backup solution to depend on

Having a backup solution for your WordPress site is paramount to security. Not only does having a clean backup of your WordPress site make it easier to restore your site in case of a hack or blacklisting, it also allows you to scan your site’s code for irregularities and fire-fight more efficiently. However, most WordPress site owners don’t realize that the solutions they’re relying on are not dependable, until it’s too late. Backups must be the perfect disaster recovery solution, so they should be fool-proof, and adhere to the best WordPress security practices. Not only should they be independent of the WordPress hosting service, but they should be independent of your site, be stored in multiple locations, and have both: WordPress files and database encrypted and backed up.

If your site encounters a problem caused by anything as disastrous as your hosting provider being hacked to the deletion of files, not having a good backup plan would lead to your site experiencing a long downtime or worse.

 

The mistakes listed in this article are basic, and yet widely committed by WordPress site owners. Keeping your WordPress site secure lies not in being sure of impenetrability (because there is no such thing as a perfectly secure site), but in making it harder for hackers to achieve their target.

 

If you commit, or have committed any of these simple mistakes in the past, the best way to ensure that there is no malicious code on your site, would be to invest in an intelligent auto hack cleaner for WordPress sites, like MalCare.