WordPress is the most popular CMS for a variety of reasons — it’s easy to use, flexible, powerful, and well-supported — but that popularity also makes it a target for hackers and malware. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to easily protect your website.
Here are eight types of WordPress security plugins that will substantially reduce your risk:
Often referred to as 2FA, two-factor authentication means just that — using two factors to verify your identity at login. Technology and automation are wonderful things, but they come with their fair share of security breaches and identity theft. That’s exactly why you need more than one layer of protection.
Here are the three generally-recognized factors used to authenticate your identity:
- Something you know (e.g. a password)
- Something you have (e.g. a cell phone or hardware token)
- Something you are (e.g. fingerprint or retinas)
A two-factor authentication plugin sends a one-time-use code to your cell phone so that, in order to log in, you need both a password and a physical device. Jetpack offers this for free, so there’s no reason not to implement it on your site — it’s one single step that can dramatically improve your security.
Firewalls act as a shield between your website and unauthorized users (like hackers and bots). They prevent those users from accessing your private data, thus protecting your content. But that’s not all they do.
In addition to blocking unwanted traffic, firewalls prevent malicious actors from infecting your site and can even improve your load time. They’re frequently referred to as your first line of defense, so you shouldn’t go without one.
See some of the available firewall plugins in the WordPress repository.
Brute force attack protection
A brute force attack is the most common type of website hack and occurs when cyber criminals guess combinations of your username and password until they find the right one.
Quality passwords include a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, plus additional characters. There’s a good reason for this — they’re hard to figure out! But since hackers typically use bots to guess login information, they can try thousands of combinations in minutes.
Jetpack offers free brute force attack protection features that block these attacks before they ever reach your site.
Spammers love WordPress more than canned ham — sorry, we couldn’t help it. And, while it may be delicious, that doesn’t mean we want it near our computers. Spam is annoying. But, does this actually warrant blocking it? Yes!
Believe it or not, spammers can destroy your site’s reputation pretty quickly, and we’re not just talking about making you look bad. Excessive amounts of spam can actually result in Google removing you from search results altogether.
Spammers can leave hyperlinks that send visitors away from your site to malicious, third-party websites. The best way to protect yourself is to continuously monitor comments and remove malicious ones. An anti-spam plugin like Jetpack Anti-spam can do this all for you, saving you time and hassle.
Malware is a site owner’s worst nightmare. It’s a hostile or intrusive piece of software that allows hackers to track your visitors, redirect people to spammy sites, or add their own banners and ads to your pages. It provides access to personal information like usernames, passwords, account numbers, and email addresses. Finally, it can cause your site to go down entirely.
A significant reduction in traffic is an early warning sign that your site has been hacked. This is because search engines are turning visitors away from risky sites in order to prevent them from being infected with malware themselves. If you notice a decrease in site visits, don’t ignore it.
But don’t you want to catch malware before that happens? Don’t wait until your traffic drops. Nip it in the bud with a good malware scanning plugin.
Even the best-designed site won’t be effective if it’s experiencing frequent crashes and downtime. Here are some common reasons why this might happen:
- Your website has been hacked.
- Traffic spikes overwhelm your servers.
- You have faulty web hosting.
- You’re experiencing DNS issues.
- You failed to renew a domain.
If something goes wrong, it’s important to know right away. Site downtime can lead to drops in search rankings, loss of revenue, compromised site security, and damaged credibility. Simply put, it’s bad for business.
Install a free downtime monitoring plugin like Jetpack that alerts you as soon your site is unavailable so you can take necessary steps and precautions to solve the issue.
If nothing else, backups provide peace of mind. If your site is hacked or you make a major mistake, backups mean that you don’t have to rebuild everything from scratch. They also mean that you still have your precious data, like customer information and order details if you run a WooCommerce store.
A high-quality WordPress backup plugin automatically saves copies of your site without any extra effort on your end. Jetpack Backup offers two options: daily (which occur every 24 hours) and real-time (which occur every time an action takes place on your site) so that you’re always protected.
A unique login URL
Having your login page open to the public comes with its fair share of risks — namely, brute force attacks. You can, of course, change it yourself, but it’s much easier to use a plugin. Otherwise, you’ll have to edit your core files, which can be risky if you’re not familiar with them. WPS Hide Login is just one option to accomplish this.
Don’t overlook the basics
It’s easy to get so caught up in building your site and managing your business that you overlook basic security measures. But installing the best WordPress security plugins from the beginning allows you to manage your business with more ease and peace of mind.
Jetpack offers most of the features listed here in a single security package. It’s simple, smart, and efficient, but requires very little work on your end. Just take a few easy steps and you’re secure.
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