8 WordPress security optimization tips

8 WordPress security optimization tips

Now that you know a bit more about WordPress security, it is time to implement the following preventative measures on your website:

1. Install a WordPress security plugin

Before installing a security plugin, ensure that you study the configuration settings and any documentation.
A correctly set up plugin can mitigate a lot of the risk and reduce the likelihood that your website will get hacked.
iThemes Security can prevent brute force attacks by stopping illegal login attempts; it is also good at finding bots that seek out weaknesses. In addition, this plugin can conceal vulnerabilities and run system scans.
All in One Security & Firewall is a plugin that blocks user agents and IP addresses. It also provides database and user login security, so is definitely worth checking out.
Wordfence Security offers security scanning and allows you to enforce two-factor authentication. Another great feature is that it identifies malicious attackers.

2. Don’t use common passwords

You would be surprised how many people use easily guessable passwords such as qwerty or password.
Passwords with sequential characters should also be avoided as password cracking software find them easy to figure out.
Creating a secure password is essential to fortifying your login page. In order to do so, ensure that you use a strong password generator that uses a combination of characters.

3. Change the default username

Although it is far easier to keep your WordPress site’s username as the default of “admin”, by doing so, you are setting yourself up for a serious security breach.
Many attacks will use “admin” as a login because hackers hope that site owners won’t have had the foresight to amend it.
Go ahead and make this critical change by creating a new user via Users > New User, and then give your new login administrative rights.
Afterwards, sign in with your new administration account and delete the old default “admin” account.
Note: fortunately a lot of hosts now avoid the using the default username “admin”.

4. Set up two-factor authentication

An additional measure that can be taken to further secure your WordPress installation is to set up two-factor authentication.
Even if you have taken the step to use a strong password and amended your admin username. Enabling 2FA will prevent access to an intruder in the event that your login details are compromised.
To help you set this essential feature up, you can use plugins such as AuthyRublonUNLOQ, and Keyy.

5. Assign least privileged principles

When giving a new person access to your site, set up a new login which has no more security privileges required to enable them to do his or her job.
For example, you wouldn’t give someone full-blown administrative access when all they need to do is some simple editing.

5. Turn off file editing

Take a backup of your wp-config.php file and then amend the original by adding the text below:
define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true);
By adding these useful few lines of code, you can prevent hackers from making changes to your site via the appearance editor in WordPress.

6. Hide your version number

WordPress like to know how many sites are currently active by checking version numbers. This can cause issues, however, as some versions of WordPress are vulnerable to malicious attacks.
To remove your version number from display, amend your functions.php file by adding the following code (remember to take a copy of it first):
add_filter( 'the_generator', '__return_null' );

7. Update WordPress, plugins and themes regularly

It is a pain constantly having to check that your site is always up to date.
By implementing automatic updates, you can rest assured that themes and plugins are updated automatically each time the latest version comes out.
You can use the Advanced Automatic Updates plugin or alternatively add the code below to your wp-config.php file to set up automatic updates:
add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );
add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );

8. Use the best themes and plugins

Never download premium plugins without paying for them, and always make sure that you purchase your plugins from reputable sites.
The consequence of downloading free premium plugins is that they can be infected with malware, meaning if you install them they will cause serious complications.
Carry out some prerequisite checking before downloading a plugin or theme. Have a look at reviews and find out when it was last updated.
If a plugin or theme hasn’t been updated for a while, then it is possible that the developer is no longer working on it and it will be outdated. It is also wise to check for compatibility with your WordPress version.
Keep an eye on the plugins that you have already installed. If you are no longer using them, uninstall them.

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