HG WEB STUDIO

Simple WordPress Security Checks You Can Do Right Now [2023]

padlock on table with strings of code behind it. WordPress security

Hackers and malicious actors are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in WordPress sites to exploit. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly perform security checks and website maintenance to ensure your site’s safety and protect your data.

Let’s discuss some simple security checks you can do right now on your WordPress site to keep it safe and secure.

Why Are WordPress Security Checks Important?

It’s much more cost-effective to prevent security breaches in the first place by regularly checking for vulnerabilities.

Protect Your Data and Website

The most obvious reason for performing security checks is to protect your data and website from potential threats. Hackers can steal sensitive information, deface your website, or even take it down completely. By regularly checking for vulnerabilities, you can prevent these attacks and keep your data safe.

Maintain Website Functionality

Security threats can also affect the functionality of your website. Malware or malicious code can slow down your site, causing it to crash or display errors. This can lead to a poor user experience and damage your website’s reputation. By performing security checks, you can ensure that your website is running smoothly and efficiently.

Avoid Expensive Repairs

Fixing a hacked website can be a time-consuming and expensive process. It’s much more cost-effective to prevent security breaches in the first place by regularly checking for vulnerabilities. This can save you from potential downtime and the need for expensive repairs.

Simple Security Checks You Can Do Right Now

1. Keep Your WordPress Version Up to Date

2. Update Themes and Plugins

3. Use Strong Passwords

4. Limit Login Attempts

5. Use a Security Plugin

6. Regularly Backup Your Site

Now that we understand the importance of security checks, let’s discuss some simple checks you can do right now on your WordPress site.

Keep Your WordPress Version Up to Date

One of the easiest ways to keep your site secure is by keeping your WordPress version up to date. WordPress regularly releases updates that include security patches and bug fixes. By updating your version, you can ensure that your site is protected from known vulnerabilities.

To check if your WordPress version is up to date, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on “Updates” in the sidebar. If there is a new version available, you will see a notification at the top of the page. Click on “Update Now” to install the latest version.

WordPress dashboard for updates

Update Themes and Plugins

In addition to updating your WordPress version, it’s also crucial to keep your themes and plugins up to date. These updates often include security patches and bug fixes that can protect your site from potential threats.

To check for updates, go to the “Plugins” or “Themes” section in your WordPress dashboard. If there are updates available, you will see a notification next to the plugin or theme. Click on “Update Now” to install the latest version.

Use Strong Passwords

Weak passwords are one of the most common ways hackers gain access to WordPress sites. That’s why it’s crucial to use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts, including your WordPress login.

To create a strong password, use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information, such as your name or birth date. 

Limit Login Attempts

By default, WordPress allows users to enter an unlimited number of login attempts, making it easier for hackers to guess your password.

Another way to prevent hackers from gaining access to your site is by limiting login attempts. By default, WordPress allows users to enter an unlimited number of login attempts, making it easier for hackers to guess your password.

To limit login attempts, you can use a plugin like Wordfence. These plugins will block users from attempting to log in after a certain number of failed attempts, making it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your site.

Use a Security Plugin

There are many security plugins available for WordPress that can help you protect your site from potential threats. These plugins offer features such as malware scanning, firewall protection, and login security.

Some popular security plugins for WordPress include Wordfence, Sucuri Security, and Solid Security. These plugins can help you identify and fix vulnerabilities on your site, keeping it safe and secure.

Learn how to choose a security plugin for your website.

Regularly Backup Your Site

In case of a security breach or other issues, it’s crucial to have a recent backup of your site. This way, you can easily restore your site to its previous state and minimize any potential damage.

You can use a plugin like UpdraftPlus to schedule regular backups of your site. These plugins will automatically back up your site and store the backup files in a secure location.

UpdraftPlus plugin dashboard to create a new backup

Learn how to backup your WordPress website.

Other Tips for Maintaining Website Security

In addition to the security checks mentioned above, here are some other tips for maintaining website security:

Use HTTPS

HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP that encrypts data sent between a website and a user’s browser. This can protect sensitive information, such as login credentials and credit card details, from being intercepted by hackers.

To use HTTPS on your WordPress site, you will need to obtain an SSL certificate and install it on your server. Many hosting providers offer free SSL certificates, and some even provide one-click installation.

SSL certificate - browser bar with lock

Google Chrome and other browsers mark non-HTTPS sites as ‘not secure,’ which will cause significant impacts on  user trust and site credibility.

Monitor Your Site for Suspicious Activity

It’s essential to regularly monitor your site for any suspicious activity. This can include unusual login attempts, changes to your site’s files, or any other unusual behavior.

You can use a security plugin or a website monitoring service to keep an eye on your site’s activity. These tools will alert you if they detect any suspicious activity, allowing you to take action before any damage is done.

Here are some straightforward monitoring tips that anyone can follow:

  1. Check for Unusual Activity: Keep an eye on your dashboard for any unexpected changes or new user accounts that you didn’t create.
  2. Stay Alert with Notifications: Use a basic security plugin that sends you alerts for things like failed login attempts or updates needed. Wordfence and Solid Security have user-friendly settings for this.
  3. Keep Tabs on Your Site’s Availability: Use a simple uptime monitoring service like Uptime Robot, which can email you if your site goes down, so you can act quickly.
  4. Watch Your Website Speed: Notice if your site suddenly becomes slow, as it could indicate a problem. A tool like Pingdom can monitor this for you and report back.
  5. Regularly Visit Your Site: Regularly browse your website as a visitor would. Check for anything that looks out of place or doesn’t work as it should.
  6. Update Regularly: Make sure your WordPress, themes, and plugins are always updated. Updates often include security fixes.

Here are some simple tools to help you monitor your site:

  • Security Plugins: Look for plugins with easy-to-understand interfaces and automatic alerts.
  • Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts for your site’s name; if it appears in new and unexpected places, you’ll know.

Conduct Routine Checks

Decide on a simple weekly routine to check the health of your site. It could be every Monday morning or Friday afternoon, for example.

If you get an alert or notice something odd during your routine check, don’t panic. Contact your hosting provider or a professional for help.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your WordPress login. With 2FA, you will need to enter a unique code sent to your phone or email in addition to your password to log in to your site.

You can use a plugin like Wordfence or Solid Security to enable 2FA on your WordPress site. This can prevent hackers from gaining access to your site even if they have your password.

Final Thoughts

Performing regular security checks on your WordPress site is crucial for keeping it safe and secure. By following the simple tips mentioned in this article, you can protect your data, maintain website functionality, and avoid costly repairs.

Remember to keep your WordPress version, themes, and plugins up to date, use strong passwords, limit login attempts, and use a security plugin. With these measures in place, you can rest assured that your WordPress site is safe and secure.

Learn about the Biggest Cybersecurity Threats to Your Small Business.

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