by Laura Watson
No matter how big or small your website is, it’s always vulnerable to cyber-attacks. No matter your website related to real estate agency, digital marketing ct or Steam Education. Cyber-attacks are on the rise, and if your website isn’t protected, you could be at risk. People are becoming more aware of cyber security.
There are several types of cyber-attacks that can be done to your website, including Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, Distributed DoS (DDoS) attacks and brute-force attacks. These can cause your web server to become unusable which will result in downtime for your visitors/customers.
Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your website is safe from cyber-attacks:
1. Install a security plugin.
There are many security plugins available for WordPress websites, and it’s important to install one or more to guard your site against cyber-attacks. Here are some of the most popular WordPress security plugins:
- Wordfence Security
- iThemes Security
- Sucuri Security
2. Install a firewall.
A firewall is another important security measure you can take to protect your website from cyber-attacks. There are many different firewall software options available, and it’s important to find one that fits your needs. Here are some of the most popular firewall software options:
- Cisco Systems Inc. (PIX)
- Barracuda Networks Inc. (Barracuda)
3. Regularly update your website.
It’s important to stay current with updates for both WordPress and any plugins you use, as hackers take advantage of outdated software.
4. Use strong passwords.
Make sure you’re using strong passwords for your website and all its components, including the administrator account, FTP account, and database. A strong password should be at least 8 characters long and include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
5. Restrict access to sensitive files.
If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to restrict access to your WordPress install directory and any other sensitive folders using .htaccess files. And if you’re using plugins with folder-level permissions, be sure they are all locked down tight.
6. If you have an ecommerce site, use SSL encryption.
If you have an ecommerce site, it’s important to use SSL encryption to keep your customers’ data safe. This can be done by getting an SSL certificate for your website and installing it on your server.
7. Use a content delivery network.
A content delivery network (CDN) can help protect your website against cyber-attacks by storing your files on multiple servers around the world. Here are some CDN providers to consider:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
8. Back up your website regularly.
One of the best ways to protect your site against cyber-attacks is to make regular backups. You can use a plugin to accomplish this, or you can set up your own backup script using FTP or cPanel.
9. Update your WordPress software regularly.
It’s important to keep WordPress updated with the latest security patches because hackers often exploit vulnerabilities in older versions of the platform. If you have an auto-updating feature enabled, WordPress will take care of this for you.
10. Use two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication can help protect your website against cyber-attacks by requiring a second verification (usually a code sent to your phone) in addition to your username and password. This is an optional security feature that can be enabled in your WordPress settings.
11. Install a captcha plugin.
Adding a captcha plugin to your website can help prevent brute force attacks, which involve hackers trying countless passwords until they find one that works. Here are some captcha plugins for WordPress:
- Anti-Captcha (by BestWebSoft)
12. Monitor your website for malware.
If you’re not sure your website is currently malware-free, you can use a plugin like Sucuri Security to scan and clean your site.
13. Educate your users about online security.
One of the best ways to protect your website against cyber-attacks is to educate your users about steps they can take to protect their own online security. For example, tell your users never to give out their username or password over email, to avoid clicking on ads or spammy links in their inbox, and to always double check the URL before entering sensitive information into a website.
14. Use a web application firewall.
A web application firewall (WAF) is a tool that helps protect your website against attacks by filtering out malicious traffic before it reaches your server. WAFs can be used in conjunction with other security measures, such as firewalls and antivirus software.
15. Harden your server settings.
You can help protect your website against cyber-attacks by hardening your server settings. This involves tightening up the security measures on your server and limiting access to certain files and folders. Here are some tips for hardening your server:
- Use strong passwords
- Restrict access to sensitive files
- Install a firewall
- Install antivirus software
- Keep all software updated
- Harden your PHP settings
16. Consider hiring a dedicated server.
If you have a high-traffic website, you may want to consider hiring a dedicated server. This will provide you with more protection against cyber-attacks and help keep your website running smoothly.
17. Patch the WordPress version you’re using.
If you’re not running the latest version of WordPress, it’s important to patch the older versions in order to protect against cyber-attacks. You can either upgrade WordPress to the latest version or patch the current version yourself.
18. Enable a “simple” or “strict” password policy.
Another way you can protect your website from cyber-attacks is by enabling a more secure password policy in WordPress. This means setting your site to require users to have strong passwords and forcing them to change their passwords periodically. You can read more about it here: https://codex.wordpress.org/Password_Policy
19. Change your WordPress username.
Change your WordPress username to a neutral word or phrase that isn’t related to your website, and delete all default users except for Admin and Administrator (if you’re running a multi-author site).
20. Keep your software and plugins up to date.
One of the best ways to protect your website against cyber-attacks is to keep all of your software and plugins up to date. This includes WordPress, your themes, and your plugins. Many developers release security patches for their software in order to fix vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
Cyber-attacks are becoming more and more common, so it’s important to take steps to protect your website. These tips will help you harden your website’s security and keep your data safe from hackers.
Laura Watson is an amateur astronomer, a writer, and an artist. She loves reading and believes that learning keeps you alive. Laura writes blogs for several websites and enjoys doing it.