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How to Harden Your WordPress Hosting

How to Harden Your WordPress Hosting

WordPress is a widely used application in the tech industry, so it’s important to make sure your WordPress hosting is as secure as it can be.

How to harden your WordPress Hosting

WordPress is a widely used application in the tech industry, so it’s important to make sure your WordPress hosting is as secure as it can be. Especially when updates occur, and hackers find new security flaws in them. This way, you can help reduce the risk that your system is affected and keep yourself and clients safe.

 

Secure Your WordPress Passwords


Starting with the obvious, you should make sure your passwords are secure. Do not use names and birthdays in your passwords, instead use a mix of different letters, numbers, and special characters to make it harder to guess, you should also avoid using the same password from another account you own.
You can easily generate passwords online using websites to create them and use applications to manage and save them somewhere safe and even possibly have them encrypted.
On WordPress you can also tick a box to require a strong password, so when you have multiple users accessing the website you can force them to create a strong password and even make them change it on a regular basis to ensure security.

 

Implementing WordPress privileges


WordPress had 6 different pre-defined roles that you can have for your website, and each of the 6 roles have different permissions to restrict their abilities. There is: Super Admin, Administrator, Author, Editor, Contributor, and Subscriber.
Super Admins have the most power out of the 6 roles and should be handled with great care, the more administrators you have, the more risk of hackers getting access to admin details, so they should be limited in number.

 

Installing SSL on WordPress Server


By having SSL, you can transmit data in a more secure manner via an encrypted connection. If websites do not have SSL installed, they show up as ‘not secure’ and get flagged. It’ll also show that the website is running on HTTP and not HTTPS if SSL is not present.
Installing SSL is very easy, and tutorials on how to do so can be found online.

 

Keep WordPress up-to date


If you frequently check WordPress for any new updates, you can install them as they get released to make sure you have the latest security patch on your system, which is great for stopping hackers abusing vulnerabilities in WordPress. And there’s a system on WordPress that allows you to install updates automatically for your convenience.
But you should also keep themes and plugins updated as well as WordPress itself, developers release patches regularly to make sure there’s no vulnerabilities. And if a theme or plugin stops receiving updates and patches, it’s wise idea to switch to a different one that does receive updates.

 

Firewall


Having a firewall plugin or service on your website can help restrict access before it gets processed by WordPress, which allows you to prevent any attacks occurring whilst you load up WordPress. Having a web application firewall plugin can also help block hackers before they visit your website by tracking IP addresses, if an IP has made any malicious attacks or have suspicious activities, they’ll get flagged and blocked from your site.

Enabling 2-factor authentication on WordPress


Hackers can easily use brute force attacks on login pages to gain access to WordPress accounts, but by enabling two-factor authentication verification systems for every user that has access it prevents hackers from getting in as easily.

 

Limiting Login Attempts on WordPress


As mentioned above, hackers can brute force attack login pages to guess the username/email and password for an account, but if login attempts are limited to a certain number of tries, it helps to prevent brute force attacks from succeeding.
WordPress has an unlimited number of login attempts on their page, but you can enable limited attempts via plugins or even manually inserting code by yourself if you’re capable of it.

 

Audit logs


Having an audit log can be handy when you want to check on your system and make sure that there’s no unusual or suspicious activity. Plugins can be installed to create these audit logs and show you everything that users do on the system to let you monitor their behaviour. When someone logins, changes and edits the system, it can log it all onto an audit for you to check. Some plugins may even give you notifications if any major changes or actions have been taken.

 

WordPress Security Plugins


There’s many security plugins available online for WordPress that can strengthen the protection your website has. Most security plugins will come with bot protection and web application firewalls to help protect it from attackers. They can also scan your website on a frequent basis to check any suspicious activity occurring, stop traffic from attackers, and give you notifications and alerts if there’s malware found on your website.

 

WordPress Back-ups


Having backups of your website is vital if your website gets attacked and you can’t reverse the damage done by the hacker, you can simply restore your website to the most recent version to get it back up and running again. But even if you were able to reverse the damage, attackers could leave malware and infect your website that you may not notice or pick up on, so having a back up handy is still a great option to protect yourself rather than leaving it prone and vulnerable to being destroyed and wiped.

 

Disable file editor


If an attacker does manage to get access to one of your WordPress accounts with Admin privileges, they can easily take full control over the website, meaning that they can edit themes and plugins and even upload their own content to display on your website to the public. But, by disabling the editor on WordPress, you can prevent SQL injections, SEO spam hacks, and Japanese SEO spam, which are just three examples of edit hacks.
By going to the file manager section of WordPress, you can navigate your way to the wp-config file and right click to edit it. After that, select the disable encoding check and press edit again, this then opens the wp-config file and if you scroll down to the line that reads:
/*That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */
you can insert the code:
define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true );
above it and save it.
This will now remove the editor option on the WordPress dashboard.

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