You should think of your WordPress blog or website as your home on the Internet. Therefore, just as you would secure your house from potential threats, you should secure your site from potential cybersecurity threats. Since about 40 percent of websites are powered by WordPress, it has become a big target for hackers. Here are some important cybersecurity steps that you should take to secure your WordPress site.
1. Keep Your WordPress Software Updated
Unfortunately, since WordPress runs on open source software, anyone (including hackers) can get access to it. That means hackers can carefully study the code and look for security holes to gain access to websites. However, WordPress frequently issue updates to fix potential cybersecurity issues. Therefore, you need to promptly install all updates issued for the software, themes, and plugins that are installed on your site. You can find available updates by logging in to your admin account and checking your dashboard. Look for the section in the menu called ‘Updates’. You can also download a WordPress security plugin that will send you emails each time a new update becomes available. Installing the security plugin means that you never have to worry about missing a critical software patch.
2. Create a Strong Admin Password
One of the biggest and hardest to believe mistakes that WordPress webmasters still do is use the same username and password for their login. Your username and password should never be the same. You are practically just giving hackers an invitation to use your site’s administrative tools and management functions. Furthermore, you are opening yourself up to data theft. Hackers could install malware on your website that could be used to infect the devices of your visitors – stealing their personal data. Therefore, you need to create the strongest possible password that you can for your WordPress site login.
3. Protect Your Content
While Google has taken great steps to crack down on plagiarism – stealing someone else’s content and republishing it on their site – it still happens, unfortunately. The last thing you want is for an unscrupulous competitor to steal your written content, as well as images and/or videos. Luckily, there are ways that you can secure your content:
• Place watermarks with your brand’s name or logo on all images and videos.
• Disable right-clicking and copy-paste functions – including keyboard shortcuts like ‘Cut,’ ‘Copy,’ and ‘Paste.’
There are several WordPress plugins available that will prevent right-clicking and copy-paste functions.
4. Secure Your Customers’ Data
When customers enter their personal data on your website, you are responsible for its security and safe-keeping. A data breach would be one of the worst things that could happen to your brand’s reputation. Therefore, you must implement the cybersecurity precautions need to secure customer data. For example, your WordPress website should be secured with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for data encryption. If your site isn’t already secured with SSL encryption, then you need to install the plugin for it. If your website is unsecured, web browsers like Chrome and Firefox will alert their users when they visit your site.
5. Regularly Back Up Your Site
Finally, one of the most important cybersecurity tips to secure your WordPress website is to back up your data on a regular basis. Even the most secure sites can still get hacked and defaced by hackers. Your website could also get infected by a virus or malware that could end up corrupting all of your site’s files. If either of those things happen, you will want to have a way to restore it back to normal. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a backup of your site’s content, then you could end up spending a lot of time and money trying to recreate all of your content.
In short, securing your WordPress site starts with making sure your software (theme and plugins) is secure with the latest software versions. Prevent hackers from gaining access to your login details by creating a strong password. Furthermore, you should take steps to prevent others from stealing the content from your site and trying to pass it off as their own. It’s also your responsibility to safeguard all customer data to prevent data breaches. Lastly, take the time to make regular backups of your website so it can be easily restored.