Sixteen years after its release, WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world and currently powers around one-third of all sites on the web. As WordPress become more popular, it increasingly draws the attention of hackers who are eager to access the valuable information contained within a website, which in turn makes WordPress increasingly risky to use. According to an ongoing study and analysis conducted by EnableSecurity founder and CEO, Sandro Gauci, more than 70% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to cyber attacks. There are two main reasons for this:
- Users continue to use outdated WordPress software that is not equipped to handle the latest cyber threats.
- Users do not install any type of security measures to protect their websites from hacks.
1. Use a virtual private network (VPN)The best way to protect a WordPress site is to use a VPN service. What is a virtual private network? A virtual private network (VPN) is at its core, an encrypted connection over the Internet from any IoT (Internet of Things) device to a private or public network. There are several ways a VPN provides this protection, ultimately preventing unauthorized users from accessing any device throughout the network. If a hacker cannot access a device or break the encryption, then they are unable to break into the WordPress site. Virtual private networks are widely used by individuals and companies alike because it is by far the most effective way to secure a network and all the digital assets and users contained within it. The main features of a VPN include:
- Endpoint security through virtual tunnelling – Data is encapsulated and untraceable or unreadable.
- IP masking – The WordPress site IP address (or user IP address) is given a different location in a remote area, while the actual IP address is hidden from the hacker.
- All traffic and data are encrypted so that a hacker or other entity cannot read it.
- All developer activity on the WordPress site during development is untraceable since the VPN keeps no records or logs of activity.
2. Find a reputable hosting providerThe simplest way to protect a site is to find a reputable hosting provider that also utilizes multiple strategies for security. Many hosting providers use VPNs to keep their data and users safe. Users should take care to avoid cheap providers that offer eye-catching savings. While the user may save money on the front end, the cost of using an unsafe provider could be devastating in the long run. A users WordPress data could be vulnerable to ransomware, spyware, viruses, or phishing. There are several options for choosing a safe WordPress hosting service. Experts and users generally recommend the following hosting services:
- A2 Web
- Liquid Web
- 1&1 Ionos
3. Install a top WordPress security pluginWordPress offers a wide range of security plugins from third-party providers that can add an additional layer of security to the site. Plugins can regularly monitor the site for strange code or unauthorized access to the account. They also offer such features as:
- Audits for suspicious activity
- Monitoring the integrity of files
- Malware scanning & detection
- Monitoring for blacklisted items
- Tightening security in certain areas of the site
- Hack detection & response
- instant alerts & notifications
- Website firewalls