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May 2023: How to Secure Your WordPress Website

Securing a WordPress website involves a multi-layered approach to protect against various threats and vulnerabilities, here are some measures to enhance the security of your WordPress website:

  1. Keep WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins Updated:
    Regularly update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins to the latest versions. Developers often release updates to patch security vulnerabilities and bugs.
  2. Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
    Enforce the use of strong, unique passwords for all user accounts, including administrators, editors, and contributors. Implement Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of security.
  3. Limit Login Attempts:
    Install a plugin that limits the number of login attempts from a single IP address. This helps protect against brute force attacks.
  4. Implement SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Encryption:
    Enable SSL on your website to encrypt data transmission between the user’s browser and your server, ensuring secure communication and preventing data interception.
  5. Regular Backups:
    Frequently back up your website’s files and database. In case of a successful attack, you can restore your site to a previous, clean state.
  6. Secure Hosting and Server Configuration:
    Choose a reputable and secure hosting provider that follows best security practices. Configure the server to minimize exposure to potential threats.
  7. Use Security Plugins:
    Install reputable security plugins that offer features like malware scanning, firewall protection, and intrusion detection.
  8. Change Default “wp_” Prefix:
    During WordPress installation, change the default database table prefix from “wp_” to something unique to make it harder for attackers to guess your table names.
  9. Disable XML-RPC:
    XML-RPC can be exploited for DDoS attacks and brute-force login attempts. Consider disabling it unless you need specific functionalities that rely on it.
  10. Disable Directory Indexing:
    Prevent directory listings by disabling directory indexing in your web server’s configuration.
  11. Protect wp-config.php:
    Move your wp-config.php file to a higher level than your root directory (above public_html) or use server configuration to restrict direct access to it.
  12. Use Security Headers:
    Implement security headers like Content Security Policy (CSP), HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), and X-XSS-Protection to enhance browser security.
  13. Regular Security Audits:
    Conduct periodic security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and fix potential weaknesses.
  14. Monitor Website Activity:
    Use website monitoring tools to track suspicious activities and unauthorized changes to your site.
  15. Harden File Permissions:
    Set appropriate file permissions to restrict unauthorized access to critical files and directories.

Remember that security is an ongoing process, and staying updated with the latest security practices is essential to safeguard your WordPress website from potential threats.

Compiled by: Letowon Saitoti Abdi – Snr Technical Support officer

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