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WordPress is a great platform to build your website easily and quickly. It offers many plugins to help you achieve your desired site. However, WordPress comes with its own set of risks as well. This article will outline 10 best security practices for WordPress website owners to follow to protect their sites from hackers and malware.

1. Don’t use pirated themes and plugins

Sometimes, getting paid plugins or themes for free can be easy, but those pirated plugins and themes come with huge risks. Nothing in this world is for free. Whoever allows you to download a paid plugin or theme for free from their website might provide a plugin or theme with a backdoor or ads script. These themes and plugins can easily compromise your WordPress website and steal sensitive information. That’s why you should always download these plugins and themes from reliable sources or directly from the developers’ official website and official WordPress repositories.

2. Keep everything up to date

Staying up to date with the latest version of WordPress and plugins there is a decent practice for keeping your WordPress website secure. Every updated version may contain bugs and security fixes. Staying with an updated version helps protect against being a target for pre-identified signs that exploit hackers can use to gain access to your site.

3. Use strong passwords

This is the first thing and mandatory thing you should follow. If you use a simple password like ‘098765, 123abc, password’, you need to change this password immediately. While this password may be accessible to remember, it’s also effortless to guess and break with brute force. That’s why using a complex password like various numbers, nonsensical letter combinations, and special characters like % or ^ are essential.

4. Keep daily automatic backups

Regular backup is a good practice to reduce damage if something bad happens. Your website can be hacked anytime, so if you have a backup, you can restore your WordPress website to a working state anytime. To keep a backup of your website, you can use backup plugins. There are many paid and free backup plugins.

5. Disable username enumaration

User enumeration is a conventional technique to gather registered user data from a WordPress website. Knowing an administrator’s username or registered user makes it easier for hackers to crack the login password launching a brute-force attack. Stop username enumeration and prevent hackers from knowing the website’s registered user’s and administrator’s login username. Some one-click tools install a WordPress website with an administrator account username “admin.” Change the username from “admin” to something else immediately.

6. Add two-factor authentication

The two-factor authentication technique on the login page is another security part of keeping your website secure. This method requires when a user login by using a two-step authentication system. The first step to authenticate requires a username and password. The second step requires the user to authenticate via a one-time generated PIN code sent via SMS or RSA token generated in the authenticator app. That will reduce all login credential-related hack risks.

7. Don’t use the default database prefix

By default, WordPress uses wp_ as a prefix for all tables in your WordPress database. If you do not change the WordPress database’s default table prefix, it makes it easier for hackers to run automated tools to inject your database when the website is vulnerable. Changing the default database table prefix may reduce damage even when your website is vulnerable to SQL injection!

8. Disable file editing

WordPress website has a built-in code editor in the dashboard that allows you to edit your theme and plugin files. To access it go to Appearance Editor and Plugins Editor. We recommend disabling this feature. Because when hackers gain access to your WordPress dashboard, they can inject malicious code.

To disable file editing, you need to edit the wp-config.php file and add the following line of code:

9. Use SSL certificate

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is mandatory for every website to transfer information securely. SSL is a protocol that encrypts all data when transferring from browser to server, making it more difficult to read by a third party. Without an SSL certificate, all the data between the user’s web browser and web server are delivered in plain text.

10. Use a security plugin

You should use a security plugin to keep your WordPress website secure because security plugins cover basic website security and best practices. WordPress security plugins offer file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, activity auditing, blacklist monitoring, effective security hardening, post-hack security actions, security notifications, and even a website firewall.

Also check How to secure WordPress website from hackers

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