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Security risks in WordPress – Is there a way out?

Renowned security firm, Imperva’s annual web application attack report has recently declared that WordPress is the most attacked website CMS in the world. In fact, some revelations were twitchier than one can ever imagine – websites running on WordPress were attacked 24 percent more than those running on other CMSs combined. Additionally, it was reported that WordPress faced Cross Site Scripting incidents almost 60 percent more than any other CMSs. It’s now confirmed that self hosted WordPress users are more at risk than the ones who use shared hosts.

These facts will somehow force people like us, who live, work and think on WordPress recollect those incidents where the news of WordPress sites being attacked by hackers created ripples in the CMS arena. Moreover, the discovery Securi made, earlier this year, that more than 1000 legitimates sites working on this platform was attacked by hackers with the sole motive to connect users to a notorious botnet was nothing less than a bolt from the blue. However, WordPress’ Reset the Net campaign instills hope in us that things will sail smooth again. And on top of that support from biggies like Twitter, Reddit, Imgur, Google and Mozilla was the best part of this entire campaign!

Even after all these initiatives, the million dollar question remains – Is there a way out? To stay away from such threats you can take some essential steps, some of which may sound like clichés but believe it or not, but they do work. Here’s a list of ways to help you keep safe distance from security risks in WordPress –

>>Update the core software

For users who rely on self-hosting, the first thing you got to do is update your server software appropriately. This will also call for updating your OS, PHP and other similar applications. Also, you have to update the web server. We would rather suggest you to recheck if everything’s okay and keep the update process going with other software installed in the system. Outdated software increases the chances of malware attacks. WordPress update hardly takes a few minutes and now it comes with an automatic update process, so it won’t let your entire day go to waste. Moreover, for automatic security fixes, you can enable automatic WordPress update.

>>Security add-ons are a must

 There are plenty of add-ons that are always ready to shield your site from hackers and web crooks. These add-ons lock down your websites and they do it after considering your preferences, of course. In case, you don’t know from where to get them, go through the WordPress plugin list and find the one that suits your requirements.

>> Update the plugins and themes you are using

Only updating the core software will not help you in the long run if the plugins and themes you use for your website have not gone through the same process. Yes, core software update is a must but that’s not enough, you also have to update those plugins and themes your website depends on. It’s always a good to know that WordPress keeps notifying its users about all the plugins and themes that need updating in the admin panel itself.

>> Secure the login page

Secure your login/wp-admin page with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). This will provide additional security to your WordPress website and make it less vulnerable to malware attacks. An absence of such a configuration helps hackers to easily decode your password. For some of you, attempting such a super technical task can prove to be a huge challenge without an expert – not to worry, there are WordPress experts everywhere around the globe who can help you restore your site’s security.

>> Go for two-factor authentication

To add a second level of authentication to your website, you must use two-factor authentication. It’s no longer a new concept; it is accepted as a practical solution to security related problems. It’s a far better and safer way to ensure security and is done by adding a second factor to your login id and password. There are mainly 3 ways in which users can be authenticated – Firstly, by considering something that is completely secret to the user (like his password or PIN); secondly, through something the user owns currently (like mobile number), and thirdly, via something that physically relates to the user (like fingerprint, retina and voice recognition).

So, these were some tried and tested methods of eradicating security risks in WordPress and giving hackers a tough time.