WordPress: A User-Friendly Platform with Security Risks
WordPress has become a popular platform for creating websites, from e-commerce to personal branding ventures. Its user-friendly interface and diverse client-base make it an attractive option for both individual web development nomads and companies that run some of the most popular blogs on the web. However, while users focus on themes and SEO-optimized content to drive organic search results, they often overlook the importance of security. WordPress accounts for only a third of all website owners, yet it is the source of over 90% of all hacking incidents on the web due to the low level of priority users place on security.
Common Security Vulnerabilities Targeting WordPress Users
One of the most common WordPress cyberattacks is SQL Injection, which targets servers that utilize SQL (structured query language) and bypasses application security measures. This allows hackers to retrieve records from the SQL database, modify or delete existing records. Another prevalent attack is cross-scripting (XSS) attack, which steals data from the user, mainly cookies. This attack preys on the user’s identity and can lead to economic losses and loss of users’ trust. Other attacks include command injection and file inclusion, where malicious information coupled with vulnerable servers leads to compromised sites.
Stop Idealizing the Plugins
WordPress offers a wide availability of plugins that make it user-friendly. However, users should not rely solely on plugins for security. Outdated plugins are highly susceptible to vulnerabilities and often turn into victims of file inclusion exploits where hackers gain easy access to databases. Users should practice responsible WordPress security steps like plugin maintenance and strong passwords.
Offsite WordPress Security
Offsite WordPress security is crucial for protecting websites from cyberattacks. The following are two essential steps for offsite security:
1. Choose A Quality Web Host
Choosing a good WordPress hosting provider that prioritizes cybersecurity is crucial for offsite security. Web hosting providers offer SSL certificates that indicate a secure site that utilizes Secure Socket Layers. This tells users that a website can be trusted and any data they choose to share is shared safely. Web hosts also offer other invaluable security features such as routine scans to check for vulnerabilities, site backups to prevent catastrophic data loss, and web application firewalls to add an extra layer of security. Free web hosts should be avoided as they often skimp on security measures.
2. Invest in a VPN
Investing in a virtual private network (VPN) provides an added layer of security for websites. A VPN acts as a virtual tunnel that’s impenetrable to hackers and other malicious attempts at securing both the sensitive information that you’re inputting and that of the visitors to your site. The added layer of VPN security provides features such as hiding identity, masking location, and disposing of logs.
Practice Offsite Solutions for Onsite Success
WordPress developers should put security at the forefront of their development process. Choosing a quality web host and investing in a VPN are simple steps that can be taken by even the most inexperienced web designers. Users should also stay on top of theme and plugin updates and consider a VPN for further protection. By making security a proactive decision, users can avoid retroactive regrets.