Tips to log in to your WordPress site safely
As of 2018, a little over 30% of all websites on the Internet run on WordPress. Often referred to as a factory of websites, the popular Content Management System (CMS) took up somewhere between 50% and 60% of the CMS market for the 7th year in a row. Its popularity can also be a burden, however, as more users find it increasingly difficult to maintain the security of their WordPress site. Albeit incredibly easy to use and customize, one of the weaker points of WordPress is its point of access for users.
The default login page to any new WordPress page is the domain name followed either by /wp-admin/, /wp-login.php, or even /login.php. Once a hacker lands on this page, it is a matter of time before they manage to break their way in using brute force and start wreaking havoc.
In order to improve the security of your WordPress site, it is necessary to first focus your attention on this particular address, as well as other matters that relate directly to it. Here is a list of the most important tips to secure your WordPress.
1. Login URL
If a hacker cannot get to your login page, there is no way for them to crack your username and password. The first thing you need to do after you set up a WordPress site is to change the URL to your login page.
There are specialized, WordPress plugins that can help you do this, such as Protect Your Admin. Even experienced users sometimes overlook this aspect, so there’s no need to scold yourself if you haven’t done it so far. Just do it now. Quickly.
2. Use a VPN over public networks
An effortless way for a hacker to get a hold of your username, password, and login credentials in one attempt is to intercept your Internet traffic by means of a man in the middle (MitM) attack. These are frequent on the public, open networks, such as those in busy cafes or airports. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic, masks your IP, and minimizes the chance of DNS leaks. Overall, this renders you impervious to MitM and other attacks.
VPN software is widespread today, so you can find extensive product evaluations done by professionals, like NordVPN review, on each and every VPN service currently out there.
3. Login credentials
Once you’ve changed your login URL, consider also changing the username and password required to access your WordPress page. Once your login page is revealed, the most common way to break into it is by trying endless combinations of usernames and passwords, such as “admin” and “password” or “12345”, often referred to as brute-force attack.
Always try to make your passwords exceed 6 characters and include upper and lower cases, symbols, as well as numbers. If you ever find it difficult to manage multiple complicated passwords, there are several password managers that can help you keep track.
At the same time, you should never store your login credentials in documents that can be accessed by anyone, such as .doc, .docx, or .txt. Two-factor authentication is a great way to prevent your details from being cracked. Failed attempts to access the account will notify you that suspicious activity was likely carried out on your WordPress site, giving you the chance to improve your security before anything irreparable happens.
4. Lock-down and other administrative changes
As an administrator of a WordPress page, you can always check the number of login attempts that have been made on your account. The simplest way to prevent brute-force attacks on your website is to limit the number of login attempts allowed by the server. This needn’t make you feel apprehensive since you can select this number yourself.
For instance, you can program your WordPress to activate a login shutdown after 10 failed attempts at login are made. The number is generous enough to permit several mistakes on your part, but not high enough to be vulnerable to a brute-force attack. Plugins like Login Security Solution allow you to achieve this quite easily.
Do not underestimate the value of Secure Socket Layer. Some hosting services such as Let’s Encrypt offer free SSL certificates. What SSL does is to encrypt the information that is exchanged between you and your WordPress site. This way, should your traffic be exposed to a security risk, it will be much harder or even impossible for a hacker to decipher your data. Even if your hosting service does not give this service away for free, get it anyways. It’s usually low cost and the value you get for your purchase is tremendous.
Albeit one of the most secure CMS platforms, WordPress still has its vulnerabilities. We cannot monitor every second of our Internet behaviour, which potentially exposes us to those hackers lying in wait. However, since the vulnerabilities of WordPress are mostly related to the user, making some minor changes and following the tips above will guarantee that nobody hacks your page. A host of security plugins like iThemes, Wordfence or Sucuri can further help you complete this checklist in a matter of minutes.