With nearly 70 million websites, WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) on the market. Its popularity is a double-edged sword, however.
More users mean more options and versatility to please such a wide audience. But it also means more exposure to vulnerabilities since the overall CMS is only as secure as its weakest user. Over 30,000 WordPress sites are hacked every day.
So, what can each user do to keep their WordPress site secure? At the top of the list of security precautions that should be taken is updating WordPress on a regular basis. Users who continually update their sites with the latest WordPress version import crucial fixes to vulnerabilities the WordPress security team finds.
Next on the list… plugins. Using security plugins designed for WordPress won’t guarantee one’s site is completely locked down, but it will get pretty close. Security plugins will give any user a good idea of how vulnerable their WordPress site is.
So which plugin to choose? The market is ripe with WordPress security plugins – most of them good, some of them great. Here’s a list of the top five security plugins to look for in 2018.
Wordfence is the WordPress’ most popular security plugin with over two million users. A large part of its popularity has to do with its ease of use. Wordfence’s user-friendly interface provides users with a live traffic view that reveals hacking attempts in real time.
Wordfence is versatile too. It’s compatible with multiple sites including smartphone platforms. Its two-factor authentication beefs up login security, making brute force attacks incredibly difficult.
Maybe most importantly, Wordfence keeps master copies of all versions of WordPress to compare against user versions. By doing this, Wordfence can detect at least 44,000 known malware strains.
At the touch of the “scan” button, Wordfence will look for backdoors, malware, modified core files, unknown files in WordPress folders, outstanding updates, and comments with suspicious links.
iThemes (formerly Better WP Security) really focuses on the user as the first point of vulnerability. Of course, it executes most of the same core processes as other security plugins to keep WP sites secure.
But additional built-in features like two-factor authentication and Google reCAPTCHA options offer the added user security. With iThemes you can also choose an expiration date for passwords so that optimal security can be maintained.
All-In-One WP Security & Firewall
All-In-One protects over 600,000 WordPress sites with its easy to use dashboard and robust protection methods. The user interface is quick and easy to interpret, featuring a security meter that shows the site’s current level of protection.
All-In-One offers three firewall levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced. These firewall levels are based on user needs balanced against the impact each firewall has on the functionality of each WordPress site. Advanced firewall means the most protection, for instance. But it also means the most potential for interference with other plugins and themes being used in WordPress.
Although Sucuri isn’t just meant for WordPress, over 300,000 WordPress users rely on this plugin for added security. Like other popular security plugins, Sucuri automatically scans for file changes, new post additions, user logging, file uploads, and altered core files, to name a few.
Its user-friendly interface digests and displays information in an easy to read format that keeps the user informed of the most important vulnerabilities.
At about 90,000 users, Bulletproof Security is not as widely used as other WordPress security plugins. Yet, the number of security features it provides is robust.
Bulletproof scans for malware provides a firewall capability, monitors logins for added security, backs up the site’s database on a regular basis, automatically logs idle users out, and provides a user-friendly interface, for starts.
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