Are you trying to keep your website safe from hackers and malware?
In modern times, the protection of your website ought to not be taken gently. And with several safety tips and a safety plugin, you may defend your website towards major or minor safety issues of any kind.
In this post, firstly, you’ll find some common security issues explained in simple terms. Secondly, you’ll read how your website is vulnerable to these security issues. Further, I’ve listed the top 10 free security plugins that are reliable, tried and tested by WordPress experts.
Before you go to the list of security plugins for wordpress, let’s find out the
Common security problems that we face on our WordPress website.
Brute Force Attacks
This is the most common way to get access to your website. Certain attacks refer to the process of entering multiple usernames and password combinations repeatedly until the correct combination has been found.
File Inclusion Exploits
After the Brute Force Attacks, File Inclusion Exploits are the next most common security issue that can be exploited by the attackers.
This takes place when a vulnerable code is used to load remote files. That allows attackers to access your website. Most importantly, a hacker can access the wp-config.php folder on your WordPress website. That is one of the most important files on your WordPress installation.
Your WordPress website is running a MySQL database. When an attacker gains access to your WordPress database and all of your site data, SQL injections occur.
A hacker will create a new admin user account with SQL injections. This can then be used to log in and access the WordPress website in full. You can also use SQL Injection to add new data, including links to malicious or spam websites, to your database.
This vulnerability is most commonly found in WordPress plugins. 84% of all security vulnerabilities across the Internet are called Cross-Site Scripting or XSS attacks.
An example of a cross-site scripting attack would be a hacked form that appears to be on your website. If the user enters the data into that form, the data would be stolen.
Malware, the short form of Malicious Software, is a code used to gain unauthorized access to a website for the collection of sensitive data.
A hacked WordPress site usually means that malware has been injected into your website files. So, if you suspect malware on your site, take a look at recently modified files.
Malware can be quickly identified and cleaned by either removing a malicious file manually or installing a new WordPress version. Or restore your WordPress site from an uninfected and previous backup.
What makes the WordPress site vulnerable to WordPress security issues?
Outdated Plugins and Themes
If you are not running updated plugins and themes than you are at a risk of an attack. The latest version of plugins and themes comes with security patches and improvements. Make sure you are running the latest version.
Tip: If you are running multiple websites or using many plugins and themes. And you don’t have the time for updating these. In such cases, you can use an auto-update plugin. It can automatically update your WordPress core (major and minor updates), translations, plugins, and themes.
Check out our list of 7 Best WordPress Auto-Update Plugins 2019.
Using Plugins and Themes from Unreliable Sources
WordPress websites can be easily exploited by hackers. If your website code is not well written, or if you use unsafe, outdated plugins from unreliable sources.
Don’t download plugins from any torrent or other unsafe websites. The free version may contain malware and may cost you the security of your website.
Tip: Only download plugins and themes from trusted and secure repositories such as WordPress.org, or premium plugin websites such as ZetaMatic, Kinsta, Envato, etc.
It’s one of the biggest security flaws you can easily avoid.
Tip: Use solid password combinations of letters, numbers, special characters for your WordPress admin.
If your password is too hard to remember, write it down somewhere or make a google document.
Using Poor-Quality or Shared Hosting
The server is the first target for hackers since the WordPress site located there. Using poor quality or shared hosting will make your website even more vulnerable.
Shared hosting may also be an issue since many websites are housed on a single server. When one website is hacked, hackers may also have access to other websites and their information.
Tip: Choose a private server to ensure that your website is free from any vulnerabilities.
Follow the above measures and you will be free from any common security issues on your website.
Also, using one of the best security plugins is a great way to add an extra layer of protection that can protect your website from advanced security vulnerabilities. Check out the list below.
Best WordPress Security Plugins
The first plugin on our list is SecuPress – WordPress security plugin which is new compared to others and growing fast. It comes with both a free version and a paid version. Above all, the SecuPress UI is very nice-looking and that makes it very user-friendly.
It can scan your website very quickly and it shows you an overview of good, bad and warning components.
- Anti Brute Force login
- Blocked IPs
- Security alerts
- Malware Scan
- Block country by geolocation
- Protection of Security Keys
- Block visits from Bad Bots
- Vulnerable Plugins & Themes detection
- Security Reports in PDF format
Wordfence is the most popular WordPress firewall and security plugin. Also, the UI is very simple and user-friendly as a result, users like to use this plugin a lot.
This comes with effective security tools such as login security features and security incident recovery tools. This plugin is also available for free and paid versions.
- Scans WordPress core, Plugins and Themes
- Security alerts
- Helps speed up your website by using caching techniques
- Protects from Brute Force attacks
- Two-factor authentication
- Block Traffic from a specific location
- Firewall to block fake traffic, botnet, and scanners
- Scans your hosting for known backdoors
- Scans posts and comments on any potential threats
- Monitor live traffic and hack attempts in real-time
Defender is another new WordPress security plugin in our collection. It is very easy to set up, and with just one click you can tighten up the security of your WordPress site.
Also, you can easily run scans and test the issues on your site. It checks for any file changes and reports you and allows you to restore the original file by just one click.
- Two Factor Authentication (using Google Authenticator)
- Audit log
- IP Blacklisting
- 404 limiting for vulnerability scans
- WordPress Core File Scan and Fix
- Alerts via email
- Unlimited scans of files
Similarly, the All In One WP Security & Firewall is another popular WordPress security plugin. It’s very easy to use, and stable plugin. On the other hand, it is supported by a large community of developers who are always ready to help.
This plugin minimizes security threats by adding a layer of protection. Also, the UI is very visual with the graphics and the meter.
- Protects from Brute Force attacks
- Email notifications
- Firewall Protection
- Notifies if any changes occur
- Recommends to use stronger passwords
- Monitors account activity for all users and logs username, IP and login date and time
- Schedule auto-backup
- Disables admin area to protect PHP code
- Prevents malicious query strings, XSS, CSRF, SQL, malicious bots and other risks to security
- Protects from spamming comments
iThemes Security is another popular plugin on our list. It’s known as Better WP Security. It protects your website against threats such as plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords, and obsolete software.
It claims to offer more than 30 ways to secure and protect your WordPress website. You can protect your website from attacks with just one click.
- Protects against Brute Force attacks, plugin vulnerabilities, obsolete software
- Scans the full website for any potential threats
- Prevents unsafe IP addresses
- Scans for recently updated files for potential threats
- Adds an extra layer of complexity to the authentication path
- Recommends to use strong passwords
- Prevents from comment spams
Cerber Security, Antispam & Malware Scan plugin is very prominent as well. It comes with a long list of features as well. Also, to improve your protection, it implements a lot of the latest techniques.
It comes with an easy to use and basic UI interface. There’s also a nice lockout option that allows you to be stricter during times when you’re under attack.
- Defend from many common attacks. Such as malware injection, REST API and an enumeration of users, and more
- Firewall for the Website
- Limit login attempts
- Create IP whitelist and blacklist
- Change login page URL
- Two Factor Authentication
- Protects all forms on your site (Contact, Registration, Login, Checkout, etc.)
- Spam Comments Protection
- Country-based anti-spam rules
- Monitors file changes
- Automatic Malware Scans
- Email Notifications
Sucuri Security is a well-known plugin for WordPress website security. It comes with both free and paid versions. The free version lets you harden the security of your website and checks for common security problems on your website.
Besides security, it also helps to speed up your website and boost performance.
- Instant email notification
- Blacklist monitoring
- Malware scanning
- Protects from DOS, Brute Force Attacks, other scanner attacks
- Logs every activity in Sucuri cloud
- Includes various blacklist engines for scanning the website. Such as Google Safe Browsing, Sucuri Labs, Norton, McAfee Webadvisor and more
Shield Security plugin claims itself to be a smart automation security plugin. It can handle any kind of threat without sending you bugging emails. It only sends emails when you need to take any action. Suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
It will start to secure your website as soon as you activate this plugin without any complicated adjustments. It comes with both a free version and a pro version.
- Easy to use, guides wizards
- Limits login attempts
- Blocks Brute Force Attacks
- Powerful Core File Scanners
- Automatic IP Blacklist
- The only plugin that restricts you accessing the settings page
- Smart Protection
- Sends you only important email alerts
- Two Factor Authentication options
- Spam Comments Protection
- Block REST API / XML-RPC
- Automatic Updates Control
- Audit Trail & User Activity Logging
Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall is another popular WordPress security plugin. That’s very useful, too. The definition of this plugin is updated frequently to keep your website safe from any recent threats.
Also, It has a strong malware scanner that scans and detects any kind of vulnerability on your website.
- Scans malicious code, backdoors, malware, and other threats
- Brute Force Prevention
- Powerful Firewall Protection against malware
- Downloads definition updates to protect against new threats
NinjaFirewall (WP Edition) is a site Firewall plugin. Although it can be downloaded and configured just like a plugin. It’s a stand-alone firewall in front of WordPress.
Also, NinjaFirewall can help website owners keep safe their websites from any kind of normal or advanced threats.
- Scans Monitor your WordPress website
- Rejects any malicious HTTP/HTTPs request send to its PHP scripts or plugins
- Filters encoded PHP scripts, hacker shell scripts, and backdoors with its powerful filtering engine
- Brute Force Attack Protection
- Real-time detection of any hacking attempts or any kind of attacks
- Scans for file changes in your website
- Live log
- Notification alerts
- Very fast, optimized, compact, and requires very low system resource
- Basic UI
In conclusion, you’ve seen some common security issues that websites may face. You’ve also found some of the best security plugins for WordPress. Such plugins ensure the security of your website and its vital information.
Certainly, if your hard work goes to vain it won’t be good. So, make sure you use any of these plugins to protect your website from any kind of malware and attacks.
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