As the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world by a dominant margin, many users are drawn to WordPress because of its simplicity, performance, and security features. The reality is that WordPress is far more secure than many of the alternatives, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to web security. With cyber attacks on the rise and research indicating that roughly 30,000 websites are hacked each day, it’s imperative that businesses take securing WordPress seriously.
Securing WordPress with iThemes Security
One of the most effective ways of doing so is by downloading security plugins, and in this blog post we’ll review a plugin that’s been receiving considerable attention: iThemes Security. Formerly known as the WP Security plugin, iThemes Security has everything from the original plugin plus numerous supplemental features, and has been downloaded nearly 5 million times.
Installing iThemes Security
If you’ve ever been turned off by the difficulty of installing a complex WordPress plugin, then iThemes Security will be refreshingly simple. Searching for the plugin in the WordPress administration panel is hassle-free, and you can install it immediately. Upon installation, you can activate it straightaway and start benefiting from its security features.
At this point in the installation, you’ll be prompted to take the initial steps to protecting your site, including backing it up and allowing file updates. Creating a backup is an important precaution whenever it comes to web security, and this can be helpful if you make any errors further on in the iThemes Security installation process. In fact, it is strongly advised to back up your site before installing any type of plugin that can interfere with your database. This is something to keep in mind especially if you’re installing the plugin after already being hacked, since then you’re more likely to experience trouble setting it up.
Dashboard: Breaking Down your Security Needs
After installing iThemes Security, the first thing that should grab your attention is the dashboard screen. One of the most user-friendly characteristics of the plugin is how it prioritizes your security needs in the dashboard, breaking down your security status into different categories. The most pressing concerns are listed under “high priority” (i.e. an unprotected login area) and should be addressed immediately, while medium and low priorities can be placed on the backburner for longer if necessary.
The reason why this is so helpful is because many WordPress users don’t have an accurate way of gauging what risks deserve to be taken most seriously. With a plugin like iThemes Security that does the work of securing WordPress for you, you’ll be able to rest assured that your web security is being monitored thoroughly. Considering that countless WordPress users would have no way of knowing whether or not their site is vulnerable to cyber threats, the value of the iThemes Security dashboard should not be played down.
With a few simple clicks, the dashboard will guide you through an easy-to-follow process that will help you avoid common security pitfalls, strengthening your web security without much difficulty.
How does iThemes Security Help?
Although the plugin itself is extremely lightweight and easy to handle, iThemes Security will help securing WordPress on multiple fronts.
Preventing infiltration: Weak passwords are one of the most common web security mistakes made by WordPress users. With iThemes Security, you’ll have a straightforward way to improve your login info and passwords, preventing hackers from gaining access to your site.
Another effective way that the plugin protects your WordPress site is by allowing you to implement an “away mode,” which will make your admin space inaccessible during hours that you’re not working. Likewise, you’ll be able to hide the login area by changing the URL of your login screen, further defending yourself from hacking attempts.
Detecting threats: The plugin excels in detecting changes to your database that can indicate that your site has been compromised. With brute force protection, file change detection, and 404 detection, iThemes Security will immediately recognize activity that could indicate your database has been infiltrated.
Backing up: If the worst case scenario happens, and your WordPress site does get hacked, then with iThemes Security you’ll be able to recover from the setback without much difficulty. With the plugin, all it takes is a couple of clicks to set up automatic database backups and have them emailed to you according to your preferences.
Summary: Light, User-Friendly, and Powerful
The reason why the release of iThemes Security has been met with such widespread enthusiasm is because of the ease in which WordPress users can now strengthen the security of their accounts. With a few simple clicks, you’ll be able to significantly improve your defenses, plug up your security gaps, and ensure that in the worst case scenario, recovery will always be an option.