Recently, my website got hacked. The theme files seem to contain malicious code. Due to this, my website got de-ranked by Google. Also, the site took more than 10 seconds to load.
Do you want this to happen to you? I guess, not.
Even though you have taken all the security precautions, your website still got hacked or compromised with malicious code. This can happen due to 0-day hacks or unpatched bugs or exploits in 3rd party plugins that you are using.
If your website is hacked, and you are looking to fix it, you have come to the right place. In today’s article, we will go learn how to run a security scan on your WordPress site. However, before we start let’s discuss how a site becomes vulnerable in the first place.
How to Run a Security Scan on Your WordPress Site
As you already know, setting up a WordPress website is easy and fast. To secure a website, you just need to install a few security plugins such as Security Ninja, and you are good to go. Even though it might seem enough, there is nothing that is 100% secure.
WordPress is secure from the core, but that doesn’t mean it is unhackable. Hackers employ multiple ways to get the required info about it and use it against you. For example, he can use bots to login into your dashboard, trying out different combinations. If your password is weak or generic, the bot will succeed to get into the dashboard, giving the hacker full website access. This means that user’s lack of knowledge can also lead to security issues. Also, your website can get hacked even if you use best WordPress themes and plugins.
A lot of things can actually make your site vulnerable to hackers. Let’s list some of them below.
- Using default password for login.
- Weak combination of passwords.
- Not using the best WordPress theme or plugin.
- The computer you are using to access your website is compromised or vulnerable.
Using the free online scanners
The first step that you need to take is to scan your website and the server on which your website is hosted. Scanning is easy, thanks to the number of amazing online tools. You can get started with WordPress Security Scan. It offers a free service which is useful and checks basic vulnerabilities. If you need an in-depth analysis, you can always try out the premium service that they offer.
Another online scanning website that we recommend is Sucuri SiteCheck. They check out multiple vulnerabilities in your website including errors, malware, and outdated plugins and themes.
Using Security Scan Plugins
Security plugins offer better scans compared to the online scanners. You can use Total Security, Wordfence, Vulnerability Alerts and so on. These plugins will help you get your website scanned. If your website has any vulnerability, then you can go forward and remove them with the help of the plugin. However, sometimes, it is not possible for these plugins to automatically fix your website. In that case, it is advised to hire a security expert or a developer who understand have the expertise to fix your website. It doesn’t matter if you are running a blog to “review website builders” or running a business website, these plugins will help you run a security scan on your WordPress website.
Even though the above two points are all about using scanners, you can actually do more to stop your website being hacked in the first place. Let’s go the steps below. These steps will help you get a better grasp of your website security and also make your website secure.
- Keep everything updated: As I already mentioned, nothing is secure. That’s why developers work round the clock to fix bugs and vulnerabilities. This leads them to constantly release security patches. To make sure that your website stay safe and secure, always keep your plugins and themes updated all the time.
- Get rid of unused themes and plugins: With time, we add a lot of themes and plugins to our website. However, unused plugin and themes posses a security threat. It is better to delete them from your website. This will not only make your site secure but also ensure that your site loads faster than usual.
- Use strong passwords: Strong passwords are key to a secure website. Don’t use a simple password such as “123456.” I recommend using a random password generator to generate a password and use them. Generally, it is better to use a password that has a mix of letters, numbers, special symbols, and lower – and upper case characters.
- Get a strong security plugin: A security plugin can save you all the hard work. I already mentioned using WordFence. It is a good security plugin. You can also use other plugins if you see them fit better with your website. Also, most of the plugins generally come with a firewall.
- Give proper file editing access: It is better to limit file editing to few users. It is, even more, better if you can simply disable file editing. To do so, you need to add the following line in the wp-config.php file.
// Disable file editting
6. Backup your site regularly
Another way to protect your website against hacks is to back it up regularly. Backups can save you from a lot of harassment as you can simply roll back to a good state. Generally, hosting providers offer regular backup, but if you want to be extra sure, try out WordPress backup solutions.
To sum it all up
Scanning your WordPress powered website is easy. All you need to do is run through some of the online web-based scanners and also utilize the plugins. In the end, you will be able to scan your website and also know if there is any vulnerability that needs to be fixed. So, what do you think about the guide and the tips to protect your website better? Comment below and let us know.
Madan Pariyar, a digital marketing strategist helping clients to resolve their website woes. When not busy with all things, you may find me occasionally watching movies, traveling and spending time with my family.