There are many plugins available that can add new functionality to your WordPress system. Unfortunately, they may potentially expose your website to hackers. Almost every WordPress vulnerability is a result of plugins.
You do not have to pick between developing a secure website and utilizing WordPress' over 50,000 plugins. Instead, adopting a few straightforward safeguards may use these tools while prevent cyberattacks.
You do not need to choose between WordPress' vast plugin library and website security. The following are seven tips for securing the content and users of your website.
Some plugins may be infected with malware, viruses, and other digital hazards. To protect your website, you should only install products from trustworthy sources, such as the official WordPress Plugin Repository or well-known marketplaces like CodeCanyon.
When possible, we advise using the official WordPress Plugin Repository. The platform has stringent security rules for all extensions offered on its website, so you can be assured that any tools accessible through this source have been thoroughly screened.
If a security flaw is identified, WordPress.org will engage with the plugin's developer to attempt to remedy it. If they are unable to find a solution, the plugin may be removed from the directory, or other members of the community may take action to patch the vulnerability themselves.
Even when installing a plugin from a respected source, you should conduct research. It is recommended that you examine the plugin's reviews, particularly the most recent ones:
Additionally, you should verify when the plugin was last updated. If the developer has not released a new version during the past six months, you may wish to find an alternative, as outdated code is more likely to include security flaws:
Users can discuss a plugin in additional places besides reviews. Additionally, you can examine third-party forums and blogs for complaints about a specific tool. Additionally, searching popular social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook may be useful.
It is vital to maintain your plugins up-to-date, as new releases frequently include fixes for exploits and vulnerabilities. Your website may be vulnerable to attacks if you fall behind on maintenance.
To check for updates, log in to your WordPress dashboard and click the Updates link on the sidebar. Then, you can choose each plugin's checkbox and click on Update Plugins:
Unless you have a good reason not to, you should normally install all available updates.
Alternately, you can log in to your ManageWP dashboard and update all of your plugins at once, even across different WordPress websites:
Occasionally, updating a plugin may cause a problem, as previously compatible goods may become incompatible.
Safe Updates from ManageWP allows you to update your plugins without worrying about plugin conflicts. If one does occur, our Safe Updates feature provides a restoration point so that you can easily roll back your changes and troubleshoot the issue without incurring site downtime.
It is not sufficient to just deactivate a plugin if it is no longer in use. The tool's code will remain in your website's files and can therefore still be abused by hackers. For example, fraudsters typically target individual PHP scripts within a plugin.
The ManageWP dashboard offers a tab listing all inactive plugins:
Clicking Select All > Delete will delete all of these plugins from your website. Alternately, you may uninstall a single plugin by checking the checkbox next to its name and then clicking Delete.
Every day, hackers create more than 350,000 new pieces of malware; therefore, it is essential to stay abreast of the most recent security advances. There are numerous websites that publish WordPress security updates, but the most common ones are Security Boulevard, The Hacker News, and Help New Security. The security section of the official WordPress.org blog should also be bookmarked.
You should determine if or whether your plugins have websites, blogs, or social media accounts that you may follow. Typically, these are the best sites to learn about the security concerns associated with particular items. Consider adding your name to a developer's newsletter or mailing list if one exists.
If this all sounds too time-consuming, we suggest at least monitoring the WPScan WordPress Vulnerability Database. It maintains a publicly accessible database of vulnerabilities in the WordPress Core, themes, and plugins. You may subscribe to email updates or follow WPScan on Twitter.
Alternately, we've cooperated with the WPScan team to display all database-related information within the ManageWP dashboard. The Vulnerability Updates function displays a notification next to any plugins with known vulnerabilities. Checking it on a daily basis will keep you abreast of plugin security on your website.
It's fairly uncommon for developers to refrain from announcing a security flaw until they've properly patched it. This reduces the extent of the damage, as such warnings could also alert unscrupulous hackers to opportunities to steal data or install malware. Until the vulnerability has been patched, your website will remain vulnerable.
Avoid relying on a third party to inform you of risky plugins. With solutions such as ManageWP's Security Check, you can actively monitor your website. This function will automatically scan your site for malware and determine if it is blacklisted by security-focused services such as Google Safe Browsing and Norton Safe Web. It can notify you via email or Slack if it detects a security vulnerability.
Additionally, our Uptime Monitor may inform you if your website goes offline. There are other performance and security issues that might render a website inaccessible, therefore downtime does not necessarily signal a problem with your plugins. Any downtime, however, is a major concern that requires additional investigation.
If you find a problem with one of your plugins, you should never disclose it publicly. Bringing attention to an unpatched security flaw affords hackers the chance to attack it. By complaining about it publicly, you may make your website an easy target.
Instead, you should try to contact the plugin's developer directly. If you downloaded the plugin from the WordPress Plugin Repository, you can view its listing for contact information.
Check the plugin's source code if the developer's contact information is not publicly available. There are instances where developers offer contact information. If you have identified a critical vulnerability and are unable to reach the developer, WordPress.org recommends contacting the plugin team.
Plugins are one of WordPress's greatest features, but they can also make your site susceptible to hackers. By adhering to a few elementary safety considerations, you can continue to utilize this essential platform component without harming your website.
In addition to vetting your plugins for quality before installing them, it is essential that you keep them up to date. Always remove unused extensions and keep an eye out for symptoms of security breaches on your website. ManageWP contains a number of useful features that can aid in streamlining these obligations and maintaining the security of your website.
Concerning plugin security, do you have any questions? Tell us below in the comments section!