7 Steps to Secure Your New WordPress Installation

7 Steps to Secure Your New WordPress Installation

If you are a WordPress designer or developer who installs WordPress many times, and you are still installing WordPress automatically (e.g. using SimpleScripts or Softaculous in your cPanel), you should read this article. I will explain how to install WordPress the correct way and properly secure it. I have divided the process into 7 steps and I recommend you doing each one every time you set up a new WP installation. Here we go to my list.

1) Install WordPress the Manual Way

The first and the most important step to a secure WordPress installation is to install it manually. I don’t recommend installing WordPress automatically using the tools in your web hosting account control panel. It is not recommended, because these tools automatically set your WordPress username as “admin” and this is definitely not good for security. Or, they don’t allow you to change your database table prefix from the default “wp_” to something else (using the default wp_ prefix can be a security risk). So because of this I always prefer to install WordPress the manual way, even if it takes a little longer.

2) Don’t use “admin” as Your Username

Like mentioned above, never use “admin” as your WordPress username. If a potential hacker would try to guess your WP login details, the first thing they would try would be logging in with “admin” as your username. So because of this it is always recommended to use something different.

3) Use a Strong Password

This is a must and I’m sure you already know this. Use a strong password with both small and big characters, numbers and special characters like e.g. $ or &. I also recommend installing a password manager into your browser to manage all your passwords (this way you don’t have to remember them). You could try for example LastPass, as it’s free.

4) Remove Unnecessary Plugins and Themes

The first thing that I do after logging into my new WordPress dashboard is to delete the inactive plugins and themes that you won’t need. If you know that you will not be using a certain plugin or theme, you should remove it. This will make your WordPress installation cleaner.

5) Change Your WordPress Login Page

To take the security of your WordPress website even further, another good practice is to rename your WordPress admin login page. So, it won’t be yourwebsite.com/wp-login.php but for example yourwebsite.com/ml05pg2. You can use a free plugin for this, e.g. WPS Hide Login. This will make it even harder for anyone trying to log into your WordPress installation.

6) Prevent Spam Comments

Another thing good to do with every WP installation is to set the rules for your comments. In your WP admin panel in Settings > Discussion you can either completely forbid comments, or set a rule like, for example, to make the name and email field mandatory. An important option is to have the setting “A comment is held for moderation” enabled, so that you can manually moderate your comments. And I also recommend using a plugin to prevent comments spam on your blog. You can use Akismet or WP-SpamShield for example.

7) Backup Your Install

The last step to secure your website, is to have an actual backup of your whole installation. You can use a plugin like UpdraftPlus for this. And you can even schedule your backups to be automatically made e.g. every week, so that you always have an actual copy of your website that you can restore if anything goes wrong.

Source: 7 Steps to Secure Your New WordPress Installation

If you need help in securing your WordPress Site, contact us to help you.

Is your home router hacked? How to check and what to do.

Is your home router hacked? How to check and what to do.

Tuesday morning Wordfence published a post showing how thousands of attacks we see on WordPress sites come from hacked home routers. In the past month alone we have seen over 57,000 unique home routers being used to attack WordPress sites. Those home networks are now being explored by hackers who have full access to them via the hacked home router. They can access workstations, mobile devices, wifi cameras, wifi climate control and any other devices that use the home WiFi network.

Half of the internet service providers we analyzed have routers with a very specific vulnerability. This vulnerability is known as the “misfortune cookie”. We will call it the MC vulnerability for short. It has been known for a few years and was first disclosed by CheckPoint in 2014. It is now being used to hack home routers. Using the tool below you can tell if you have the MC vulnerability.

The MC vulnerability exists in a service that your ISP uses to remotely manage your home router. That service listens on a “port” number, which is 7547. Besides the MC vulnerability, this port can have other vulnerabilities, one of which was disclosed a few months ago. Researchers have been discussing the dangers of port 7547 in home routers for a few years now.

Your ISP should not allow someone from the public internet to connect to your router’s port 7547. Only your ISP should be able to access this port to manage your home router. They have the ability to configure their network to prevent outsiders from accessing that port. Many ISPs do not block public access to port 7547.

You can use the tool below to determine if your port 7547 is open to the public internet. If it is, we suggest you contact your ISP and ask them to prevent outsiders from accessing that port on your home router. Even if you aren’t vulnerable to one of the two vulnerabilities we posted above, future vulnerabilities may emerge on port 7547. By blocking public access you will protect yourself and your home network.

Read the full article here https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2017/04/home-routers-attacking-wordpress/ 

How to check to check your router

Use this free tool on Wordfence Security to check your router and see if it has been hacked or is vulnerable.

What to do with the results?

If you are vulnerable, we recommend that you:

  • Immediately reboot your home router. This may flush any malware from your home router.
    Upgrade your router firmware if you can to the newest version. Close port 7547 in your router config if you are able to. (Many routers don’t allow this)
  • If you can’t upgrade your own firmware, immediately call your ISP and let them know you have a serious security vulnerability in your home router and you need help fixing it. You can point them to this blog post (the page you are on) and this CheckPoint website for more information. Let them know that your router has a vulnerability on port 7547 in “Allegro RomPager” that can allow an attacker to access your home network and launch attacks from your router on others.
  • Run a virus scan on all your home workstations.
  • Update all home workstations and devices to the newest versions of operating system and applications or apps.
  • Update any firmware on home devices where needed.

If you are not vulnerable, but port 7547 is open on your router, we recommend that you:

  • Reboot your home router immediately. You may suffer from other port 7547 vulnerabilities.
  • Upgrade your router firmware if you can.
  • Close port 7547 on your router if you can. (Many routers don’t allow this)
  • Contact your ISP and let them know that port 7547 on your home router is accessible from the public internet. Let them know that port 7547 is used by your ISP to manage the router. It should not be publicly available. Suggest that they filter access to that port to prevent anyone on the public internet accessing it.

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