WooCommerce security is a major cause of concern when it comes to eCommerce business. While going for online shopping, customers always ensure these two basics.
- Is my money spent in the right place?
- Is the site safe enough to secure my confidential data?
When a customer has positive instincts about both the above questions, they trust your site and are likely to visit it repeatedly for purchases. If you are a business owner of an e-commerce store, it is your responsibility to give a secured platform to your customers, so that they can trust you with their sensitive information. One such secured platform for running an e-commerce store is WooCommerce.
You have also to choose the best themes if you are going to create a secure woocommerce store.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source, customisable e-commerce plugin for WordPress (WP). It is one of the most successful WP plugins as per Websitebuilder.org.
- In 2020, WooCommerce covered almost 29.16% of the e-
- commerce market.
- 93.7% of the WP sites use
- WooCommerce plugin.
- WooCommerce comes with
- almost 6000 plugins.
Since building an online site with WooCommerce is very simple, it is a favourite amongst business owners. And it is a favourite for hackers too. The extensibility of WooCommerce has made it a hot target for cyber-criminals who try to find unsecured sites for fulfilling their evil desires.
Hence your WooCommerce site must have all the security measures in place so that when unwanted intruders try to penetrate your network, your business is not affected. The same can be attained without spending more money or by gaining technical help.
In this article, we will discuss the preventive measures to secure a WooCommerce store, so that it stays unstirred in case of cyber-attacks.
Best 7 WooCommerce Security Preventive Measures
1. Use Security Plugins
Security plugins secure your site from brute force attacks, malware attacks or any other hacking attacks. WordPress has lots of security plugins, which regularly monitor the WooCommerce site for security breaches and ensure to eliminate them routinely. Example: Wordfence is one such strong WordPress WooCommerce security plugin which combines firewall, provides login security, scans malware, and other web security tools. When this plugin is installed on your site, it surely keeps hackers at bay.
2. Select your Web host Wisely
The hosting provider serves as the foundation stone of your website. Even before you choose the WooCommerce platform, choose a reliable hosting provider who provides ample security features and substantial bandwidth.
Ensure that your hosting plan includes enough security to protect your site as well as customers. Secure your hosting servers with firewalls, strong usernames, and passwords. Example: BlueHost, DreamHost, HostGator are a few popular names.
3. Use Powerful Usernames and Passwords
Hackers can easily crack simple passwords and small usernames. A complex combination of upper- and lower-case alphabets, symbols, and special characters make a strong password. An ideal username is almost eight characters long. These are confidential details so never divulge these details to anyone.
The iThemes Security Plugin allows you to use strong WP passwords for all WooCommerce users. The path to enable strong password is:
- Go to WordPress Dashboard > expand iThemes Security Menu
- Click the “Settings” link
- Click “Strong Passwords” in the drop-down menu
- Tick “Enable Strong Password Enforcement” box
4. Use 2 Factor Authentication (2FA)
One additional authentication process is always better in this criminal world. 2FA helps tighten site security more strongly. The best part is that even if hackers compromise one of the information, the 2nd authentication step provides an extra layer of security in concealing the sensitive information.
Hence it minimizes the chances of deceits and helps to build secure online relations with your customers.
5. Update your Site & Plugins Regularly
All security plugins and your WooCommerce site must be regularly updated, and security lapses are fixed. Expired or outdated security plugins can endanger your WooCommerce site. Expired plugins serve as entry gates to hackers who are already on the prowl to steal data. WordPress developers ensure that all security loopholes and bugs are fixed, and the system is regularly updated. These mended loopholes and bugs help eliminate site vulnerabilities and keep bots and hackers away from your networks.
You can also manually update WP plugins via FTP.
6. Limit Login Attempts
Hackers use the brute force attacks method for gaining unauthorized access. They keep on guessing combinations for usernames, passwords, or other entry gateways, but if the login attempts are limited, the risk of their gaining access is reduced. They will be locked down for a certain period.
From your WP admin panel, you can view the people trying to hack your site and ban those IP addresses, to keep your site secure.
Example: Cerber Limit Login Attempts Plugin automatically locks the IP which is trying brute force attacks on your site
7. Disable File Editing
When file editing is in “Enabled” mode, apart from administrators, even hackers can enter your WP dashboard and edit the codes o plugins and themes. This can give them access to your site data which is risky. This is a serious security threat, and hence it is advisable always to disable file editing.
Add a line in your wp.config.php file:
define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true );
Apart from hardening your website by disabling file editor, block PHP execution in untrusted folders, and change security keys too.
8. Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Pingbacks and Trackbacks help in communication between blogs, but they may carry minor DDoS attacks or spam links to your site. So, it is best to keep the disabled and only enable them when necessary.
Write the below code in the .htaccess file:
# START XML RPC BLOCKING <Files xmlrpc.php> Order Deny, Allow Deny from all </Files> # FINISH XML RPC BLOCKING
9. Install SSL Certificate
SSL (Secure Socket Layers) certificate is used for encrypting browser server communication and keeping it secured from third parties. Its robust 256-Bit encryption strength secures your site data and imbibes trust in customers.
Installation of SSL gives two visual indicators: HTTPS in the address bar and padlock in URL.
Hence all HTTP sites are given the title of “Not Secure” by all popular browsers. There are many providers out there in the SSL industry, but you should go with cheap SSL certificates providers, where you can find all SSL brands and products easily.
For a WooCommerce store, you need to consider SSL security. Ensure that it is properly installed, for obtaining SSL encryption security for your site.
10. Keep Regular & Multiple Backups
Your WooCommerce site must be backed up regularly. Backup helps to keep a copy of your website data in a secure place. They are lifesavers in case of unwanted emergencies.
Few Positives of Regular Backups:
- Quick Retrieval of Files and Data
- Protects against Power Failures
- Protects against Viruses and Malware Attacks
- Recovery is instant in case of Operating System Failure
Even having multiple copies of backups, helps outmanoeuvre the failure of uploading the backup data from a place. Example: Updraft Plus, BackupBuddy etc. are some good backup plugins that can be used for your WooCommerce site.
11. Hide wp-config.php and .htaccess files
E-commerce owners need to think of ways to secure their site from hackers constantly. One such option is to hide wp-config.php and .htaccess files to stop hackers from reaching your network.
This task should be allotted to web developers, which fulfill this task successfully after creating a site backup. After site backup:
Go to your wp-config.php file and add this:
<Files wp-config.php> order allow,deny deny from all </Files>
Go to your htaccess file and add this:
<Files .htaccess> order allow, deny deny from all </Files>
This task is very crucial, and hence a web expert is needed for the same because a small mistake can make your website inaccessible forever.
12. Go for Premium Themes and Plugins
Not everything free is safe, and the same rule applies to WP themes and plugins too. Free themes maybe not well coded and may reveal vulnerabilities.
They are not SEO-optimised and downloading them from third parties may be risky. They do not provide any updates, thus posing a threat to your site. Similarly, free plugins may be buggy, bloated, or unsecured.
Hence, it is always wise to opt for premium themes and plugins, which have proper security features, and which provide regular updates.
Your WooCommerce site requires all the securities in place to be safe from cyber-attacks and hackers. Ensure that your site security is at the peak, so to that, your site data and customers have rock-solid protection.
Constant vigilance by keeping the above measures in place will help you to outsmart trespassers and secure the WooCommerce store effectively.