We cannot deny that markets have shifted significantly online. There are over 12 million eCommerce businesses on the internet, and about 1 million bring in more than $1,000 every month. However, as eCommerce has grown in popularity, so have security vulnerabilities with WooCommerce. Due to their concern over data theft and credit card scams, customers continue to avoid making significant online purchases.
The security of websites must therefore be a top concern for anyone operating an online business. Any security problems could seriously hurt the company’s operations and cause data loss, client complaints, and revenue loss. WooCommerce powers approximately 3 million eCommerce websites; therefore, ensuring that your site meets the security requirements is critical.
This blog will discuss the best tips to secure your WooCommerce store.
The topics covered are:
- Is WooCommerce Secure?
- Major WooCommerce Security Issues of 2022
- Best WooCommerce Security Tips for Supreme Protection
- WooCommerce Security Plugins
Is WooCommerce Secure?
WooCommerce focuses on providing a convenient and safe framework for eCommerce websites. Therefore, WooCommerce is secure on its own. But it does not include a shield from external security risks like hacks or brute force assaults. You must completely secure your website with additional precautions to protect the WooCommerce site from these dangers.
Major WooCommerce Security Issues of 2022
1. Outdated Core Software
An open-source, the WordPress content management system is easily customizable. You can choose from many plugins and hundreds of pre-made themes. It appeals to those who enjoy personalizing their websites because of this. Problems can occur if you do not keep your software revamped with the most recent security updates. If consumers don’t keep up with the updates, they’ll expose themselves to security risks, and following updates keep them safe from these vulnerabilities.
Malware can ruin your website and pose long-term threats to you and your consumers. They are software made to infiltrate websites and gather private information. Malware frequently penetrates websites without the owner’s knowledge by taking advantage of older plugins’ security flaws. Malware poses a severe hazard since it can infect websites with malicious code and steal user data.
3. Unauthorized Logins
Unauthorized logins, also called “brute force attacks,” are successful when hackers enter a website by guessing a weak password. The hacker uses a bot to test billions of possible login and password combinations in search of the correct information. The server groans under the weight of the requests, which slows down the website’s speed.
Due to how simple it is to reach the login page of a WordPress website, unauthorized logins are highly prevalent. Since most users don’t customize it, adding /wp-admin or /wp-login.php at the end of the website address will secure the login page.
4. DDoS Attacks
If there are too many sudden visits to your website, the server may begin to struggle. A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is a frequent security risk for WordPress sites. By simultaneously accessing your website from thousands of IP addresses, it essentially attempts to overwhelm your server. You can, fortunately, stop DDoS attacks.
Best WooCommerce Security Tips for Maximized Security
Let us discuss the best WooCommerce security tips
1. Install a Security Plugin
Security flaws can impact your website’s credibility. You should protect your website from viruses and spammers with a solid plugin. WordPress security plugins safeguard every area of your website, but as security evolves, so do these plugins. Security cannot be set up and then disregarded. It is constantly evolving.
Your website’s security deteriorates with time. A WordPress security plugin will fix your website’s vulnerabilities, making it impossible for hackers to access it. Security is more reactive; thus, resolving a problem and making it more secure may take some time.
2. Get an SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate is a document that attests to the legitimacy and security of a specific website. You may ensure that any data you transmit is encrypted while in transit by securing your website with SSL. For most websites, having an SSL certificate is essential. It’s mandatory for any website requesting users to input sensitive data like bank account information or passwords.
When you use SSL to encrypt your website, a tiny padlock will appear next to the URL. This padlock verifies that your website is legitimate, and any imitations can be easily identified because they lack the padlock. The URL also switches from HTTP to HTTPS. Setting up SSL on your website is simple. If you are utilizing a reliable hosting company, they frequently include it in the package with your website. As an alternative, you can quickly configure it using simple SSL.
WooCommerce Login Page Security
The login page is constantly bombarded by bots that use brute force attacks because it resembles a target. Bots are the worst form of bugs since they not only try to access your website without authorization but also consume resources from it.
How can you secure your login page?
1. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Adding 2-factor authentication to your WooCommerce login page is another method to make it more secure. Turning this on ensures that anyone trying to connect to the WordPress dashboard will be required to enter their login information and a secure password generated in real-time. You can use one-time passwords or codes created by programs like Google Authenticator. It prevents the possibility of hackers figuring out combinations or exploiting weak passwords.
2. Change Your Default Username ‘Admin’
Changing your username and password from the defaults is one of the simplest and quickest ways to improve WooCommerce security. You can create a new user, use that user’s login information, and delete your previous account.
- Go to User> Add New to modify the name of your WordPress administrator.
- Make sure you choose a different username and enter all the required information.
- Select “Administrator” from the list of WordPress user roles when creating a new account.
After finishing, you must exit wp-admin and re-enter using the new account. You can now get rid of the old “admin” user account. All of your previously created posts will be transferred to the latest version when you do this.
3. Limit Login Attempts
Hackers can crack weak passwords in minutes using recent technology like AI and machine learning. Changing your login and choosing a solid password can protect you against this, although it is not entirely practical. Therefore, restricting login attempts from specific IP addresses is the simplest option. You can establish a limit for how many times a particular IP address is permitted to attempt to log in if that IP address logs in repeatedly.
4. Implement Geo-blocking
Some nations are the source of a lot of bots. You are aware of the origins of good traffic because you are in charge of maintaining your website. It’s likely bots if your website logs suddenly reveal a rise in visitors from a foreign nation. Of course, you could have also been managing advertising efforts, so take care when applying this recommendation. You can prevent whole nations from visiting your website. Good bots like Googlebot, for example, can be blocked out if used carelessly.
WooCommerce User Management
It would be best if you took several actions from the admin dashboard to secure your website. In terms of security, the suggestions in this section are unavoidable. We recommend you put each one into practice.
1. Use Strong Passwords
Store accounts can be complex. If there are multiple authors attached to your website, they are often granted admin access (even though it is not recommended). But if everyone has access to your admin panel, this might dramatically increase the risk to your store. After all, a password becomes less secure the more people know it.
There are two ways to handle this. The first is to maintain yourself accessible, which is frequently impossible. Making sure that everyone uses secure passwords is the second approach. Utilizing the Force Strong Passwords addon is the simplest way to accomplish this. This plugin guarantees that anyone enrolling generates a strong password by combining an assortment of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols.
2. Implement a User Management Policy
In some cases, managing your WooCommerce store will necessitate using numerous administrators, which is somewhat connected to our previous point. It is always a good idea to evaluate your user list regularly to determine which ones to delete. Furthermore, you must always follow the least privilege principle. What level of access to your website should someone have to do their job? They should have no more control over the situation than that.
3. Use an Activity Log
Once more, you should keep track of all changes made to your website by different users. A particularly effective tool for this is an activity journal. Thorough logs show you precisely who performed what and when on your website. A lot of times, hackers try to gain admin access to cause trouble. Therefore, if an admin account behaves oddly (in the logs), that may be a warning indicator that something is wrong.
You cannot directly view or alter WordPress’s files. To accomplish this, you must use an FTP client, such as File Manager. Several FTP clients are available in the WordPress plugins repository.
1. Protect wp-config.php File
One of the most vital files in your system, the wp-config.php file, contains a large amount of sensitive information about your site. It includes details about connecting to your database and your WordPress security keys. Anyone who obtains access to the file has the potential to harm your website incalculably. The first step to protecting your wp-config.php file is to deny access to everyone except you.
Alternatively, you can create a new config.php file and remove the sensitive data from your main wp-config.php file. Simply adding a pointer to the sensitive data will ensure that it remains unreachable while allowing your website to run normally.
2. Prevent Editing of Certain Files
A significant weakness of your website is the file editor. Because it enables people to run PHP code on your website, hacking is straightforward. Although you can alter theme and plugin files directly from the admin area using the file editor, a severe vulnerability shouldn’t be left unpatched. Access to the file editor should still be limited even if hackers are not concerned.
Not every administrator is knowledgeable enough to use it correctly and may, as a result, break the site while attempting to make changes. It’s effortless to disable file editing. You should be able to access all of your files using File Manager.
Themes and Plugins
You have limited control over themes and plugins because they are additions to your website. Although using extensions from reliable sources is helpful, they might include flaws that attackers can use against you. By adhering to these guidelines, confirm that your themes, plugins, and website are secure.
1. Backup Your Website
The majority of security advice is merely preventative and not protective. Therefore, while looking to improve your WooCommerce security, backups might not be what you anticipate. However, consider it. If your website is down, you risk losing not only money but also customer information, previously completed orders, time, and new purchases. Because of this, backups are crucial. You still keep a backup of private customer data in case of hacks or outages, limiting your loss.
2. Keep Your Website Updated
Any technology can get better through updates. Developers use updates to enhance functionality, performance, and safety. Through regular updates, any problems or vulnerabilities on your website are fixed. For this reason, WooCommerce is also constantly updated. Regular website updates protect it from previously unknown vulnerabilities that serve as simple entry points for hackers. Update all components of your websites, including themes and plugins, to avoid future headaches. You can seek help from a WooCommerce development company with experienced developers to keep your website updated.
3. Never Use Nulled Themes and Plugins
Themes and plugins that are downloaded illegally have invalid licenses. They frequently function as backdoors and are used to entice the unaware. When a website administrator installs a nulled plugin, the hacker easily gains access to the website. The developers of nulled plugins and themes don’t provide updates.
Therefore, you cannot update a nulled plugin if you find a security hole in a particular version and the developer issues a security patch. As a result, the vulnerability still exists, but since the developers have made a patch available, everyone is aware of it. Developers have a right to the rewards for their labor. Build the WordPress ecosystem by encouraging developers.
Popular WooCommerce Security Plugins
We shall now discuss the next crucial aspect in our WooCommerce security guide: how to secure your WooCommerce store using plugins.
One of the most effective security options for WordPress is this. It will guarantee the overall safety of your website thanks to an endpoint firewall and a secure malware detection solution. Your website will be safer with Wordfence since the endpoint firewall is more effective than cloud security solutions. To find any vulnerabilities, it thoroughly analyses all of the WordPress core files, plugins, themes, etc. Additionally, it has an extensive database of dangers that have been identified, which makes it easier to spot new risks.
2. MalCare Security
MalCare is a trusted and dependable security plugin that delivers a combination of thorough malware detection, automated website cleanups, and other integrated website security features. It was created by the team behind the well-liked WordPress plugin, BlogVault.
Over 240,000 websites’ security knowledge and insight have helped the BlogVault team build MalCare, which has over 100,000 active installations on WordPress sites. One of its distinguishing characteristics is its Early Detection capability, which goes beyond conventional signature matching methods and uses 100+ signals to detect and localize even as-yet undiscovered or rare malware attacks. Because the MalCare scanner runs on its servers, its deep scanning processes never slow down your website.
It uses information from its threat intelligence network and real-time rule changes to prevent traffic from the most recent malicious IP addresses. There is a helpful vulnerability detection tool that issues warnings.
This plugin offers a tonne of fantastic security features. Along with several additional security features, it provides a firewall, malware scanning, spam prevention, and database backups. Additionally, it offers customized code to strengthen your website’s security. The plugin is also straightforward to set up. The premium edition of the plugin includes features like real-time monitoring, virus scanning, and auto restoration.
Things to Know Before Exploring Security Tips
To use these suggestions, you don’t need to be an expert in WordPress. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before continuing:
- Preferably test and investigate the choices using a local WordPress development tool.
- Before attempting to make security changes to your site, make a manual backup.
- Put your live site in maintenance mode if you want to make adjustments.
- If you wish to help put these suggestions into practice, consider selecting a managed WooCommerce hosting option.
Things Not to Do to Secure Woocommerce
There is tons of exceedingly terrible security advice for WooCommerce floating around the Internet. The following are some things you should refrain from doing because they are not worthwhile:
- Change your database prefix
- Hide your login URL
- Password protect core files
- Remove WordPress version number
These actions hardly make a dent in the improvement of security. The user experience can be severely harmed by them, though.
Final Thoughts on WooCommerce Security
While there is no ideal security solution, there are techniques to ensure you get the most protection while having minor adverse effects on your website. Security plugins that are dependable and well-designed will aid in defending your website from attackers. Still, they occasionally overstep the mark and alter the site in more ways than are essential. In many circumstances, a straightforward manual adjustment or a focused plugin created to implement one feature will simply increase your site’s security just as well.
WooCommerce Security: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is WooCommerce safe as an eCommerce platform?
WooCommerce provides a convenient and safe framework for eCommerce websites. WooCommerce is therefore secure on its own. However, it cannot protect your site from external security risks like hacks or brute force assaults. You should adopt additional measures like plugin integration and other relevant strategies to make your site safe and secure from threats.
Can WooCommerce be hacked?
Yes. WooCommerce is prone to hacking. It is one of the most popular eCommerce plugins and has over 4 million installations. The websites supported by the plugin hold customers’ personal and payment information because it adeptly manages client payments, making them an easy target for hackers. Choosing the right security measure is essential.
Is a security plugin necessary for WooCommerce?
A WordPress security plugin can enable several measures on your site to guard against hacking. Some WordPress plugins defend against brute force attacks by shutting out users who exceed the allowed number of login attempts. However, you don’t always require a security plugin. You can adopt other measures to keep your site safe.
How do I choose a WooCommerce theme?
Before installing your theme, you should understand why you require a theme and then understand its capabilities. The more you plan, the better it will be. It would help to focus on responsiveness, SEO, the checkout process, and more before choosing a theme. You can always use a plugin or other customization for extra features.
Do you need SSL for WooCommerce?
It is not mandatory to have an SSL certificate to run a WooCommerce store. However, an SSL certificate is a wise decision that helps you gain customer trust. SSL certificate ensures the transaction is secure, and customers will not doubt your website’s security. Since an SSL certificate boosts customer trust, it is better to install it.
How do I secure a WooCommerce site?
Although WordPress and WooCommerce both have built-in security features, new store owners should still follow a few simple guidelines to protect their clients, employees, and data in the worst-case scenarios. It would help if you chose a reputable host, created strong passwords, enabled two-factor authentication, and such.