Thursday, November 14, 2019
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WordFence Security: Multi-Purpose Security Plugin for WordPress

WordPress is one fantastic piece of blogging software. Perhaps the most beautiful thing about WordPress is that we as bloggers hold the responsibility to keep our blogs fast, safe, and secure. We hold the power to make changes as we see fit.

A blog is a blogger’s home. And it’s our job to keep our blogs, like our homes, safe and secure. In particular, when you are running a multi-author WordPress blog, your role to ensure the security of your blog becomes even more important.

Today, I will be sharing one useful plugin called WordFence Security. It’s a WordPress security plugin which performs multiple tasks.

We’ve talked about a few WordPress security plugins to check if your blog has been hacked, and a few plugins to protect your blog from getting hacked.

Apart from plugins, you can also follow these simple WordPress security tips to improve the overall protection of your WordPress blog.

But while we’re still talking about plugins, let’s look at WordFence…

Features of the WordFence security plugin:

WordFence is a free plugin, and it also comes with upgraded paid options. The free version, however, should handle everything just fine.

But there are many cool paid features available:

  • Country Blocking
  • Remote Scanning
  • Scheduling Scans

Again, the free version is pretty extensive and will provide plenty of security for your WordPress site.

Here’s what you’ll get in the free version:

  • Set one-click security level. With one-click security, you can set what security level you want for your site. For example, WordPress blog owners who are under heavy attack can set their one-click security level to “Critical”.
  • Email alerts. Here you can set your notification options. I usually set it for a few scenarios like “Alert on critical problem”, “Alert on warnings”, and “Alert when an admin user signs in”.
  • Live traffic view. This is a useful option, but I wouldn’t recommend you enable this feature for a busy site.
  • Virus scanner. WordFence scanner will scan all of your existing files for any malicious code. Also, it will enable the monitoring of any newly added file.
  • Firewall rules. This is useful if wish to control the access of bots on your site.
  • Login security features. If you use any login security plugin, you can get rid of it! WordFence can be configured to send you notifications for any user who logs into your WordPress dashboard, and can issue lock-outs from logging in after (x) failed login attempts. Another useful feature here is it won’t reveal valid usernames in the login error.
  • Additional WordPress security options. There are a few more things to do to make your WordPress blog secure. With WordFence, you can hide the WordPress version, scan comments for malicious URLs, and check password strength for your users.
  • Avoid DDoS attacks. With WordFence, you can rest assured that your blog is safe from hackers.

If you are worried about the amount of memory that this plugin will use, you can set the maximum amount of memory to be used by this plugin. If you are on shared hosting like HostGator or Bluehost, setting it to 256MB will not cause any issues.

When you first download, install, and activate the WordFence security plugin from the WordPress dashboard, you will need to get an API key from their site. This is 100% free, and you can get unlimited API keys for the free account.

Once you have your WordFence API key, simply go into the WordFence settings, add your Wordfence API key, set a security level, and select the appropriate options to see the live traffic.

word Fence security settings

I also recommend you check out all the features offered by this plugin and set it up according to your requirements. Once you’re done, click on “Save Changes”.

Now, go to WordFence > Scan and click on “Start a WordFence Scan”.

This will run your first security scan, and it will check your existing blog for any vulnerabilities. Depending upon your site’s size, it may take hours to finish this first security scan.

WordFence WordPress scan

Once the scan is finished, you can see all the errors on the scan page. You can also have the results emailed to you.

I find the WordFence security plugin to be very useful. It not only scans your existing WordPress site for any vulnerabilities, but it also protects your site in real-time against hackers. Instead of using individual security plugins on your WordPress blog, I would recommend you try using WordFence.

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