Setting up a new WooCommerce store is a big step in anyone’s business. Now, you can turn your WordPress site into an online store, and sell wares and services to the public. However, in the excitement, it is not uncommon for things to be done haphazardly and in a hurry. Obviously, you want to get your site set up as soon as possible. Who wouldn’t?
But the problem with that is of course that you run the risk of things not being up to scratch, and this is especially common with security. The problem with a lot of people’s WooCommerce stores is that they do not take the time to improve their security systems to protect customers and themselves from hacks. With that in mind, we’re going to be taking a look at how you can improve your WooCommerce security, and keep yourself and your client base safe from hackers.
Make Sure You Have A Good Host
The first thing that you can do to protect your site from attacks is to choose a good web host. WordPress is offered by so many companies these days, and it’s easy to get a web host for a reduced cost. However, that doesn’t always mean that you’re getting a proper level of server security for your site.
It’s suggested that you look at the more significant sites who are both highly recommended and very thorough in their protection. You should look through their security offers and make sure that you’re adequately protected, and that they regularly update their security to match current threats. Even if you have to pay a little bit more for your site, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Never Store Personal Information
One way in which you can help to improve the security of your WooCommerce site is not to store any personal information at all. You’re paying a payment provider to do this for you, so there’s no need for you to get involved. This includes things like credit card information and personal addresses, so don’t hold onto it if it seems important. The reasoning behind this is twofold. First of all, you don’t want to infringe on the PCI standard, which is what all payment providers should abide by. This could incur fees which have bankrupted many businesses in the past, so it’s not worth risking. Second of all, when an attacker searches through your site and discovers nothing of value, they’ll most likely move onto another site, which keeps you and customers from harm.
Use Strong Passwords
While it is true that a lot of security is down to the hosting company and WordPress themselves, you need to make sure you try and stay safe on your end as well. Weak passwords are a gaping hole in the security. It doesn’t matter how secure a door is if you don’t lock it, and that same principle exists for your site. Make sure that the passwords to access anything of importance are secure. Use a combination of numbers and letters, and even throw in some capitals for good measure. Avoid things which are obvious, like birthdays or important dates.
If you do struggle to remember the passwords, then write them down in a safe place and don’t store them online. You should also apply this same level of difficulty to passwords of customers and clients too so that they’re equally protected.
Update Your WordPress, WooCommerce and Plugins Regularly
One way in which hackers can gain entry to your site is through outdated software which already has a series of established weak points. Companies like Automattic will often provide security patches and updates, and you should make sure you update within a day or two of them being released. Make sure you need all plugins.
More plugins – more risk of being hacked. We strongly recommended you to monitor all your plugins for vulnerabilities. You can always publish a notice to customers which informs them that the site will be down for an hour or two on a specific date, but it is to protect them from evolving threats.
Enable Two Factor Authentication
One password that’s been designed well should be enough to throw off hackers and stop them from getting into the site. But there’s one way in which you can take it a step further and improve the security, and this is with two-factor authentication. This is where you enter the password to your site on one device, such as your computer, and then you need to use your smartphone or another device to prove that you are in fact who you say you are. This will stop attackers from getting in because they won’t be able to access your phone to validate that they’re you. Regarding protecting yourself and customers, this is a very safe way to provide an additional layer of security.
Make Sure There Are Multiple Levels Of Security
When it comes to security for your WooCommerce site, there’s never an excuse for not taking it to the highest possible levels. There’s a lot you can do to try and reduce the likelihood of hackers getting in. Putting a limit on the number of login attempts, for example, will shut down brute force attacks completely. Asking security questions for login detail retrieval will prevent people falsely trying to get passwords, and using Web Application Firewall will ensure that there’s a reduced risk of an automated attack taking place.
Overall, these are just a handful of the ways that you can improve your WooCommerce security. When it comes to staying secure and safe, this is the one area you should never scrimp on. You’ll be kicking yourself if customers are hacked and you lose business and potentially thousands in fees, and a well-placed hack does have the potential to destroy your entire business. Obviously, this is something that no one wants to happen, so you need to be constantly on the lookout to ensure it doesn’t.
Putting multiple layers of security onto your site, and enforcing strict standards for passwords will go a long way in keeping everyone safe, and will ensure that no matter what, you’re offering a secure site for people to use.