Setting up an online store with WooCommerce is a great way to sell your products. WooCommerce is like your digital shop, where you can display and sell items. It works smoothly with your website, making it easy for customers to browse and purchase what they want. You can customize your store, just like arranging items on physical shelves, to make it look and feel right for your brand.
But it comes with some responsibilities, especially when it comes to security. Your E-commerce business relies on the trust of your customers, and securing their data is a top priority.
When you’re in an E-Commerce business, you deal with a lot of sensitive information daily, like customer details and payment data. That’s why WooCommerce’s security guidelines are important to protect your business and your customers. Remember, relying on just one layer of security might not be enough to safeguard your business. So, let’s dive into these important security measures that can help keep your store and your customer’s information safe.
In this article, we dive into these essential security tips to ensure your WooCommerce store remains safe and sound.
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Why It’s Important to Keep Your WooCommerce Store Safe
Before we look at security tips, let’s see why making your online store safe is really important and learn about common security risks. There are many reasons for this.
- Complying with Data Privacy Regulations: In different parts of the world, there are rules that say you must keep people’s private information safe and tell the authorities if that information gets exposed by accident. If you don’t follow these rules, you could get in trouble and have to pay money as a penalty, and there might be other legal problems, too. So, it’s important to make sure you’re doing the right things to protect people’s personal data and to be ready to admit it if something goes wrong.
- Reputation & Trust of Customers: When people buy things on the internet, they give you their private information, like their name and credit card details. If this information gets stolen because your website isn’t secure, customers won’t trust you anymore, and your brand’s good name will be damaged. Rebuilding trust and reputation can be really hard once it’s lost.
- Loss in Business Continuity: When a cyber attack happens and your WooCommerce online store gets hit, it can make your store stop working. When your store isn’t working, you can’t sell anything. It’s just like a real shop shutting down – no customers, no money coming in. This means you’re losing out on sales and profits.
- Financial Loss: A compromised store can lead to fraudulent transactions, which may cause financial losses for you and your customers. Hackers may also hold your website hostage with ransomware, demanding payment for the release of your site.
What are the Common Security Threats that come in your Online Store
- Brute Force Attacks: It happens when hackers keep trying lots of different passwords to get into your website without permission. To protect your site, it’s essential to use strong and special passwords. Also, using something like a two-step login (where you need to verify your identity in two different ways) can make it even harder for hackers to break in.
- SQL Injection Attack: It is like a sneaky trick used by hackers to get into your website’s secret vault of information. They do this by inserting some SQL code into your website’s database, and if they succeed, they can view, modify, or even delete important information. To stop this, ensure your website’s code is strong and always kept fresh and up-to-date. This way, you can keep the hackers out and your information safe.
- Unusual Emails(Phishing): Check your email to see if it has some logged-in emails or spam emails regarding your website. If it has, you need to secure your website because it denotes that someone tries to log in to your site without your permission.
- Causing Malware: Malware Software can get into your website and cause problems like stealing information, changing how your website looks, or getting in without permission. To stop this, make sure you update your software often, use security tools, and check for malware regularly to keep your online store safe.
To edit your WooCommerce products directly from the front end, you can use the Frontend Product Editor plugin.
Top 10 security tips to Keep Your WooCommerce Store Secure
Here are some simple ways to make your WooCommerce online store more secure. You can do these security things by yourself.
Require Strong Password
WooCommerce lets you set up your online store the way you want. You can also control who can do what in your store. To make your store more secure, it’s important to make sure that all your team members have strong and hard-to-guess passwords.
Even though your employees know they should have strong passwords, they sometimes use easy ones that can be quickly figured out by hackers. To fix this, it’s a good idea to have a rule that everyone needs to create tricky passwords, not just the store manager or administrator. This makes your store safer.
This means that no matter what job they have, everyone must create a strong and hard-to-guess password. This simple change can help keep your store more secure and protect it from being hacked.
Keep Your Plugins, Theme, WordPress Version Updated
Hackers can find weaknesses in the extra features you add to your website, like plugins, themes, and WordPress version, and use them to break into your site. When they get in, they can do bad things, like stealing your business and customer information to sell on the dark web, taking your money, or doing fraudulent stuff.
Most of the time, these hackers get in because the extra features on your site are old and not updated. In fact, most of the time, old features are the reason your site isn’t secure. There are thousands of websites that get hacked every day.
If your site gets hacked, the hackers might put harmful code on your site to trick your visitors. They could also attack your site to make it slow or even shut it down.
So, it’s super important to keep those extra features up to date. When you update them, it’s like fixing problems and making them work better. It also makes your site safer and more reliable.
Set up a Firewall Using WordPress Security Plugins
When your web hosting provider gives you a firewall, that’s like a protective barrier for your website, which helps keep out unauthorized people and malicious activity. However, even with this firewall in place, it’s a good idea to add another layer of protection directly to your website. This extra security measure at the website level can help you safeguard your computer network even further.
You can do this by using plugins, which are small add-ons that you can attach to your website. It’s like having an extra security guard specifically for your online store. The great thing about these plugins is that they’re usually easy to install and use, even if you’re not a tech expert.
Now, if you happen to be more tech-savvy and have advanced knowledge about websites, you can go beyond the basics. These plugins often allow for customization, which means you can tailor the firewall’s settings to fit your specific needs. This way, you can have more control over how your website is protected.
Add SSL Certificate
It’s important to add SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to your WooCommerce online store, especially on the checkout and account pages. These are the places where sensitive information, like payment details and personal data, is shared between users and your website. By having SSL, you ensure that this information is securely encrypted during transmission. In fact, not having SSL can lead to web browsers like Google Chrome flagging your site as “Not Secure.”
Now, adding SSL can be a bit tricky on some hosting providers, but on Cloudways, it’s relatively easy. You can quickly set up SSL on your WooCommerce store with their service. The added benefit is that you can protect multiple stores with SSL on the same Cloudways-managed cloud server.
Once you’ve got SSL installed, you’ll want to make sure it’s used for secure transactions. In your WooCommerce settings, there’s an option to enable “Force Secure Checkout.” This means that every time a customer goes through the checkout process on your site, it will be done over a secure and encrypted SSL connection, providing them with extra peace of mind that their data is being handled safely.
Hide Author URL
When you make a user account on your website, it usually generates a URL that looks like this: “websitename.com/author/myname”.This can potentially make it easier for hackers because they can figure out your usernames and skip one step in their hacking process. All they need to do then is guess or crack your password.
To enhance your website’s security, it’s a good idea to change the URL of your authors’ archives so that it doesn’t reveal their usernames. In other words, instead of having a URL like “websitename.com/author/myname” that clearly shows the author’s username, you can make it something more generic, making it harder for potential attackers to identify valid usernames on your site.
By doing this, you add an extra layer of protection because hackers won’t have an easy way to discover usernames. This means that they would need to work much harder to break into your accounts, as they won’t have half of the login puzzle, which is the username.
So, in simple terms, changing the authors’ archive URLs from usernames to something less obvious can make your website more secure. It’s like hiding one piece of the puzzle that hackers need to access your site, and that can make a big difference in keeping your online space safe.
Use another Username other than Admin
Many hackers try a common trick when attempting to break into a WordPress website. They know that in the early versions of WordPress, the default username for the admin account was ‘admin.’ This means that many website owners might still use ‘admin’ as their username.
Using ‘admin’ as your username can make your website vulnerable to attacks because it’s one of the first things hackers try. They will repeatedly try to log in with ‘admin’ and guess the password. If they guess it right, they can gain unauthorized access to your site.
So, to make your website more secure, it’s essential to change the ‘admin’ username to something else. Fortunately, this process is quite straightforward.
Imagine ‘admin’ is like a key to your house, and hackers know that many people use this key. By changing this key to something unique, you make it much harder for them to get inside. It’s like upgrading your lock to a more secure one.
Limit Login Attempts
Most security plugins offer a feature that lets you limit how many times someone can try to log in. This is important because it stops attackers from trying lots of different passwords in a row. It’s like putting a lock on the door to your admin area.
When you limit login attempts, it’s the first thing that can stop a type of attack called “Brute Force.” In a Brute Force attack, bad actors keep trying different passwords until they get the right one. By restricting login attempts, you’re essentially saying, “You can only try a few times, and then you’re locked out for a while.”
This makes it much harder for someone to break into your website by guessing passwords, and it’s a basic but effective way to protect your site. So, using this feature is like having a guard at the door who doesn’t let anyone try too many keys to get in.
Keep Multiple Backups
While backups won’t prevent hackers from targeting your site, they serve as a safety net to protect your important data if your website is ever compromised. Backing up your data means making copies of it, and these copies come in handy if your site faces a cyberattack or other problems, like your computer breaking or your site crashing because of too many visitors.
Imagine it as a safety plan. If something bad happens to your website, like a hacker causing trouble or your website suddenly going down, having backups is like having spare copies of your work. These spare copies can help you put your website back together, just like how spare parts can fix a broken toy.
Disable Edit Files from the Admin
You can enhance your website’s security by preventing unauthorized file editing through the WordPress admin area. Imagine if a hacker manages to access your WordPress admin; you never want them to modify your website’s files from there in any way.
To stop this, you can easily disable the file editing option for all users. This means no one, including potential hackers, can make changes to your website’s code through the WordPress admin.
To do this, you just need to add a specific line of code to a file called “wp-config.php.” It’s like adding a lock to the door of your website’s file cabinet, making it difficult for anyone to mess with your site’s important files through the admin panel. This small change can significantly improve your website’s security by limiting the control that even authorized users have over your website’s core files.
Use a Secure Hosting
In addition to securing your WordPress website, it’s really important to keep your hosting server safe if you run your own servers. This involves adding protective measures like firewalls, using tough usernames and passwords for remote access (SSH), and adjusting who can do what with important files.
If you’re not managing your own server and are using a hosting provider for your online store, make sure they have strong security measures at the server level. This ensures that the server your website is on is also well protected. Think of it like locking the front door of your house (WordPress security) and making sure the neighborhood you live in (the hosting server) is secure, too. Both aspects need to be safeguarded to keep your online store and its data safe from potential threats.
In conclusion, these security tips are essential for your WooCommerce store. They protect your business and customer data, ensuring a safer online shopping experience. Remember strong passwords, keep everything up-to-date, add firewalls, and limit login attempts. Take care of your website and hosting server security. By following these steps, you can safeguard your store and gain peace of mind.