GDPR: Ensuring Your Website’s Security

The GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation passed by the EU (European Union) has been designed to protect the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of the European citizens. This law is applicable to all websites receiving visitors from the EU countries and applies to data including IP addresses, names, health information, email addresses, etc. Under this law, all websites are held responsible for collecting, managing, and storing the PII. The GDPR mandates all websites to take explicit consent from the users before sending them emails and prohibits them from selling the user data. They are also required to provide an option for users to delete their information stored and/or unsubscribe from the mailing list. While this affects the entire website, two main areas that need particular attention are contact forms and analytics tools (like Google Analytics).

Post the GDPR, most websites have started realizing the importance of data security in the online world. WordPress, being an open-source platform, has many known security vulnerabilities which can be exploited by miscreants. If you have a WP website, then today we will look at some steps that you can take to ensure your website’s security post GDPR.

  1. Minimize Brute-force attacks

A brute force attack is one where the attacker uses an automated software to generate thousands of consecutive guesses to the login-ID and password fields in order to obtain the login information to your website. Here are some steps that you can take to minimize these attacks:

  • Customizing the URLs of the Login page – In WordPress, the default URL of the login page ends with /wp-login.php or /wp-admin/. Ensure that you change this URL so that the automated software cannot find the login page easily.
  • Limiting the number of login attempts: WordPress, under default settings, allows unlimited login attempts from an IP address. By limiting these attempts by using a plugin, you can ensure that brute force attacks a minimized to a great extent.
  • Two-step authentication: As with most websites and applications, enabling a two-step authentication for logging in to your website can enhance its security. You can install a plugin like Google Authenticator – WordPress Two Factor Authentication (2FA).

2. Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

The SSL is a security protocol which provides a secure channel between two machines over the internet. Many WordPress Hosting providers, offer SSL as a part of their hosting plans (either free or as an add-on).

3. Website Backup

Regardless of the security measures taken by you, ensure that you take website backups regularly. This ensures that in case of any disaster, you don’t lose critical customer data. You can install backup plugins and choose a WordPress Hosting plan that offers free automated daily backups of your website.

4. Regular Updates

The WordPress core, plugins, and themes add a lot of power to your WP website. However, updating them is essential else they can provide vulnerabilities to attackers. If you find yourself putting off WP updates for later, then you should look for a hosting plan that offers automatic WordPress updates.

Summing Up

Post-GDPR, users have become more sensitive about the way websites handle their data and privacy. While you must ensure compliance with the GDPR norms, we recommend that you also focus on the overall security features of your website to maintain customer trust. We hope the tips can help you build a secured online presence. Good Luck!