Is WooCommerce safe and secure? Find out and learn and implement these 11 essential WooCommerce security tips.
There are many moving parts to running an eCommerce business, from dealing with the customers, managing the inventory, and dealing with the technicalities of keeping the store up and running.
One crucial factor in keeping the eCommerce store running smoothly is investing in its security that safeguards you and your customers from various exploits, attacks, and vulnerabilities.
If you are using WooCommerce to run your eCommerce store, then there are ways that you should use to protect and be better prepared for inconveniences caused by security threats. Please read our guide to learn how to secure your WooCommerce store with these WooCommerce security tips.
Is WooCommerce safe and secure?
WooCommerce is constantly working to improve the security of its platform. They provide direction and resources to help store owners defend their websites and continuously release updates to remedy any security flaws found within the plugin.
However, it is essential to note that security is not just the responsibility of the plugin developer. As a store owner, it is your responsibility to follow best practices for website security, such as using strong passwords, keeping your software up to date, and regularly backing up your data.
In general, using a secure hosting provider, keeping your software up-to-date, using strong passwords, and following other recommended security practices can help to reduce the risk of a security breach. Worldwide retailers may utilize WooCommerce with confidence.
Online shopping is more prevalent among today’s consumers. It has led to a rapid rise in the frequency of cyberattacks, data breaches, fraudulent payments, and other forms of cybercrime. Because of this, business owners must pick a platform like WooCommerce that can offer robust security features.
A well-liked e-commerce plugin for WordPress is WooCommerce, and as such, it can be vulnerable to many of the same security issues as WordPress. Some common security flaws with WooCommerce that have been reported in the past include the following:
Outdated software: Using outdated software, including WooCommerce, WordPress, and any plugins, themes, or extensions, can leave your website vulnerable to known security flaws that have already been patched in newer versions.
Weak passwords: By using brute-force assaults or easy password guessing, hackers can gain access to your website.
Lack of SSL: An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is essential for securing website transactions and protecting sensitive information. Without an SSL, data transmitted between the website and the user is not encrypted, making it vulnerable to interception.
Cross-site scripting (XSS): This is an attack where A hacker adds harmful code to a website., usually through a form or input field, which can then be executed in the browser of anyone who visits the affected page.
SQL injection: This is another type of attack where a hacker injects malicious SQL code into a website’s database, allowing them to access or manipulate data stored on the website
It’s essential to keep all software current, use strong passwords, and implement security measures such as SSL and firewalls. It’s also recommended to regularly scan your website for vulnerabilities and apply any patches or updates as soon as possible.
Best WooCommerce security tips
To make your WooCommerce store more secure, please follow these guidelines. We have broken them down into things you shouldn’t overlook and then listed some best practices.
1. Keep everything up to date
The most obvious thing to do to secure your WooCommerce store is to keep all the themes, plugins, WordPress core, and any software that you run on your server up to date. Unfortunately, this is the most overlooked part of WordPress security and why many WordPress and WooCommerce sites are hacked.
An outdated version of any software running on your website opens it up for vulnerabilities to be exploited to access your website.
Here are some tips to help you better select the themes and plugins for your website.
Choose reputable and well-established plugin developers: Look for plugins developed by trusted sources, such as the official WordPress plugin repository, reputable third-party developers, or WooCommerce.com.
Keep plugins updated: Like with software updates, a plugin that updates often include security patches and bug fixes that can prevent vulnerabilities. Always keep your plugins up to date to minimize security risks.
Delete unused plugins: Any plugins you’re not actively using should be deleted, as they can become a security risk if they’re not updated or maintained.
Monitor plugin reviews and security alerts: Stay current on any potential security issues with your plugins by monitoring reviews, security alerts, and news related to the plugin. If a plugin has a history of security vulnerabilities or poor reviews, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
Only install necessary plugins and avoid any that are not essential for the website’s functionality.
2. Use a security plugin and firewall
Always use a security service that specializes in hardening WordPress and WooCommerce websites. At Patchstack, we provide security to fight against the most common and uncommon attacks on WordPress websites. We also provide notifications for any outdated and vulnerable themes or plugins your site might have and protect them using virtual patching.
A firewall that blocks attacking IPs and locks them out reduces the risk significantly, as doing so will block the current attacks and reduce the load on your server resources.
3. Use a secure WordPress hosting service
When building a WooCommerce website, one important decision is “where you will host your website” as hosting will influence the website’s speed and security. We suggest going with a hosting provider that offers hosting for WooCommerce sites.
Going with a WooCommerce hosting provider means that the company can provide better optimization and technical support when it comes to figuring out WooCommerce issues.
4. Use proper user-roles
Typically eCommerce stores allow visitors to create accounts in order to maintain the order history and make it easier for repeat customers to order products and manage details such as physical addresses and payment information.
That is why it is important to review the privileges of user roles in WooCommerce stores, keeping the site Administrator and Editors only to yourself and your staff while only allowing customers access to their order history and profile pages.
Recently, a vulnerability in sites using WooCommerce and Elementor Pro was discovered and patched, allowing any user registered on the site to edit the WordPress settings. The only way to safeguard against such attacks is to use the latest version of the software or protect yourself using a firewall.
5. Keep multiple backups
E-Commerce stores tend to be busier than normal WordPress websites and the data is constantly being updated in the database, like user registrations, orders, logs, inventory, etc.
So for a WooCommerce website, schedule multiple backups in a day to have the latest copy of your website as a backup available so that you have minimal or no data loss if you have to restore your website from a backup.
6. Monitor WordPress uptime
Blocking attacks is one thing, but knowing precisely and immediately when your website goes down will help you save time fixing whatever issue is causing the downtime. We have written a guide on adding uptime monitoring on WordPress and how it will help you.
Best practices for better WooCommerce security
We usually recommend the following security tips to WooCommerce users to implement as a general security practice.
7. Use strong passwords
A combination of complex usernames and passwords is a general hardening practice. It would help if you implemented it on-site with admins and customers registering on your WooCommerce site.
8. Limit login attempts
A simple yet effective security practice is to limit login attempts on your sign-in page; doing so will lock out attackers if they enter the wrong credentials multiple times in the username or password field.
9. Disable file edits from the WordPress admin dashboard
The WordPress Admin user role is mostly used by people who maintain the website, like designers, content managers, and support staff.
They usually do not need access to edit the code in WordPress files. That is why it is recommended to turn off file editing within the WordPress dashboard; we have a guide on how you can do that here.
10. Use SSL certificates
Using an SSL certificate is necessary as it encrypts any information shared between your server and the site visitor.
Luckily, all the hosting providers come with the option to install SSL certificates on your WooCommerce store easily.
11. Use Two-Factor Authentication for website administrators.
Two-factor authentication, sometimes called two-factor verification, is an additional security measure that can be applied to user accounts to prevent unwanted access. Users must enter two pieces of information to log in, often a password and a special code issued by a different device, like a smartphone.
Implementing two-factor verification is a practical technique to safeguard user accounts from online threats like phishing, password cracking, and credential stuffing.
Final thoughts about WooCommerce security tips
WooCommerce plugin is safe, and if a vulnerability is discovered, it is patched almost immediately. But the scope of securing a WooCommerce goes beyond updating the plugin; you need to have a firewall, use a secure hosting provider, have an SSL certificate installed, and monitor the site’s performance.
Security needs time, but doing so before a mishap happens is an investment in the right direction. If you have any questions about WooCommerce security, talk to our live chat or ask a question in our community.