For anyone who makes a living online through their blog, the importance of using at least one of these free WordPress security plugins can never be overstated.
There are lots of dangers that your website will always be vulnerable to, some originating from your WordPress server vulnerabilities, the current theme you’re using or even the plugins you use.
The good news, however, is that there are many free WordPress security plugins that can help you keep your site safe from hackers.
But why should you pay keen attention to your website’s security? Because if your site is hacked,
- You can lose your persona data or data belonging to your clients/users
- You can lose access to your site by being locked out and held ransom
- Your site can be destroyed, which can lead to reduced SEO rankings
- Hackers can use your website to distribute malicious codes to unsuspecting users
And that’s why using a security plugin should be a priority. Please note that we have included plugins that have both free and premium options to give you more options to choose from.
Best WordPress Security Plugins
Below we look at some of the free security plugins your WordPress website can benefit from.
1. Sucuri Security
Sucuri is one of the best WordPress security plugins and has both FREE and PREMIUM options. The free Sucuri Security plugin offers several website protection features such as:
- Website cleaning in case of malware attacks or website hacks
- Security activity auditing to identify and fix website vulnerabilities
- Protects your site from SQL Injections and other attacks
- Carries out regular malware scanning to keep your site clean and safe
- Blocks malicious traffic hence reducing server load times while improving the site’s performance
- Does effective security hardening for enhanced website protection
However, if you feel the need for a more advanced level of protection, then the premium option is ideal.
Premium Sucuri Security plugin offers Website Firewall protection which helps thwart brute force and malicious attacks from gaining access to your website or blog.
2. iThemes Security
Previously known as Better WP Security, iThemes Security is one of the best WordPress security plugins that comes with impressive website security features.
Some of the amazing features in the free iThemes Security plugin include:
- Protecting your website against IP spoofing by identifying remote IP entries
- Enforcing strong passwords for enhanced website security
- Banning suspicious users from login to your admin panel
- Has local brute force protection to shield against brute force attacks
- Automatically blocking users who snoop around for vulnerable pages to exploit
- Monitors your website for unexpected file changes
- Has database backup option to ensure your content is backed up
Those are some of the basic features that free iThemes Security plugin offers. However, you can also upgrade to a premium version for better and advanced website protection.
3. Wordfence Security
Wordfence Security is a security plugin that offers outstanding protection against hacks and malware. It has robust security features and allows you to see previous hack attempts as well as overall traffic trends.
Among the notable features to enjoy from free Wordfence Security plugin include:
- It has Web App Firewall that protects against malicious traffic
- Offers website protection at the endpoint, which means it cannot be bypassed and cannot leak your personal data
- Protects your website against brute force attacks and limits login attempts
- Has malware scanner that blocks malicious requests, code injections, check core files, themes and plugins for bad URLs, SEO spam and malicious redirects
- Repairs infected files by overwriting them with the original version
- Checks your website for security vulnerabilities and scans your content for dangerous URLs and other suspicious content
- Has two-factor authentication for advanced website security
- Has a login page CAPTCHA that stops from logging in
- Block suspected attackers by IP or build advanced rules based on IP Range, User-Agent, Hostname, and Referrer
There’s a premium version that comes with additional advanced features.
4. All in One WP Security & Firewall
With an average rating of 9.1 on WordPress plugin repository, All in One WP Security & Firewall plugin is one of the most reliable WordPress security plugins you can ever come across.
It has amazing features in its free option, which includes;
- Custom login URL to your dashboard instead of /wp-admin/ or /wp-login.php/
- Option to prevent access to critical files from potential hackers
- Option to enable IP or User-Agent Blacklisting for enhanced website security at the server level
- Basic firewall protection and blocks access to WP XML-RPC functionality
- Protects your website against Brute Force attacks
- Protection against spam comments by enabling CAPTCHA on comment forms
- Protection against spambot comments
- Detects unexpected changes to files in your website
5. BulletProof Security
Using the BulletProof Security plugin is one of the most effective ways of protecting your precious blog or website against potential hackers.
The plugin has a malware scanner, firewall protection, login security, database backup, and anti-spam protection options among others.
Some of the notable features with the free BulletProof Security plugin include:
- Mscan malware scanner
- Firewall protection for .htaccess
- Scan for hidden plugin folders
- Offers login security and monitoring
- Offers partial and full database backup
- Idle Session Logout (ISL)
- Auth Cookie Expiration (ACE)
- Protection against brute force attacks
If you wish to get advanced website protection features then I recommend you check out their premium version and compare their prices.
6. Cerber Security, Antispam & Malware Scan
With an average rating of 9.5 on the WordPress plugin repository, Cerber Security, Antispam & Malware Scan is one of the best WordPress security plugins around.
Some of the notable security features you can get from this plugin include:
- Limiting wrong login attempts
- Blacklisting suspicious IP addresses
- Verifies the integrity of WordPress files, plugins and themes
- Generates custom login URL (instead of /wp-admin/)
- Blocks users who request access to /wp-admin/ login page
- Monitors against fake/suspicious traffic
- Monitors file changes and new files with email notifications
- Protects against spam and spambot comments
- Protects against brute force attacks
Its premium version comes with advanced protection features, and you can choose between quarterly and yearly plans.
7. NinjaFirewall (WP Edition)
NinjaFirewall is a stand-alone firewall that can be configured like a usual plugin but sits in front of WordPress. It allows the blog administrators to enjoy advanced and powerful security features not available at the WordPress level but through security apps such as the Apache ModSecurity module.
NinjaFirewall will hook, scan, clean or reject any HTTP/HTTPS requests sent to a PHP script before they reach WordPress or any of the active plugins. It also filters hacker shell scripts, encoded PHP scripts, and backdoors hence offering the perfect shield for your website.
Some of the notable features NinjaFirewall has or offers include:
- Powerful filtering engine that detects malicious hacker scripts and filters it before reaching your backend/plugins
- Efficient brute-force attack protection mechanism that shields your blog against attacks, including simultaneous distributed attacks from multiple IPs
- Uses File Guard real-time protection to detect real-time access to a PHP and recently modified or created files
- Website scanner that scans your website regularly for file changes such as file creation, file deletion, and file permissions edits
- NinjaFirewall protects your sensitive data by filtering the traffic on your server hence ensuring your data remains on your server rather than being routed through a third-party company’s servers, which could be compromised
There is also a premium version which happens to be more affordable compared to the other WordPress security plugins ($45 per domain per year).
8. Defender WordPress Security
Defender WordPress Security is one of the best WordPress security plugins that offers some outstanding features for free. Although it has a premium version, the following features are available on free plans.
- Google 2-Step Verification
- Suspicious IP lockouts and reports
- IP blacklist manager and logging
- Custom login URL (login screen masking)
- Unlimited file scans
- One-click site hardening and security tweaking
- Defense against brute-force attacks
- WordPress core file scanning and repair
- 404 limiter for blocking vulnerability scans
If you wish to get advanced protection features, then you can get a 7-day free trial and choose to either upgrade or cancel.
9. Shield Security
With more than 830 five-star ratings, Shield Security is one of the best WordPress security plugins you can ever find.
Apart from offering incredible website security features, it’s also easy to integrate and manage, making it an ideal option for beginners.
Some of the features Shield Security offers include:
- Limits login attempts
- Blocks automatic brute-force bots
- Has powerful core file scanners that detect malicious file changes and hacks
- Automatic IP blacklist
- 2-factor authentication, including Google Authenticator and email
- Automatic comment spam blocking
- Block REST API/XML-RPC access
- Uses reCAPTCHA
You can also upgrade to the premium version for just $12/year for 1 site.
10. Block Bad Queries
One of the simplest free WordPress security plugins is Block Bad Queries (BBQ). The plugin protects your website against malicious URL requests by checking all incoming traffic and quietly blocking bad/suspicious requests.
Some of the features the plugin offer include:
- Blocking a wide range of malicious requests
- Blocking directory traversal attacks
- Scanning all incoming traffic and blocking bad requests
- Blocking SQL injection attacks
- Blocking executable file uploads
- Scanning all request types, e.g. GET, POST, DELETE, etc.
Wrapping It Up
In conclusion, there are many free WordPress security plugins that can do the job, but we have chosen to highlight just a few of them. These plugins will do your website a massive boost and will help you enjoy a peaceful sleep knowing your website or blog is secure.