Joomla, along with WordPress is the most recognised and used web development platform in the world. The latest version of Joomla is 3.5 and just like any other online resource, it needs to be secured from unauthorised access, bugs, Trojans and any other form of malware. Your website is your intellectual property and securing it is critical. This article discusses about theways you can enhance security of your data in Joomla 3.5 and prevent any kind of data loss or theft.
Joomla 3.5 can be efficiently secured if you ensure that all the plugins are updated and only the latest ones are installed. It will help negate any vulnerabilities that might have existed in the previous versions. The developers consistently strive to detect and patch the vulnerabilities in their products. Hence, by ensuring that only the most recent version of plugins are installed with your Joomla 3.5, you will be able to secure your data. It will also allow you to derive the best performance from Joomla as the latest plugins will be compatible with Joomla 3.5. Joomla also provides a list of extensions that it considers to be vulnerable – the “Vulnerable Extensions List” (here's the live version: https://vel.joomla.org/live-vel ). By tracking it, you will know which extensions require your attention so that you can take necessary action.
Using a strong admin password
A strong password is the most critical and effective way to secure your online accounts, whether it’s an email, your bank account or Joomla. However, it is often the factor that gets easily overlooked by many, as they don’t understand how crucial it is NOT keep the default admin or an easy password. The more complicated the password, more difficult it is for the attackers to crack it. The most secure passwords are long and have a combination of capital and small alphabets, numbers and special characteristics.
Using a login protection extension
Joomla provides a range of admin login protection extensions that help secure your login credentials from attackers. These extensions provide a secret and secure access to your Joomla login. You can select from a host of extensions and do some research by reading the user feedback about which extension to use along with your Joomla 3.5. Also, you need to ensure that only the latest versions of these extensions are installed. Keep tracing the updates released by the developers of the extensions to get the latest update. Similarly, always install extensions from known sources such as those listed on Joomla’s website.
Uninstall old and unwanted extensions
Keeping your Joomla 3.5 clutter-free from all the obsolete and unwanted extension is an excellent way to improve its performance and boost the security. Only install the extensions that you will actually be using. If there is an extension you don’t need, just get rid of it. It will reduce the processing requirement and will also protect Joomla from any vulnerabilities in the unwanted extensions that the hackers can potentially exploit. Again, only install extensions from known and secure sources. If you already use Joomla 3.5 and have extensions installed to it, review them and if there are extensions from unknown developers, uninstall them immediately.
Taking regular backup is useful if there is data loss due to a system crash or if somehow a hacker gains access to it and deletes it. Ensuring regular and scheduled backups helps you retrieve your data in case you lose it and restore your Joomla website. A weekly backup is advisable. Plan a schedule and adhere to it. Use Akeeba Backup for backups.
Keep a constant vigil on your Joomla 3.5 website. If there is an issue with your site, you will be notified immediately. Using online tools such as Perfect Dashboard or Watchful is an excellent way to ensure that your site is always monitored and if the site is not properly functional, you can take an immediate action.
A host of security tools are available for Joomla 3.5. One of the most efficient tools is RSFireWall which protects websites from RCE vulnerabilities and malware. It also allows setting up an additional admin password. Another option is Akeeba Admin Tools which is a set of efficient tools that notify about updates to Joomla, protect the admin passwords and prevent attacks from malware.
Login using two factor authentication
A two factor authentication (2FA) is exponentially better than a single login. By ensuring that both the passwords are complicated as stated earlier, you make your website highly secure. Attackers are least likely to target websites with complex admin passwords and two factor authentication. Even if one of your password is leaked or hacked, by the time the other is compromised, you can change both of them. These are some of the useful tips, tools or methods to protect your Joomla 3.5 website and the data uploaded on it. Implementing all these methods will go a long way in eliminating the vulnerabilities and threats.
As one of the readers mentioned - good practice can be adding a .htaccess in the administrator directory, that only allows administrator's IP.
If you have any other suggstions - let us know in comments and we'll update this article. Thanks.