10 Best Free WordPress Security Plugins

wordpress security plugins

Hackers continually find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in websites, and WordPress is no exception, given its popularity. Small businesses are the target of 43% of cyber attacks. After a cyber-attack, 60% of these companies go out of business within six months.

WordPress security plugins can protect your site from malicious attacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access. It also keeps it running smoothly and maintains your users’ trust. However, choosing the right plugins for your website might require you to have some technical expertise, but you don’t have to fret.

This article lists the best security plugins that are user-friendly, even for those without technical expertise, making it possible to tighten your website’s security with just a few clicks.

Key Takeaways

  • WordPress sites must be protected with WordPress security plugins to prevent cyber attacks.
  • Free security plugins can offer robust protection without incurring costs.
  • Key features include malware scanning, firewalls, and protection against brute force attacks.

6 Reasons Why You Need a WordPress Security Plugins

Your website is valuable, and just as you’d secure your physical assets, securing your digital presence is also important. Here are 6 reasons why you need a WordPress security plugin.

  1. Preventing Hacks: WordPress security plugins actively monitor and thwart malicious attempts such as brute force attacks or SQL injections.
  2. Regular Scans: WordPress security plugins conduct regular scans for malware and suspicious code, ensuring early detection.
  3. Strengthening Login: You can implement features like two-factor authentication (2FA) and limit login attempts with security plugins to protect against unauthorized access.
  4. Data Breaches: WordPress Security plugin encryption and secure data practices can prevent the compromise of personal data on your site. You’ll face not just a loss of trust but potentially legal consequences.
  5. SEO Protection: Malware and blacklisting by search engines can tank your SEO rankings. Security plugins keep your site clean and your SEO efforts intact.
  6. Updates and Patches: With automatic updates, WordPress security plugins ensure that any known vulnerabilities are patched quickly.

Check out this article on tips on how to build a secure WordPress website that lasts.

Common Vulnerabilities in WordPress

As a WordPress website owner, it’s crucial to be aware of the common weak spots that could be exploited. Here are some common WordPress vulnerabilities you should know about and how to prevent them.

Brute Force Attacks

Hackers frequently use brute force techniques to crack your login credentials. Use complex passwords and implement limits on login attempts to mitigate this risk.

SQL Injection

Your database is at risk if malicious SQL statements are injected through vulnerable input fields. Regularly update and sanitize your input data to prevent this.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

This occurs when attackers inject malicious scripts into web pages viewed by other users. Ensure your theme and plugin codes properly handle user inputs.

File Inclusions

Faulty PHP code can lead to unauthorized code execution through file inclusion. Adhere to WordPress coding standards to seal these vulnerabilities.

VulnerabilityDescriptionPrevention Tips
Brute Force AttacksAttackers guess login info to gain site access.Use strong passwords and limit login tries.
SQL InjectionMalicious SQL commands are executed via input fields.Sanitize input data.
Outdated Themes/PluginsKnown security loopholes may be present in older versions.Regularly update all software.
Cross-Site ScriptingMalware is injected to affect other users.Ensure proper input handling in code.

Tool Tip

Always back up your website so you can restore it in the event of an attack. For added protection, consider installing reputable WordPress security plugins recommended by sources like Astra and WPBeginner.

Top Free WordPress Security Plugins

To ensure you have a secured website, there are several robust plugins available that provide strong protective measures without any cost.

These top picks offer various features, from firewall protection to malware scanning, giving you a comprehensive toolkit to safeguard your website.

Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security is one of the most popular WordPress security plugins with capabilities like an endpoint firewall and malware scanner. It leverages a large threat defence feed, and it ensures you’re informed of the latest security updates.

It has over 2 million downloads. Wordfence Security solution can handle any vulnerabilities on your website. It is updated regularly, and it’s a single master and powerful solution for your WordPress security.

It is one of the many WordPress security plugins that provides complete protection to your website with the new rules of firewall and malicious IP addresses you need to keep your website safe.

It has advanced features like Real-Time live traffic that enable you to get real-time updates on the traffic as well as the attempts of hacking on your site.

All in One WP Security & Firewall

With All in One WP Security & Firewall, you receive a user-friendly interface and features to prevent brute force login attacks, alongside a security points system that measures how well your site is protected.

Sucuri Security

The Sucuri Security plugin provides auditing, malware scanning, and security hardening. Its effectiveness is widely recognized and suitable for both beginners and advanced users. Reputable sources, including Kinsta, endorse it.

iThemes Security

Formerly known as Better WP Security, iThemes Security offers over 30 ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. It focuses on recognizing plugin vulnerabilities, obsolete software, and weak passwords.

Bulletproof Security Pro

Bulletproof Security Pro may not be as widely known but it defends against over 100,000 attacks every minute. Its primary features cover firewall security, database security, and login security.

Malcare Security

Malware Security is curated to provide a one-click malware removal service, ensuring your website is cleaned without waiting for hours. It intelligently identifies any potential threats without slowing down your website.

Anti-Malware Security

With Anti-Malware Security, you get tools to scan for malware and block potential threats. The plugin also includes direct access to automatically update and apply the latest security definitions.

WP Scan

WP Scan offers a security service powered by a team of WordPress experts. Its database is filled with known WordPress vulnerabilities, an invaluable resource for keeping your site secure.


While Jetpack offers a multitude of features, its security component is comprehensive, with protections against brute force attacks, spam, and malware. It’s a trusted plugin developed by Automattic, the same team behind WordPress.com.

Features to Look for in a Security Plugin

When choosing a security plugin for your WordPress site, it’s paramount to select one that offers comprehensive protection. The following features are essential to safeguard your website effectively.

Malware Scanning Capabilities

Your plugin should offer real-time malware scanning to detect and remove any malicious software. This includes sweeping for vulnerabilities, checking for suspect code, and ensuring that any infections are dealt with promptly. A plugin like WordFence can provide such scanning capabilities.

Firewall Protection

A robust firewall acts as a shield against a range of attacks, filtering out bad traffic before it reaches your site. This should include endpoint firewalls, which run on your server for optimal performance. Plugins that offer comprehensive firewall protection are crucial for your website’s safety.

Brute Force Attack Prevention

To defend against attackers trying to gain unauthorized access, ensure your security plugin can thwart brute force attacks. This often involves limiting login attempts and enforcing strong password policies. Select a plugin that provides active protection mechanisms against such intrusions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I enhance the security of my WordPress blog for free?

To enhance the security of your WordPress blog without incurring costs, consider installing a comprehensive plugin like All In One WP Security & Firewall. It’s an extensively used plugin that enhances your blog’s security through features like login lockdowns and security points grading.

What WordPress security plugin provides real-time monitoring at no cost?

For comprehensive real-time monitoring without expense, Wordfence Security comes highly recommended. It’s a well-regarded plugin offering firewall protection, malware scan, and live traffic monitoring, keeping you informed of your site’s security in real-time.

Can I trust free security plugins for my WooCommerce-powered store?

Yes, you can trust free security plugins with your WooCommerce store as long as they are from reputable sources. Plugins like Sucuri Security offer robust security features to protect your e-commerce site from threats, including post-hack security actions and blacklist monitoring.

What are the key features to look for in a free antivirus plugin for WordPress sites?

Key features for a free antivirus plugin for WordPress include malware scanning, file integrity monitoring, and a firewall. A plugin such as Sucuri Security that includes these functionalities will significantly bolster your site’s defense against malicious software and hacking attempts.

How do the features of Sucuri and Wordfence compare for WordPress security?

Sucuri and Wordfence offer strong security features for WordPress, but there are differences. Sucuri is known for its powerful server-side scanning and web application firewall (WAF), while Wordfence emphasizes its endpoint firewall and malware scanner, as well as live traffic monitoring.

Is it essential to install a security plugin on my WordPress website, and why?

Yes, it is essential to install a security plugin on your WordPress website to prevent unauthorized access, malware infections, and other security threats. A robust security plugin acts as an initial defense layer, helping to safeguard your site’s integrity and user data.