Essential Joomla security tips to prevent hacks and attacks

The open source CMS platform Joomla is becoming increasingly admired among businesses wanting to get their products and services online. In fact, Joomla has a CMS market share of more than 9 per cent and boasts a client list that includes eBay, Ikea, McDonald’s, and Sony to name just a few!

But on account of its widespread appeal, Joomla is an equally popular target for hackers wanting to gain access to valuable data. So, if your business happens to run this software package, it makes sense to implement the following essential Joomla security tips, kindly provided by Security Audit Systems.


Keep your site and extensions up-to-date

It is highly recommended to always run the newest version of Joomla, as you will not only benefit from extensive features, but also the latest security patches. The same goes for any extensions you have installed too.

Remove unused extensions

There is nothing wrong with testing different extensions, components, and modules. But even if they are disabled, make sure you uninstall them to prevent hackers from exploiting their vulnerabilities.

Choose a strong password policy

By using a list of commonly used passwords, cyber criminals will attempt to infiltrate your account. Therefore, come up with a policy that requires passwords to have a mixture of uppercase, lowercase, special characters, and numbers.

Always use SSL for all logins

SSL certificates ensure your login details aren’t transmitted over the Internet for hackers to intercept and use. However, it is important to note that you must have a properly configured SSL certificate from your site’s domain.

Protect your session cookies

Cookies enable Joomla to identify users browsing the back end area of your website. But if the cookie were to be intercepted by a third party, they would be granted the same privileges as that user. So, force SSL in your server settings to protect session cookies.

Introduce two-factor authentication

This additional layer of security, which creates a temporary, time-based password unique to a specific username, ensures that anyone without it cannot login to Joomla.

Change the default database prefix

Hackers know what the default database prefix for Joomla is and will adjust their attacks to reflect this. Therefore, you should change this alias to a different one, such as a random 3 or 4 letter word, or install a security extension that can do it for you.

Use a SEF component

Along with making the URLs of your Joomla website more friendly, a SEF component can also improve security. Essentially, a SEF component won’t tell hackers that your website is powered by Joomla.

Do not allow scripts to be uploaded

Even if it’s simply to change their avatar on your forum, allowing users to upload scripts can be a big security risk. Thankfully, Joomla forbids user uploads of scripts by default, so don’t be tempted to change this setting.

Have a backup and recovery plan

Just in the case the worst-case scenario occurs, have a backup and recovery plan in place so you can get your site up and running again in no time.

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