How to Protect Sensitive Documents in WordPress

No matter who you are, business owners, employees, customers, or stakeholders, data privacy keeps bothering you and becomes a vital concern of all time. Your sensitive information can be credit cards, payrolls, acquisition plans, or financial data.

You must have your critical business assets handled properly by all means. If your sensitive documents fall into the wrong hand, you can’t even predict the consequences. Fraud and identity theft seriously harm your company which leads to revenue loss and brand reputation.

Although many people are aware of digital piracy, not all of them know how to secure their data effectively. That’s why we summarize 7 common mistakes when it comes to data leakage prevention. Then, we’ll discuss 5 ways on how to protect sensitive documents together.

Mistakes When Securing Sensitive Data

Here are a few mistakes that business owners often make when securing their important documents.

#1 Fail to Classify Data

All business documents are important, but you should understand which one is more significant than others. Once knowing the data type, you can create a policy of data classification for employees to follow.

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Your files should be grouped into at least 3 levels of Restricted, Confidential or Private, and Public. The first data type mustn’t be available to anyone in the company, even you, the business owners. It can be the customer’s checkout details or payroll. This information is often stored and managed by payment gateway platforms.

Confidential or Private data includes the company credentials such as the revenue info, internal training docs, or HR files. Only the head of these departments can have access to them.

#2 Misuse the Cloud

Storing data in the cloud allows you to save a huge amount of data without the need for any hard disk or flash drive.

However, bear in mind that leaving your data on the cloud also means that you’re risking your data in someone else’s system. You won’t have complete control over it, especially when your files haven’t been encrypted or protected yet.

Some business owners never notice the Cloud provider’s policies. They don’t care about the backup policy, who can have access permission to the data, as well as the data breach communication policy.

We never deny the benefits of saving data on the cloud. Still, you should make sure to add security layers to data and encrypt media files probably before uploading to the cloud.

#3 Ignore the Internal Threats

It’s good to be careful with outsiders and prevent them from touching your WordPress-sensitive documents. However, have you ever thought that your employees or someone you trust are also a threat of data leakage?

This requires you to proactively address the insider threat. You must educate your employees about security breaches as well as the consequences of leaking out data to the organization and themselves.

#4 Underestimate the Known Software Vulnerabilities

WordPress always warns users about security threats of old core platform versions or outdated plugins and themes. The new updates help fix bugs and vulnerability holes and boost security.

Most of us understand this, however, not many people follow. And this results in 80% of successful hacks which happen to known exploits.

How to Protect Sensitive Documents in WordPress

You have a lot of different methods to protect your sensitive documents from data breaches. The most common ways are limiting access and encrypt data effectively. It’s recommended to back up the data frequently and training employees about the importance of data security too.

#1 Limit Access to Sensitive Information

Sensitive document access should be restricted to only those who have “need to know” permission. They include the site admins, managers, or heads of departments. Their links can’t be available to the public by all means.

PDA Gold proves a powerful solution to protect any type of your documents. Once you protect these files, even people have their URLs somehow, they won’t be able to open and view them.

If someone needs access to these files, you can give them the private download link which will expire after a certain time or click. This helps reduce the chance of people sharing your files with others.

#2 Encrypt Data

Encryption or password protection is also a common way to protect your sensitive WordPress documents against unauthorized access. Only people with the correct password can unlock these important files.

WordPress’s built-in password-protection function lets you protect pages and posts only. You need help from a third-party plugin like PPWP Pro to get the job done. The plugin makes it easy for you to hide your files embedded in WordPress content under a password form.

You can lock a document with multiple passwords too. Each password can be entered at a given time or usage. After that, people won’t have permission to view your files despite having the right password.

#3 Use a Secure Website

As we mentioned above, data on your website can become the target of hackers via known vulnerabilities. You need to tighten the site security by updating the WordPress core platform and plugins/themes frequently.

More importantly, you should have firewalls and security plugins ready on your site to prevent unwanted accesses and attacks. You need to avoid untrusted plugins which have not been tested with major releases of WordPress. They may contain harmful programs affecting your site data.

#4 Educate Employees to Reduce Internal Security Threats

Employees should have the right to know different types of documents in your business as well as their usages. Your responsibility is to train them on how to care for and respect confidential and proprietary information.

A confidential non-disclosure agreement for them to sign is a smart idea to avoid leaking private information to third parties. They must be aware that these documents can be shared with the permitted people in the company only.

#5 Always Back up Your Data

Although it’s convenient to store your important documents on the website or on the cloud, this sometimes poses significant risks. You may lose your data when accidentally making some changes on the site.

Remember to back up your data to prevent any unpredicted problems. You should also need to save hard copies of your files and keep them in a secure place.

Don’t Ruin Your Sensitive Documents Anymore

We’ve gone over 4 common mistakes people often make when securing their sensitive documents. If you ignore classifying your data and misuse the cloud, you’re risking your data in the wrong hands. Some businesses focus on external attacks but forget to pay attention to internal threats either.

You can protect your important files by restricting their direct access or protect them with passwords. A secure website will help prevent ill-intentioned users and malware to attack your site. Remember to back up your documents too.

If you still have any concerns about protecting your sensitive documents, let’s discuss them in the comment section below.