Keeping WordPress secure is a full-time job. You have to keep an eye on every update, changes to the site and all kind of stuff that could risk the security of your WordPress site.
To do just that, I use WP Security Audit Log plugin. The amount of information it gathers and comprehensive reviews make debugging a lot easier.
To be able to use this plugin to its full potential, familiarity with the plugin’s interface, actions/events and understanding the logged data is very important.
What does WP Security Audit Log track?
Well, pretty much everything!
Post edits, page edits, plugin changes, theme updates, logins, weak passwords, failed login attempts, you name it!
WP Security Audit Log uses events to track all of this information and compile a list of the comprehensive log of all kind of activities on the site.
All the events that you want to track on your site can be enabled/disabled from the Dashboard >> Audit Log >> Enable/Disable Events menu.
There are three different Log Levels that come pre-setup with the plugin.
Basic level, as indicated by the name, will log only basic notifications. User logins, file/media changes and changes related to user profiles.
Geek, on the other hand, will log everything. Guest events, such as 404s, user profile changes, user creation, user deletion, WordPress content changes from the users, session-related events.
While Custom stores events that you have selected from the lists.
WP Security Audit Log Event Object
Each logged events in the WP Security Audit Log contains important information related to the activity performed on the website. Different events store different information.
For example, a post related event will have information like post title, post ID, the kind of changed that user made, username, user’s the IP address and user roles. While on the other hand, a user login event would have login status, username, IP address, and user roles.
This is the information that is sufficient to debug a security breach, if any, in your website. Having this information on hand is necessary.
Logged In Users
Logged in users menu under Audit Log plugin is very handy when you have multiple users on the website.
You can view how many users and who is logged in on the website at a given time. Their session related information is displayed in the table.
Along with that information, it also stores the changes a particular user made in a particular session. WP Security Audit Log also displays information related to multiple sessions on the website. You can block multiple sessions for a particular user with just one click.
Email alerts can also be configured for different kind of events related to user sessions.
I have my email accounts logged in on my cell phone and I receive a lot of emails. I also read them all. And I am sure you do too. And I am also sure that you would love receiving a quick alert mail related to important changes regarding your website right inside your inbox.
This feature in WP Security Audit Log does just that. 🎉
You can configure different email notifications, according to your preferences and stay alert all the time with information related to your website that you think is important. Maybe you would like to be alerted when someone makes changes to a published article? Or when someone makes any changes to, let’s say, a certain plugin on the website? You can configure WP Security Audit Log Email Notifications the way you want.
Reports are also an amazing option in WP Security Audit Log. You can automatically generate usage reports, statistics reports, single-user views reports, a particular user’s actions report and get them emailed to you.
After working on a number of WordPress websites for my clients, I find reports to be one of the most awesome things offered by WP Security Audit Log.
Why Use WP Security Audit Log?
You don’t necessarily have to have all of these options enabled for your site or collect all of these stats. But (speaking from experience), having these stats can be a lot more helpful, in time of the disaster, than you might think. I’ve had days when I’ve been blamed for stuff that I haven’t even remotely done. And having all these logs ready at all time have definitely helped me a lot.
And I am sure, it will help you as well.
If you find this guide helpful, please share. Feel free to ask anything related to WordPress Security or in general.