Sometimes you may hear that hackers target WordPress websites to hack.
Over the last few years, some people recovered their hacked WordPress website after hackers made it a wreck with malware and redirects.
WordPress sites are a common target for attacks. Because it's the world’s most popular website builder. It powers over 31% of all websites meaning hundreds of millions of websites across the globe.
Hackers have a different kind of motives to hack a website. Some are beginners who are just learning to exploit less secure sites. Some hackers have malicious intents like distributing malware, using a site to attack other websites or spamming the internet. WordPress is the completely open source software that has the massive popularity.
Having WordPress site hacked is one of the biggest nightmares for any website owner.
A survey shows that, in 2012 alone, more than 170,000 WordPress websites were hacked - a number that is likely much higher by now.
In this post, we explore some reasons that could cause to get WordPress site hacked, so you can avoid these mistakes and protect your site.
So, let’s get started -
Hackers can use your site to infect your visitors’ computers with malware like backdoors, key trackers, ransomware, viruses, or other malicious software in order to capture the information they can use for their own gain.
Insecure web hosting
Like all websites, WordPress sites are hosted on a web server. Some hosting companies do not properly secure their hosting platform. This makes all websites hosted on their servers vulnerable to hacking attempts. This can be easily avoided by choosing the best WordPress hosting provider for your website. It ensures that your site is hosted on a safe platform. Properly secure servers can block many of the most common attacks on WordPress sites.
Sometimes hackers will redirect visitors from your site to other websites that generate affiliate income for them.
Using weak passwords
Using simple passwords makes it easier for hackers to crack the passwords using some basic hacking tools. Passwords are the major component for your WordPress site. You need to make sure that you’re using a strong and unique password for each of the following accounts because they can all provide a hacker complete access to your website.
Using Plain FTP
FTP accounts are used to upload files to your web server using an FTP client. Most hosting providers support FTP connections using different protocols. When you connect to your site using plain FTP, your password is sent to the server unencrypted. It can be easily stolen. So, you should always use SFTP or SSH, instead of using FTP.
Another possibility is that they take over your server and use the hardware for sending out spam emails, performing denial of service or brute force attacks and more. Of course, this will easily get your server - and your site put on a blacklist or jack up your hosting cost if it is based on usage.
Unprotected access to Admin
The WordPress admin area gives the user access to perform different actions on your WordPress site. It is also the most commonly attacked area of a WordPress site. Leaving it unprotected allows hackers to try different approaches to crack your website. You can make it difficult for them by adding layers of authentication to your WordPress admin directory. Using ‘admin’ as your WordPress username is not recommended. If your administrator username is "admin", then you should immediately change that to a different username.
Hackers are willing to spend a significant amount of time looking for weaknesses in the makeup of your site that they can exploit to gain access. A common way for hackers to get in is via plugins that are not fully patched against backdoor access. This is why it is important to have plugins that are completely trusted and fully up to date with the latest patch on your website.
Popularity can sometimes be a curse when it comes to your website. Some of the more typical hacking attacks on a website have to do with how many users your site gets, and how many other people a hacker can exploit via your site with malware and spam. As you grow, it is important to be aware of what people are downloading off your site, so you can avoid having your company’s reputation tarnished.
Not securing wp-config.php file contains
WordPress configuration file wp-config.php contains your WordPress database login credentials. If it is compromised, then it will reveal information that could give a hacker complete access to your website. You can add an extra layer of protection by denying access to the wp-config file using .htaccess.
Not up to date
Some WordPress users are afraid of updating their WordPress sites. They fear that doing so would break their website. Each new version of WordPress fixes bugs and security vulnerabilities. If you are afraid an update will break your website, then you can create a complete WordPress backup before running an update.
Tips to Protect Your WordPress Website from Hackers
Keep WordPress and your plugins up to date
Choose a reputable hosting provider
Disable plugin and theme editor
Perform regular backups
Hide WordPress version number
And turn Off PHP reporting
You can share your experiences with us in the comment section. Thank you!