I think we can all agree that WordPress is one of the topmost content management systems currently. Different people from different countries with varying interests rely on WordPress to flaunt valuable content on the internet. Talent must not be restricted even if you do not know how to build a website from scratch, no? Well, WordPress got it covered for you and, it helps you out with the websites.
However, WordPress websites often get attacked by hackers even though WordPress is a very secure CMS. Here, in this article, I will elucidate the top ten reasons why WordPress gets hacked. You might consider them simple if you get to know them, but these simple WordPress vulnerabilities can wreak havoc on your website if you do not tackle them soon enough. Let’s get right into it and help you enhance your website security.
Why Do WordPress Websites Get Hacked
I can assume that we all know it’s not just the WordPress websites that get attacked by hackers. But WordPress websites are constantly out there in the open, inviting hackers. WordPress vulnerabilities are easy to exploit for hackers and, most users tend to procrastinate their website security.
There are millions of WordPress websites on the internet, making them spectacular targets for hackers. Here are ten reasons why WordPress websites get hacked:
1. Poor Web Hosting Choices
WordPress websites are hosted on a web server just like any other website. But the web host you choose is pivotal for your website security and performance.
This step is where most users make a wrong call and go for a cheaper option like a shared hosting server. The handicap of using a shared host server is that if a hacker manages to get a single website, all the other websites shared on the server will be affected.
A poor server will also make your website vulnerable to hacking, so opting for a good web server will score a point for you in website security.
Suggestion: If you are on a shared web hosting server, ask your hosting service if they can provide you with VPS hosting.
2. An Outdated Software
Maintaining a website can be difficult, I admit that. But it is worth all the difficulties considering we love doing it. A busy schedule or a long day can make you ignore the software update staring right back at you on the screen.
But these small neglections give an attacker opportunities to hack your website. Whenever you get notified that a new update is available, install it immediately.
Software updates contain security patches that have fixes for the known vulnerabilities on WordPress and help in upgrading website security.
Suggestion: Users are often worried that software updates may cause their websites to crash. Consider testing the updates on a staging website to address this issue.
3. Poor Login Authentication
Brute force attacks commonly occur on websites with poor login authentication. Simple login credentials are not only easy for you but, they are predictable to hackers as well. So we must be cautious about what username and password we choose for our website.
4. Not Updating Plugins And Themes
Using outdated plugins and themes can be like open doors for a hacker. Each update brings in new security fixes, that is, less number of vulnerabilities for an attacker to exploit. It is essential to stay up to date with the updates of WordPress plugins and themes.
Suggestion: Set up periodic reminders to be well informed regarding the new update releases and prevent WordPress hacks.
5. Say No To Nulled Plugins And Themes
Sometimes users may not be willing to pay for plugins and themes. Instead, they look for nulled plugins and themes that are available on the internet. Nulled versions are pirated copies of the original plugins, and malware is incorporated within the nulled versions.
These nulled versions do not get updated regularly, and using them is the same as welcoming hackers with wide-open arms.
Suggestion: If you cannot get any paid plugins or themes, consider using free versions of them. For example, the Hide My WP plugin offers its users a free version of the plugin called Hide My WP lite.
6. Easy Access To WP-Admin Folder
An easy way for an attacker to gain control over your website is by access to your wp-admin directory. So limiting the number of people to access this sensitive folder plays a significant role in your website security.
You should also protect the folder with a password to ensure that the folder doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Suggestion: Protecting your wp-admin folder with two-factor authentication will make sure that the folder is utterly safe.
7. Default Table Prefix
In WordPress, all the tables have a default prefix wp_ and, most users tend to keep it unchanged. However, we have an option to change the prefix to our liking. Hackers know the default prefix too, and this makes their target easier to reach.
Suggestion: Use a prefix more complicated than wp_ so that it’s not predictable.
8. Unwanted Users
The admin privileges are not for everyone and, you have to make sure that the admin role is given only to the intended ones. You should also re-check the authorized user roles you have created because hackers can add unwanted users without you realizing it.
Suggestion: Remove all the unwanted users from the Users section on the left. Delete the ones that you might not have created.
9. File Permission
File permission is a set of rules that controls the files that help with the WordPress website functionality. However, if the permission to the files is wrong, it might be advantageous for an attacker to gain access to your website.
Suggestion: You have to verify if all the given file permissions are correct. In the WordPress admin console, there is an option that lets you change the file attributes. And in this panel, you must ensure that all the file permission is of the numeric value 644 while permission for the folders is 755.
10. Not Having A Firewall
A firewall is necessary for WordPress security. A firewall acts as a shield between and the website. Not having a Firewall can be a disadvantage at your hand because blocking attacks is difficult without a firewall.
Suggestion: Adding a firewall to your website can advance your security. However, using a security plugin that has an in-built firewall can be much more helpful.
For example, the Hide My WP security plugin has a firewall that blocks lethal like SQL, XSS, CSRF, read arbitrary files, and brute force attacks. Its features are not limited to a firewall; it can hide the login page, change WordPress permalinks, hide or rename WP-admins, hide or rename the themes and plugins folders, has anti-spam included, and more.
WordPress websites are often a target to hackers. There are various vulnerabilities we choose to ignore that help an attacker hack your website. Using WordPress security plugins as the Hide My WP will be beneficial in strengthening the walls around your website.
Also Read: How To Perform A WordPress Security Audit?