This article gives you a simple outline of all the WordPress security mistakes that we must avoid. We know that WordPress is prone to attacks from hackers all the time due to its security vulnerabilities. A hacked site causes damage not just to the site owner but might negatively affect the devices of your site’s traffic by infecting them with malware.
That will get in the way of the purpose of your WordPress to help your visitors by sharing information. No one would want it, which is why we need to protect our websites by avoiding as many WordPress security mistakes as possible.
But how should we do it? You have nothing to worry about because I have the answer for you. This article helps you to understand more about the simple ways to protect your WordPress.
Why does your WordPress get hacked?
You might wonder why anyone would want to hack your WordPress and that is a fair doubt. But as long as you do not have an arch-nemesis trying to drag you down, I can assure you that you might not be the principal target of the hacker.
A hacker will not always have a purpose to attack your WordPress. He might not even specifically pick out your website. Your WordPress can be intruded on just because the security issues of it invite him in.
However, there are other possibilities too. A paid hacker can redirect your visitors to different sites. Or he can get his hands on your visitors’ information with the malware he injects into their devices and uses it for his gain.
We can’t say why exactly he hacks your WordPress, but the only thing we need to remember is to avoid all kinds of WordPress security mistakes. And the purpose of this article is to help you understand the ways of achieving that.
What are the 10 common WordPress security mistakes we make and how to avoid them?
As of now, we have established the fact that it is crucial to avoid WordPress security mistakes at all costs. All that is left is to learn from those mistakes and find possible ways to prevent them from happening. Here, we get a deeper understanding of the best security practices of WordPress:
1.Not hiding WordPress login page:
Using the common default login path of WordPress is very risky and it is a frequently made WordPress security mistake. By not hiding the login page, you expose where the door to your WordPress is. The only thing left for the hacker is to try out different keys to find out the right one. It is possible by brute force attacks using bots to find the correct credentials for your WordPress login.
Solution: We should take measures to hide WordPress login pages using WordPress security plugins. One such plugin is ‘Hide My WP’ that allows you to create your custom login path URL or add a specific key to the login path.
2.Using weak passwords:
Using a predictable login username like “admin” and a password like “1234” makes it easy for the hacker to enter your WordPress. The users who have credentials as such fall into the traps of hackers all the time.
Solution: If hiding the login page of your WordPress is the first barrier against brute force attack, then using strong usernames and passwords is the second. You can use websites that generate good passwords to secure your WordPress.
3.Exposing your source code:
Source code is necessary for a hacker to penetrate your website thoroughly. Exposing the source code is the WordPress security mistake that almost every WordPress user did or still does.
It allows an attacker to use the loopholes in your website to gain access to your WordPress. After all, no code is flawless, and letting everyone access those flaws further makes WordPress vulnerable.
Solution: To stop the attackers from getting their hands on the source code, we must disable source code visibility. We have security plugins like ‘Hide My WP’ that help protect your source code from hackers. It also allows you to replace anything in your source code.
4.Not updating WordPress core software:
One of the benefits of using a CMS like WordPress is that the developers release updates all the time. These updates improve the performance and security of WordPress.
However, though WordPress makes it easy to create websites without coding, we still need to update WordPress manually. In short, the updates are not automatically installed. If the core software is not regularly updated, it leaves WordPress vulnerable to attacks.
Solution: As you might have already guessed, updating the core software regularly is important. You might as well add reminders on your devices to update WordPress every few weeks. That will strengthen your WordPress’s security.
5.Not having firewall protection:
Even if you shield your WordPress from all sides, there’s still a possibility of it being attacked. If you do not have firewall protection, there is no way to stop attacks from malicious networks.
Solution: Adding firewall protection to your WordPress helps secure it. ‘Hide My WP’ security plugin has a firewall against attacks like SQL injections, CSRF, XSS, read arbitrary files, and brute force. It not only protects your WordPress but also notifies you about potential bad behavior with full details of attackers(username, IP, Page, date, etc)
6.Not updating themes and plugins:
There are many WordPress add-ons like themes and plugins available for the users to customize their websites.
However, outdated themes and plugins may create vulnerabilities in your WordPress and this is one of the frequently made security mistakes of WordPress.
Solution: Developers always release updates to improve the performance and security of the themes and plugins. Hence, it is very important to install those updates as soon as they are available to us.
7.Enabling directory listing:
Web servers automatically list contents of directories that do not possess an index page. Enabling directory listings can help attackers to identify the resources and attack them.
It also increases the exposure of important and sensitive files in the directory which are not meant to be accessed by just anyone.
Solution: Disabling directory listing makes things harder for the hacker. To increase WordPress protection, the ‘Hide My WP’ security plugin aids in disabling directory listings. It helps in securing the resources that are not to be accessed by someone unauthorized.
8.Allowing access to PHP files:
Allowing access to PHP files will help outsiders to bypass your WordPress when your code is split into smaller files. Using these smaller files, the hacker can evade the security measures you have taken to protect your WordPress.
Solution: To restrict outsiders from intruding on your website, we must disable access to PHP files. We can achieve that by using ‘Hide My WP’ that helps to disable access to PHP files in your WordPress.
9.Poor hosting site choice:
There are many web hosting services available out there, of which no two are the same. Choosing the best one among them might be difficult.
However, it is crucial to choose the right one. Most of them are secure but few web hosts do not separate the user accounts properly. So if one account gets attacked, all the other shared accounts will be dragged down too.
Solution: It must choose the best hosting site despite how costly it might be. Because nothing is more important than securing all of your hard work. WordPress users have to make sure that the host site they choose doesn’t have any negative feedback.
10.Using vulnerable themes and plugins:
Using vulnerable themes and plugins can harm your WordPress. When a plugin or theme is abandoned, we must note that those add-ons do not serve their purposes while being risk-free. That is because the developers have probably stopped releasing the security updates. Therefore, installing them will leave your WordPress vulnerable.
Few disallowed plugins might not serve your website well. Thus, we must avoid those plugins at all costs.
Solution: Install the plugins and themes that have a good reputation that will not harm your website. While plugins are helpful, installing too many may increase the vulnerabilities to your WordPress. Therefore, we should use multi-purpose security plugins like ‘Hide My WP’ that target many issues simultaneously. This security plugin will reduce the need for you to use multiple plugins to secure your WordPress.
Here are the ways by which ‘Hide My WP’ acts as a multi-purpose security plugin:
- This WordPress security plugin can hide WP-login, names of themes and plugins, WP-admins.
- It can change WordPress permalinks.
- It hides WordPress from theme detectors, plugin detectors, customers, and hackers/bots.
- Its firewall powered by Smart IDS Engine can autoblock lethal attacks
- It works with a ‘trust network’ that always protects WordPress from unknown attackers.
- It blocks direct access to PHP files.
- It can disable directory listings and also minify HTML, CSS.
- It secures your source code and also allows you to replace anything in it.
We always make mistakes but that should not bring us down. After all, we are only human. But we must learn from those mistakes and prevent them from happening again.
There are many WordPress security mistakes that users always make and the most important ones to avoid are listed above. Use good WordPress security plugins like ‘Hide My WP’ to tackle those mistakes and secure your WordPress effectively.