May 21, 2020/Krists/For Web Developers, For Webmasters, Web Security, WooCommerce
WordPress hacked issue is now becoming common day by day. As there are millions of websites using WordPress, the attacks are also increasing. There are many ways WordPress can be hacked. In this post, we will be seeing some of the most popular reasons why WordPress is getting hacked. Once you know the reason, you can also stop it. We will also cover some of the actions you can take to prevent your website from getting hacked in this manner.
So, make sure you read all the popular reasons why WordPress websites are hacked and you also need to secure your WordPress website from all these techniques.
Not updating WordPress
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS out there. It has thousands of themes, plugins, and millions of users are using it. Therefore, there are new vulnerabilities found in WordPress daily. Most of these vulnerabilities are found in WordPress plugins and themes.
As soon as the provider comes to know about it, they release a new version of the theme or plugin. The same goes for WordPress. WordPress has thousands of workers who are working day and night in the software. So, if there is any vulnerability, they will inform the community and it will be fixed in no time. They can’t fix it directly and so, for this reason, a new security update is given. When you update your website to the new version, your website will be safe again.
Did you know that according to a survey more than 73% of the websites are running an outdated version of WordPress? There are good chances that these websites will be vulnerable to many threats.
So, the easiest solution here is to update your WordPress website whenever there is a new version available. Along with WordPress, you also need to make sure that you are using the latest version of themes and plugins. This will ensure better security for you.
Now, you can also use the auto-update feature in WordPress. This will automatically update the WordPress version as well as it will update the themes and the plugins. It is recommended that you turn the updates on. It is always the best option to use the latest version to be safe and secure.
So, this was the first and the primary reason why WordPress gets hacked. Now, let’s see the other issues.
User Id and PasswordsThe next reason why the WordPress website gets hacked is because of the username and the password. The attacker can easily crack the username and password if it is weak. There are techniques like brute force attacks using which the attacker might crack the password.
First, let’s talk about the username. Do not keep “admin” as your username. Most of the people make this mistake and that might put your website at risk. The next username that you shouldn’t keep is the same as your domain name.
Next, make sure your password is strong. Although, WordPress warns you when you set a weak password. Still, many people keep the weak password which you shouldn’t do. Your password should be the combination of uppercase, lowercase, special character, and a number. If this is your password, it becomes almost impossible to crack.
Further, if you have more than one admin, make sure that all of the admins follow the same guideline and make the passwords strong.
The next thing you can do is limit the login attempts. You can find a plugin to do. It will limit the number of times users can enter the wrong password. If one enters the wrong password for more than X times, their IP address will be blocked. You can set the number of hours you want to block the IP.
There are many plugins available that will help you do this. Generally, people set 3 or 5 attempts before the system blocks the IP address.
Till now, we have covered some of the reasons why the WordPress panel is hacked. Along with the WordPress panel, your server plays an important role in security. If the hosting platform is not secure enough, all the websites that are hosted on the server will be a security risk. Even if the attacker finds one of the websites, it will be easier for them to find the rest of the websites hosted on the server.
The only option here is to have a secure web hosting. This is the primary reason why people recommend going with WordPress hosting. If you are using a cheap hosting provider, you will have to make sure that your website is secure. You can migrate to a reputed hosting service that has more features. The reputed hosting company has more passwords compared to the regular one. So, you will benefit here.
Also, you need to make sure that the passwords you set in your hosting account are secure. It includes your hosting password, webmail password, FTP password, etc.
Using Nulled Themes and plugins
Being on the internet, you surely might have heard about the word “nulled” and similar terms. These websites claim to give you the paid themes and plugins for free. For a beginner, this might sound too good as they are getting a premium theme or plugin for free.
But have you ever thought why would someone purchase a product and give it to you for free? There might be a reason, right? Most of these themes have a virus and malware.
Now, half of the themes will only insert annoying ads on your WordPress website. However, some of these nulled themes will install a backdoor on your WordPress website. The attacker can easily log in to your WordPress website with the backdoor.
Further, if your website contains sensitive information, it can easily get stolen. The attackers are there to steal sensitive information from your website. This might be used for any purpose and you will never know about it.
This is the easiest way for the attacker to hack thousands of websites in one go. They can insert ads or can even do worse. So, never use nulled themes and plugins.
No doubt, there are thousands of free themes and plugins, you can use the free themes and plugins instead of the premium ones. Even if you want to purchase the premium themes and plugins, make sure the website is trusted. Download and installing themes from unknown sources and keep your website in danger. Hence, it is always the best option to download the themes and plugins from a reputed website instead of an unknown source.
Not using the security protocol
Gone are the days when you could simply use HTTP or FTP to transfer the files and data.
HTTP is the main protocol that is needed to load the website. For the past many years, we have been using HTTP. It wasn’t secure back then and still, it isn’t. As the vulnerabilities are increasing day by day, it has become necessary to have the SSL certificate for HTTP. An SSL certificate will convert the HTTP to HTTPS. It will secure your website. Not only it is useful for the security of the website but also you will need HTTPS if you want to rank your website in Google and other search engines. The search engines are not prioritizing websites with HTTPS instead of the normal one. Hence, you will need HTTPS.The next is FTP. FTP is used to transfer the file and data into your WordPress website. Now, you need to secure the files and start using SFTP or SSH. It will make sure that the data you transfer is safe and secure. Even the FTP has an email address and password. Hence, you will have to secure it if you don’t want to lose it.
Both of the security protocols work similarly. It will encrypt all the data that you send to the server. If you don’t use the secure protocol, the data will go in the plain text. It includes all the passwords and email addresses. The attacker can easily steal it from between. Hence, it is necessary to have encryption.
Unauthorized access and permissions
The next reason why the WordPress website gets compromised is because of unauthorized access and permissions. Let’s see both of these things in depth.
You will have to stop unauthorized access to your wp-admin directory. You can set an extra password for your wp-admin directory. In this way, if someone wants to access the wp-admin, they will have to provide an extra password to enter into it. It works like 2-factor authorization.
Talking about two-factor authorization, you can also add two-factor authorization in your WordPress admin login. There are plugins available that allow you to do it.
Furthermore, many WordPress websites are hacked due to incorrect file permissions. If you give the wrong permissions to the WordPress files and folder, it might be accessible by anyone. All the WordPress files should have 644 file permissions. You can set it in the numeric value under the file permissions tab. In the same way, you need to select 755 for the folders in WordPress.
For most of the people, all these things will already be fixed. So, you don’t need to worry about it. However, if you installed WordPress manually, you might face this issue.
Now, when you were installing WordPress, you would have been asked about naming your database. Generally, the WordPress database table starts with “wp_”. This is the default prefix. If you want to secure your website in the best possible way, you should rename this to something else. It will increase the security of the database. It will make it harder for hackers to know the database name. Hence, it will make your website secure in one way. So, it is recommended that you do all of these things as stated.
Not monitoring WordPress website
The last reason why the WordPress website gets hacked is that the owner doesn’t monitor the website all the time. You will need to monitor the website and keep an eye on the website. It doesn’t mean you will have to keep the dashboard on 24/7 but you will need a tool or a service that will keep an eye on the entire website.
The first thing that you can do is use the plugins. There are various security plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory. You can install any one of them. It will notify you whenever there is a security risk. For blogs, it will be the best-suited option that you can go with. In the same way, you can also get maintenance and security service. It is up to you which one you want to select.
Please, note that you don’t install more than one security plugin. If you install more than one plugin, it will conflict with each other and you will end up crashing the website. Hence, make sure you are only using one plugin.
Final wordsTo conclude, these are some of the popular reasons why WordPress websites are hacked. Make sure you keep an eye on all of these things. It will help you in keeping the website safe and secure. You can also change the WordPress login URL if you want more security for the website. Moreover, make sure you are using a reliable antivirus on your computer. If your computer gets compromised, your WordPress website will also be hacked. So, it is necessary to keep your local machine secure.
The last thing you can do is to take regular backups. More than 68% of the websites don’t have a recovery plan, do you want your website to be one of them? If not, it is recommended that you take regular backup of your WordPress website. Depending on how often you update your website, you should have the backups ready. So, just in case, something happens, you can quickly restore your website and get the website back. You can store the website in a different location for better security.
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