Nothing is more frustrating than finding out that your WordPress website is hacked. After all, your WordPress website is your hard work over many months or years and the last thing that you expect is learning that your website is hacked. In order to prevent hackers from attacking your WordPress website, the first step is to know what are the possibilities and reasons for your WordPress website to get hacked. With a better understanding of these reasons, it will be easy for you to implement solutions for preventing the hacking attempts on your WordPress website.
Why Do Hackers Target WordPress?
Not just WordPress but all types of websites on the net are vulnerable to hacking attempts. One of the main reasons why the WordPress websites are a common target for the hackers is because WordPress is the most popular website building platform. As WordPress is extremely popular and commonly used, hackers constantly try to find out websites that are less secure so they can breach into such websites. Hackers have different motives for hacking websites. Some of the hackers are beginners who are learning to analyze and get into the less secure websites; while some hackers have malicious intentions like injecting a website with Malware, making use of a website to attack other websites or performing spamming activities.
Let’s have a look at some of the top reasons why a WordPress website can get hacked:
#1 Insecure Web Hosting Platform
It is extremely important to research about the WordPress hosting platform before signing up for one. Some hosting companies do not secure their web hosting platforms completely. As a result of this, all the websites hosted on their server are vulnerable to the hacking attempts and malicious activities. This can be avoided by choosing a secure WordPress hosting platform. At MilesWeb, WordPress hosting is fast, easy and highly secure. With every WordPress hosting package, MilesWeb also provides services like server caching, cloning, CDN, Railgun and daily backups. Click To Tweet This WordPress hosting platform is crafted for high-performance and faster page load speed. All the WordPress hosting packages at MilesWeb are backed by the latest Intel Xeon processors that help in making your website fast, efficient and completely secured.
#2 Use Of Weak Passwords
Your admin password is the key to your WordPress website. It is highly important to use a strong and unique password for every account mentioned below as a hacker can breach into your website if he gets access to these accounts:
- Web hosting control panel account
- WordPress admin account
- MySQL databases used for your WordPress website
- FTP accounts
- Email accounts used for the WordPress account
All the accounts mentioned above are protected through passwords. If you use weak passwords, it becomes very easy for the hackers to get to your password with some hacking tools. You can avoid this with the use of strong and complicated passwords that are not easy to guess.
#3 Using ‘Admin’ As The WordPress Username
You must refrain from using ‘Admin’ as your WordPress username. If the username of your WordPress admin account is ‘Admin’, then change it to a different username right away because hackers look for the admin username to breach into your account. If you change your admin username to something else, the hackers would not easily know that this is your admin account. You can share the login credentials of the admin username to the clients and users on the website if you wish to.
#4 Unprotected Access To The WordPress Admin Area
You can perform various functions on your website through the WordPress admin area. This is the most commonly attacked part of the WordPress website. If your WordPress admin area is unprotected, hackers can crack your website by trying various methods. You can restrict the hackers by adding various layers of authentication to get to your WordPress admin directory.
Your first step is to password protect the WordPress admin area. This adds an additional layer of security and anyone who tries to access your WordPress admin account will have to provide the password. If your WordPress website consists of various authors and users, then it is preferable to use strong passwords for all the user accounts. You can also make use of two factor authentication so that it is not easily possible for the hackers to get into your admin area.
#5 Incorrect File Permissions
File permissions are basically a set of rules used by the web server. These permissions support the web server in terms of managing access to files on your website. If the file permissions are incorrect, a hacker can get access to write and change the files. It is important to ensure that all your WordPress files must have 644 value as the file permission and all the folders on your WordPress website must have 755 as the file permission.
#6 WordPress Version Not Updated
Some WordPress users do not update the WordPress version in time; at times they feel that by doing so their WordPress website might become slow or might be affected adversely. But that’s not right, when you see a new update for WordPress you must implement it immediately because every new version of WordPress fixes the bugs and security vulnerabilities that were present in the earlier version. Updating the WordPress version is a simple yet it is a very effective way of protecting your website.
In case you are afraid that you might lose some data while updating the WordPress website, then you can create the complete website backup first and then update the website. Thereby, if something goes wrong or if something doesn’t work, then you will not lose any data and you can easily get back to the previous WordPress version.
#7 WordPress Plugins And Themes Not Updated
Just like it is important to update the WordPress version, it is also important to update the plugins and the theme that you are using. If any of your plugin or theme is outdated, then your website becomes vulnerable to hacking attacks. Security defects and bugs are often found in WordPress plugins and themes. Usually, the owners of the plugins and themes fix them immediately, but if the user does not update the theme or plugin, then the website becomes vulnerable. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all your plugins and themes are updated.
#8 Use Of FTP In Place Of SFTP / SSH
The FTP accounts are used for uploading files to the web server through an FTP client. Most of the hosting providers support the FTP connections with various protocols, you can connect with plain FTP, SFTP or SSH.
When you connect to your WordPress website through plain FTP, the password that you enter is sent to the web server unprotected and unencrypted. Hackers might spy on your FTP connection and your password might be easily detected and stolen. Therefore, in place of using FTP, you can make use of the SFTP or SSH connections.
For using the SFTP or SSH connection, there is no need for you to change the FTP client. Most of the FTP clients can connect to your website through SFTP and through SSH as well. For this, all you have to do is change the protocol to ‘SFTP – SSH’ while connecting to your website.
#9 Nulled Themes & Plugins
You will come across many websites on the net that offer paid WordPress plugins and themes for free. You might easily get allured for downloading and using these plugins and themes. If you download WordPress plugins and themes from unreliable sources, this can have dangerous negative effects on your website. These null plugins and themes can compromise the security of your website and they can also steal sensitive and important information from your website.
There is no harm in having many plugins and themes but you must ensure that you are downloading them through reliable sources. If any plugin or theme you like is a premium one, you can find many other free alternatives to it as WordPress has a wide range of plugins and themes available.
#10 WordPress Configuration wp-config.php File Not Secured
The WordPress configuration file : wp-config.php consists of all your WordPress database login credentials. In case this file is compromised, then it will give out information that will make it easier for a hacker to get complete access and control over your website. You can add an additional level of protection to deny access to the wp-config.php file with the use of .htaccess. All you have to do is add the code mentioned below to your .htaccess file.
1 <files wp-config.php>
2 order allow,deny
3 deny from all
Your WordPress website is all your dreams and thoughts put in action, it’s your hard word and you must protect it and prevent any hacking attempts to it in order to move ahead in terms of growing your website. The points mentioned above are easy steps for safeguarding your website that can be easily implemented.