WordPress blogs getting hacked is a topic we read about frequently. Well, such hacks happened across the internet, not just in WordPress. WordPress has a significant user base (65% of all internet users); hence these instances are commonly reported.
Let’s examine the causes of these occurrences.
1. An Insecure Web Host
Some website owners go for the cheapest hosting. These affordable hosting services don’t try to enforce security and deploy outdated hardware and software.
Always choose reliable hosting providers; if you can afford it, upgrade from shared hosting to a VPS.
2. Use of Weak Passwords
Unfortunately, some people still use the most common and insecure passwords, like “password” or “123456.”
Always prefer a secure password with a combination of small and capital letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, try to use a two-factor authentication method, if possible.
3. An Outdated WP Version
The WordPress core should not be outdated. Hackers may take advantage of any bug or vulnerability in an old version and exploit it with SQL injections of Malware.
4. Outdated WP Plugins and Themes
Themes and plugins should also be updated frequently, like the WordPress core. Themes and plugins for WordPress should always be updated as regularly as feasible.
5. Common Admin Usernames
Hackers may take advantage of typical admin user’s names (username) like “admin”, “admin123” etc. The ideal scenario would be to remove the default admin user and add fresh admin users with uncommon usernames.
6. Use of Nulled Plugins/Themes
This is one of the primary reasons why websites get hacked. These nulled or cracked themes and plugins usually include Malware. Typically, these are not updatable; therefore, no security fixes will ever be available.
Never use such plugins or themes.
7. Unprotected Access to wp-admin Folder
Hackers target your website’s wp-admin folder. It would be best if you took action to safeguard it. Access should be restricted to a small number of people, and an extra degree of protection should be provided through “password protected folders”.
8. Non-SSL Website
You should always use an SSL certificate on your website. Secure Sockets Layer, sometimes known as SSL, is a method of encrypting any data communication between your web server and the client.
Let’s encrypt offers for FREE; almost all hosting companies provide these certificates.
9. No Firewall Protection
Firewall protection is another line of defense against hackers.
Web requests coming from different IP addresses, especially the bad ones, are monitored by firewalls. A firewall can recognize and reject requests that have previously been known to be malicious, denying hackers quick access to your website. Brute force, XSS, and SQL injection attacks can all be prevented by web application firewalls.
10. Lack of WordPress Hardening Measures
The WordPress team found certain weak spots and offered a list of 12 methods to make your website more secure.
Some examples of these are:
- Turning off the File Editor
- Preventing the execution of PHP in unsecured directories
- Updating security key
- Avoiding the installation of untested plugins
- Logging off inactive users automatically