WordPress is a very convenient website builder platform and is used by 455 million websites worldwide, making it by far the most popular platform in the world.
Although convenient, WordPress websites are also the most common ones targeted by hackers, and it’s important to know the main reasons that lead to hacked websites.
What Makes Your Website Open to Attacks?
So what exactly makes your website open to attacks? It greatly depends on how you, as the website owner, manage your website and how much you care about security.
Here are a few of the most common website security flaws that can lead to cyber attacks:
- Bad Passwords. Weak passwords are easy to crack if a hacker attempts a brute force attack. This type of attack allows a hacker to run thousands of password attempts for a single account, hoping to guess it. If you use strong passwords (long and with a bunch of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols and numbers), your password will be pretty much immune to such attacks. Using a special password manager for your WordPress website will allow you to greatly escalate your password security.
- Old Software. The problem with old software is that it has many known vulnerabilities that hackers keep exploiting. Software updates are released to eliminate these vulnerabilities, so never miss out on updates and instruct your team to do the same!
- Unsecure Web Hosting. You need to be very careful when choosing a web hosting service. Some providers may be cheap and seem like a good choice, but they end up being the least secure option of all. Go check the security features that your hosting provider has. At the very least, it should provide you with an SSL certificate and firewall.
- Unsafe Plugins. Most WordPress websites use a variety of plugins. They can give a website many new functions quickly and easily, so what’s not to love? Well, a plugin adds some extra code to your website, and the more code a website has, the more possible vulnerabilities your website has. Although some plugins may be safe, others may not be if they’re created by inexperienced developers. Only download well-tested and the most widely used plugins that are known to be safe, and stay away from random ones.
Why Would Anyone Be Interested in Hacking Your Website?
Why would anyone be interested in hacking your WordPress website, you may be wondering?
Well, many hackers employ automated hacking techniques that allow them to target lots of websites at the same time, hoping that a few of these attempts will be successful.
Once a website gets hacked, there are a few things that can happen:
- The Owner Might Receive a Ransomware Message, which is when a hacker claims they have control over the website and will only give access back to the owner if a given fee is paid.
- The Website Might Be Used for Mining Cryptocurrency, Which Is Called Cryptojacking. This is when a hacker plants mining software on a website and uses the website’s server power to mine the cryptocurrency. This kind of malware is designed to be as difficult to spot as possible so that the owner doesn’t remove the malware. The main sign that your website might have been cryptojacked is that it becomes very slow.
- The Website’s Data Might Get Leaked. Some hackers attack websites just for fun, with the pure goal of harming a business. These hackers will simply leak all information that they get their hands on, and depending on the extent of information you store on your website, it might mean life or death for your website and your business.
No matter the type of your WordPress website, hackers can always make use of it, meaning that no website is ever completely safe.
Cybercriminals can try to hold your website for ransom, use it for crypto mining, or they might just hack it purely out of boredom or jealousy.
Start using strong passwords, update your software, review your hosting provider, and be careful with the plugins you use.
These steps will help make your website much more secure than the average WordPress website, making it less likely to get hacked.