The issue of WordPress sites being hacked is neither new nor exceptional to you. You could have stumbled upon similar themes doing rounds on social media or forums. Indeed, it is frustrating to run a site that is hacked frequently, although the catch is that people are interested in what you do.
However, hacking has far reaching implications that affect your business both directly and indirectly. You are likely to lose revenue because of hacking antics of some faceless criminals behind a computer somewhere. You are also lined up for damage control if you are hacked. You have to find ways to save your face and all. We have a couple of suggestions for you…, did I say couple? Well, maybe more.
Did you know that WordPress powers over thirty percent of all the websites in business today? Well, it may also interest you that the same power house is hacked 30, 000 times every day. So, do not be overly worried. A solution is obviously in the offing. WordPress did not come this far only to hand their business to hoodlums.
Living in the information age, it is imperative that we accept the reality. Hacking websites has become quite easy lately. Firstly, insecure websites are easy prey for hackers. Other reasons why someone may want to hack websites include:
- stealing and selling valuable data
- capitalizing on the vulnerability of your website to spread viruses and malware
- to exploit the opportunity to send spam mails using your domain name
- to earn undue income from ransomware
- just for fun
- To prove a point. Most hackers come again once they succeed to hack your website.
The begin Question: is WordPress easy to hack?
Of course, it is not easy to hack a CMS website such as WordPress. The reasons for hacking a WordPress site are not really exclusive to WorPress sites. They are general. They include
- If there is commonplace use of insecure passwords that criminals can crack
- Insecure names of the admin
- Outdated Core for WordPress
- Themes that are vulnerable
- Plugins that are vulnerable
- Infected files uploaded
- Poor monitoring
- A hosting environment that is compromised
In addressing the above issues, we realize that we need to give a stepwise guide. Therefore, you must understand the security features that protect password usage. One of them is that you should use a strong password.
A strong password is not easy to define but basically, it should contain both numbers and letters, it should also mix upper case and lower case. Avoid using obvious cues such as birthdays, names of spouses or favorites.
You should also change your password frequently. You could also use a random password generator. In addition, you should avoid storing your passwords online.
Passwords kept online are never guaranteed safety. Someone could hack into the online server and retrieve crucial information that could help them access, not just your website but a range of other important private accounts that you may have stored on the cloud.
One other common mistake that people make is to use a single password to log into a wide range of sites online. Such a habit makes you vulnerable to hackers.
Admin User Name
A weak admin user name is another reason for hacking. Our advice is: avoid the obvious. Always change the default WorPress user name to another of your choice. Use the dynamics explained under passwords above.
As to an outdated WordPress Core, you only need to update to the latest WordPress algorithms. WordPress is a state of the art CMS. Take advantage of its various updates and keep at speed with technology.
Older versions are obsolete and vulnerable. Notice that while WordPress constantly updates its metrics, they will always publish the reason why they are updating.
The intention there is great; however, hackers take advantage of accounts that do not respond to the update notice.
Follow the following procedure to change your initial WordPress admin details.
- Check into your WordPress admin account and create a new account for admin using your chosen user name
- Check out and log in again
- Delete the old account that came with your WordPress
- Port all files including comments, reviews and other posts to the new admin
Free themes are also commonly poorly coded. They are also not updated regularly. Therefore, avoid free themes.
They are vulnerable. You should never rush for free premium themes that have been nulled. They will do you more harm than good. It is even immoral to use nulled premium themes for whatever purpose.
The sheer risk that many of them are laced with backdoors which act as highways for hackers is big enough to make you freeze at the thought.
To sort your need for themes, get yourself a reputable theme builder such as DIVI, and pay for it. It will be worth your while for a long time.
Other reasons for hacking include vulnerable plug-ins, poor hosting environment among others. You should also scan the web designer you choose before entrusting them with business and private information. Monitor your website frequently.
One of the outstanding features that make WordPress so popular is its ability to expand with the use of plugins.
You can extend functionalities almost without a limit with a WordPress website. It is evident that plugins have become part of website marketing and enhancement tools.
They are even more amazing because of the speed at which they enable you to add important features to your website without glitches. You can add a new feature using plugins in a couple of seconds.
Do not be a random dealer. Make sure that whoever you choose to develop plugins for your website is a trusted entity.
You are advised to only install plugins from the repository of WordPress. Conduct a further background check by visiting relevant forums to see if the plugins you are using, or have just installed are safe. Remember that plugins can also have secret backdoors for hackers.
Finally, remember to only install the plugins that you require for your website to function as you intend.
The Hosting Environment
You also need to check if you operate in a safe and secure environment. Find out whether part of the security offered by the company that hosts you is malware scanning. Surprisingly, most of the companies that do WordPress client hosting do not offer malware scanning services.
Therefore, the burden of securing your website rests on your shoulders. If you have capacity, opt for managed WordPress hosting. You could also use companies that offer services for monitoring the security of websites. The good news is that most companies that offer managed security monitoring services provide sincere and secure hosting environment.
Such companies as WPengine and Kinsta have a reputation for the same.
It sounds like the oldest trick in the book but people still fall for it. Indeed, one of the commonest ways through which website owners and other computer users expose themselves to hacking is through downloading files indiscriminately. You are advised to only download files from computers you trust or are sure are not contaminated.
One sure way to do so is to only download files from computers that have secure and updated antivirus software. It is also important to remember to scan any images that you have acquired from your freelancer designers or elsewhere before you use them on your website. One of the key features of a great malware detector or antivirus is to have capacity to detect files with key loggers.
You will, most commonly, receive files with key loggers from malicious people through email. They do it by tracking every stroke of key you make on your device. As you can see from the explanation, the hackers use the information from the key loggers to regenerate your usernames and passwords.
They also collect a host of other important pieces of personal data this way. You could lose your data for credit cards and details to other important accounts.
Usually, you will notice some peculiar behavior on your computer and website before you are practically hacked. Many Hackers try out many tricks before they succeed. Keeping track of your computer performance and behavior by scanning the logs can greatly improve the security of your WordPress website.
One of the best ways to monitor is to deploy a security plug-in. We also offer security maintenance service plans that could catch your eye. We provide backup programs and premium security that comes with a range of plugins for the same.
Well, our guess is that by now you have an idea why your website is constantly hacked. It has nothing to do with WordPress really, but with fairly simply routine security practices and measures. If you are still confused, get in touch with us to prevent your website from ever getting hacked again.
We even have free fixing models for your WordPress website; if we design it and it gets hacked. Ours are hardly ever hacked, anyway.