Hacked WordPress websites can ruin your reputation online. WordPress website hacking is the biggest threat to any business website and especially online stores these days. If your WordPress website is not secure enough, then there is a big chance of website getting hacked. A hacked website can affect your visitors, which leads to a decrease in traffic, and you end up blacklisted by Google.
Following are the things that can happen when your WordPress website is hacked.
- Malicious codes can be inserted into the WordPress database,
- With malware redirects, your website can be redirected to malicious websites.
- Hackers may add a user with administrative authorities into the database.
- Files can be uploaded with PHP backdoors to the server.
- Themes and plugins files can be modified with malware.
- Create spam posts and pages on the website.
- And you may end up blacklisted by Google if you don’t fix the site sooner.
Keep on reading, and we will share the top reasons why WordPress websites get hacked and how to prevent it. But before that, let see why hackers target WordPress websites to attack.
Why hackers target WordPress websites?
All the websites that are vulnerable on the internet are targeted by the hackers. Hackers look for the security vulnerabilities and place malicious codes and malware redirects in a website.
WordPress websites become an easy target because the platform has become very popular lately. Approximately 50% of the sites are created in WordPress these days. It is a big reason why hackers attack WordPress websites. The popularity of WordPress gives hackers an effortless way to find websites that are not secure to exploit.
PHP or WordPress has nothing to do with the hacking attacks. However, most website owners do not take enough security measures and leave the websites the same, which makes hackers easier to attack. A website gets hacked because it is not secured or maintained properly.
Top Reasons Why WordPress Websites Get Hacked
Following are the top reasons why WordPress websites get hacked.
1. Ignoring WordPress Updates
Most of the WordPress users do not update their WordPress website because of the fear of breaking anything. Every WordPress update includes bug fixes, removal of security vulnerabilities, and some new features. If you don’t update to the new version, then you leave your site vulnerable for hackers to attack. Create a backup before each update so if anything bad happens you can fix it with the backup.
2. Not Considering Theme and Plugins Update
Some of the WordPress user just add the theme and plugins in their website and forget to update them. These updates are as important as the WordPress version updates. Vulnerabilities and bugs are often found in WordPress themes and plugins. Usually, developers of plugins and themes can fix them quickly. However, if the user does not update their theme and plugins, then it creates vulnerabilities, which leads to the hacked website.
3. Weak Password
When it comes to WordPress safety, your WordPress user passwords are the primary protection. If someone figures out your administrator credentials, he will have complete access to the website. Weak passwords make it easy for the hacker to attack the website. Always use a unique and strong password for everything on your website that includes:
- Admin account.
- Website hosting account.
- FTP accounts.
- Or even the email accounts you use for your website.
4. Unsafe Web Hosting
Many hosting providers do not keep their servers secure enough to prevent any hacking attack on the website. If your website is running on the unsafe servers, then your website is vulnerable and a hacker can hack it easily. Choose a secure and reliable hosting provider for your WordPress website to ensure its safety.
5. Incorrect File Permissions
File permission is required for the web server to manage access to files on the site. If the file permissions are incorrect, hackers can easily make changes to the files. Check your file permissions if they are set 644 for the WordPress files and 755 for the WordPress folders, then it is correct otherwise change the values with the mentioned ones.
6. Not Using an SSL Certificate
You expose your website to hackers if you don’t use an SSL certificate. The hacker can hack the data during the transfer between the server and the browser. If you don’t use an SSL certificate, then your website will be marked unsafe. The best way is to install an SSL certificate on the website to prevent that from happening. It will create a secure and encrypted link between the browser and the server.
7. Not Securing wp-config.php file
WordPress configuration file is an important file because it contains the login credentials of the WordPress database. If the wp-config.php file gets hacked, then the hacker will have all the information to gain access of the website. You can protect this file by adding the extra layer of security through .htaccess. Simply, add the following code to the .htaccess file.
order allow, deny
deny from all
8. Using Simple FTP Instead of SFTP or SSH
FTP accounts are commonly used to upload multiple files to a web server using an FTP client. Almost every hosting providers support FTP connections that use different protocols. Therefore, you can connect via FTP, SSH, or SFTP. If you connect to your site via simple FTP, the password transmitted to the server remains unencrypted. Because of this, hackers can easily steal the password. Therefore, it is recommended to use SFTP or SSH instead of FTP.
How to Prevent the Hacking Attack or Secure the Website
The following are the security measures you can take to prevent the hacking attack on your WordPress website.
- Never use admin as you username.
- Always use strong and unique password. (Add upper or lowercase letters with numbers and special signs in password)
- Use two-factor authentication.
- Choose safe and secure hosting provider.
- Backup your website regularly.
- Keep all the themes and plugins updated included WordPress version.
- Remove outdated and unwanted themes and plugins.
- Use a security plugin to add advance protection.
Follow the above-mentioned step, and you will be able to secure your WordPress website from the hackers. I hope this article helps you secure your website, but if you still find it hard to do, you can always hire reliable WordPress malware removal service providers to get the job done. Professional services deal with many types of malware and attacks, so they will know what to do.