Most Common Reasons Why Your WordPress Website Was Hacked
Learn the most common reasons why WordPress website can be vulnerable to errors & gets hacked in addition to the best ways to avoid attacks
It’s frustrating to discover that your WordPress site has been hacked. Hackers target all websites but can make a few mistakes, leaving your website vulnerable to attack. And when it comes to WordPress, “hacking” is a word you never want to hear. In this article, we will share common reasons why the WordPress website gets hacked and hacked and ways how to prevent hack attempts and be vulnerable to these errors.
Reasons Why Your WordPress Website Was Hacked
Is WordPress Secure?
Yes! WordPress is safe. However, there are times when evil minds create code to run on WordPress; this is when security vulnerabilities happen. In most cases, there is a team right on top which develops and releases instant updates promptly compared to other major open-source content management systems.
So now let’s explore some tips and practices to protect your WordPress website from these common reasons and never get hacked.
Insecure Web Hosting Services
Regarding the web, you may find a perfect correlation between price and hosting quality. Hosts who can hire more professionals/experts might charge more than others. You shouldn’t avoid several critical issues like security or put off for another day.
It would be best to consider looking for a quality host provider offering everything from a convenient budget to quality services in one package. When it comes to secure WordPress hosting, I encourage you to take a look at SiteGround or Bluehost.
Outdated WordPress Versions
One of the commonalities among WordPress hack victims is not updating their website. According to several reliable reports, 55-61% of WordPress hack victims were running out-of-date WordPress when the hack appeared, which is not coincidental.
WordPress security updates happen on an automatic basis. However, some users, especially the non-techies, disable that functionality altogether. People who don’t update their sites regularly fall into two traps:
- Firstly, they put off updates or ignore them as they are preoccupied.
- Secondly, they are afraid that updating will break their site’s performance.
Fortunately, if you’re the only one who falls into the latter category, use these ways how to prevent hack attempts and being vulnerable to hackers by following these steps so nothing breaks your WordPress site. For example, create a complete site backup before you run an update. Even if the site crashes, you will always have the option to restore to the previous version.
Week Passwords Are Common In Hacked WordPress Sites
This point is for those who still use the same password for every website they visit. Well, it’s time for an intervention. And consider it mandatory too! Also, stop storing credentials in Google Sheets.
In the context of WordPress, you need to define password rules with ways to prevent hack attempts on your vulnerable WordPress site. With the help of the Force Strong Passwords plugin, you can set it across your entire user base.
Miss The Two-Factor Authentication
You may think I’m asking a lot from you today, but it’s simply because I care. You have set a strong password for your WordPress site, but have you considered setting a “Two Factor Authentication” process for logging into your website as well? Every time you log in to your website, you must authenticate with another device.
Although it is challenging for hackers to spoof, after all, full disclosure is something that is not impossible. Thus, it automatically adds one more layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to your website.
Fortunately, WordPress has many different solutions for two factors, from more commercial implementations like Duo Security that are fully featured or something more straightforward like Two Factor from George Stephanis. Other popular plugins have 2FA built-in as an additional feature, like Jetpack and WordFence.
Protect WordPress Dashboard
One of the most common WordPress hack attempts includes accessing your WordPress login credentials through brute force attacks or password theft. To prevent this from happening, you need to protect your WordPress admin directory (in short, your wp-admin page). Of course, one of the best ways to do it is by enabling solid password protection on your WordPress admin page.
The second thing you can consider is the two-factor authentication above. Here the users don’t just require a password to log in – they’ll also need to input a code on the text message, email, or an app. Fabrizio uses WordFence with two-factor authentication enabled on Visualmodo.
However, as mentioned earlier, you can use many other plugins to set up 2FA. Do not use “admin” as your WordPress username. This is the most common idea hackers use to get into your site using this default username, so you should switch it up.
Bad WordPress Themes Means Hacked Sites
Since we don’t have all day, I won’t go into a great deal of detail with this. You can do a quick Google research later if you like. Initially, it might seem like an excellent money-saving tactic for website owners, but you may not know that most websites selling cheap and cheerful themes are dodgy. They are dubious because their themes have lousy code, lack timely updates, and lack satisfactory support.
Downloading and installing any random theme might compel you to compromise your website’s overall security. You know the old saying, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. For a premium theme, get it from a reputable WordPress development company. A company that has been around for a very long time and has built up trust and reputation, like Rare.
Plain FTP instead of SFTP/SSH
Generally, FTP accounts upload files to your web server using an FTP client. However, most of the providers end up supporting FTP connections with the help of different protocols. Things can easily connect with the help of simple FTP, SFTP, or SSH.
When you connect your website using simple FTP, your password is sent to the server encrypted, which can be easily seen or stolen. So, instead of plain FTP, try using SFTP or SSH.
WordPress Hacked Reasons Final Words
This is just a partial list. You can do many things, and I can go on and on. We hope this article on common reasons why your WordPress website gets hacked and ways to prevent hack attempts and being vulnerable to these errors has been of some help.