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8 Reasons Why WordPress Sites Get Hacked and How to Resolve Them

8 Reasons Why WordPress Sites Get Hacked and How to Resolve Them

As a website owner, one of the biggest fears that you should have is opening it and finding that it has been compromised. This flushes all the hard work you put into it down the drain. But it’s relatively more straightforward to put your site back up as compared to trying to earn the trust of your customers who are affected with the breach, mainly if hackers have wrongly used their personal and financial information.

To prevent your WordPress site from being hacked, it is best for you to be aware of why a lot of sites are hacked, and then equipping yours with the ability to address these so you won’t fall into the hands of these cybercrooks.

Here are 8 of the biggest reasons why WordPress sites are getting hacked and how you can resolve them:

Insecure Web Hosting

WordPress sites are also hosted on servers similar to how other websites work. The trouble happens when the hosting platform is not secured properly. And when a hosting service is not secured, your site is prone to fall victim to hackers.

How to resolve it?

In setting up your hosting provider, make sure that you choose trusted ones. When in doubt, always ask your options as to how they ensure the security of their hosting service. Weigh in their promises and select one with the best solution to maintaining the integrity of their hosting platform.

Using Weak Passwords

A mistake that a lot would be guilty of is the use of weak passwords. This is true for all kinds of sites and applications that need to be logged on to. Passwords are there to help ensure that hackers would find it challenging to pretend to be you and cause all sort of mayhem.

But if you choose to use weak passwords because you believe you might forget it, then you are exposing yourself and your customers to a lot of hazards.

How to resolve it?

Make sure that you use a strong password for your accounts. Also, make sure that each account has a unique password to make it even harder to be cracked. Be mindful of the best practices for passwords as well.

Unprotected Access to WordPress Admin (wp-admin Directory)

One of the most targeted areas of WordPress is the admin directory. This is because it has access to other areas of your WordPress sites. If it’s easy to obtain access to your WordPress Admin area, then you are in huge trouble.

How to resolve this?

You will have to ensure that getting into your admin directory is a privilege only you and trusted site administrators could have. Fortify its defences by setting up stronger passwords, and making use of two-factor authentication. Also, ensure to limit the number of people with access to the admin directory to only those who need it.

Incorrect File Permissions

The permission you set on files on your WordPress site can also be a target for hacking. If you incorrectly allow data to be openly accessible, hackers may freely change these files to their liking.

How to resolve it?

Make sure that all your files have their file permission value set to 644. Meanwhile, all your folders should be set to 755. This allows your site files to have full access for you, during limited access for others.

Not Updating WordPress

One of the biggest mistakes that WordPress site owners commit is not taking updates seriously. Some of the reasons why they do so are that they’re afraid that doing so may negatively affect their site. This fear may lead them to lose even more.

How to resolve this?

Make sure that you do update regularly, and as they come. Updates are critical because not only do they provide you with additional features, but also address the ever-evolving risks that are present. A lot of new threats come out, and developers are quick to act, and usually come up with updates to address these threats. Security patches are also coursed through updates so make sure that you religiously update your WordPress.

Not Updating Plugins or Theme

Similar to the previous point, updates from plugins and themes are usually taken for granted despite its grave importance. It must be noted that hackers can use plugins and themes as a medium for how they can infiltrate your site. This is especially true for themes and plugins that are from unreliable third-party sources.

How to resolve it?

Make sure that you only use themes and plugins from trustworthy sources. And as dedicated as you are in updating your site, also make sure that you routinely update your plugins and your themes to ensure their integrity.

Also, if you have themes or plugins that have not been updating for a considerable amount of time, you should think about replacing them with similar plugins with more recent versions. Outdated plugins and themes are breeding grounds for cyber hazards.

Not Securing WordPress Configuration wp-config.php File

Your WordPress login credentials are contained in the wp-config.php file. Once compromised, hackers will have the ability to freely access your WordPress site and do all their evil doings. It is essential that this is secured, but unfortunately, a lot of people fail to give it the security it deserves, allowing hackers to gain access.

How to resolve it?

You may move your configuration file outside the public_html directory to ensure that users cannot access it. Also, adding the following code to your configuration file can limit the access to it:

<files wp-config.php>
order allow, deny
deny from all
</files>

Not Changing WordPress Table Prefix

Finally, another common mistake done is not changing table prefixes. WordPress uses “wp_” as the default prefix for tables that you create in your database. You are, however, given the ability to change it, but a lot choose not to do so. This gives hackers less challenge in trying to guess the names of your tables in your database.

How to resolve it?

Since “wp_” is the expected prefix of your tables, change it to something more challenging. While using your brand’s initials may sound reasonable, hackers may also try that. So use prefixes that will bring in an extra challenge. This way, you will be able to secure your database.

Secure your WordPress Site by Resolving this 8 Mistakes Now

Your WordPress’s security is critical to make sure that you put in a lot of attention to it. The above-listed mistakes are some of the biggest and some of the most commonly committed blunders that lead to sites being hacked, leading to a lot of consequences that are difficult to overcome, especially by smaller site owners.

The good news is that these eight common mistakes can also be addressed to safeguard your site effectively. Make it a point that you pay attention to these eight mistakes, ensuring that your site does not commit them.

If you can do that, then you are a lot safer than most WordPress sites. Don’t be lax, though. Also, make sure that you implement strong security measures to help deter other tactics that hackers have up their digital sleeves.

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About the Author

Kenneth Sytian is a WordPress developer in the Philippines, the CEO of Sytian Productions. He has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is considered one of the top influencers in web design and development in the Philippines.

 

Udit Khanna

Udit Khanna is a Digital Marketing Course professional at Expert Training Institute, an expert in Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, Social Media, etc. who helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Udit worked as a marketing professional for various startups and tech companies. He graduated with B.Sc from IGNOU with a dual degree in Business Administration (Marketing & Finance).

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