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Top 9 Reasons WordPress Websites Get Hacked: How to Stay Safe

Even though all websites on the internet are vulnerable to cyber attacks, WordPress websites get hacked most frequently. WordPress is the most popular website builder, powering at least 31% of all websites, translating into hundreds of millions of websites.

WordPress Websites Get Hacked

This popularity of WordPress gives hackers a reason to exploit its websites. Imagine if hackers could find a vulnerability in a popular WordPress Plugin, they would utilize it to affect millions of websites.

This article will show other reasons why WordPress websites get hacked and how you can keep yours safe.


1.  Use of Weak Passwords Ensures Your Websites Get Hacked

Passwords are one of the ways to secure your WordPress site. However, most users have weak passwords that hackers can easily guess. In the process, hackers gain access to your website's admin privileges.

Using password managers is one of the ways to prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your WordPress site. A password manager securely stores all your passwords and passphrases, so you don't have to worry about remembering them.

When you have a password manager, you'll no longer be forced to create a short, repetitive password that you can easily remember. Instead, you'll now create long passwords containing at least 14 unique characters with numbers, symbols, and lowercase and uppercase letters. The only password you'll need to memorize is the one for the password manager.


2.  Not Blocking Attacks

A dictionary attack is a hacking technique used to hack WordPress websites. This simple technique tries guessing the password to your website. In this technique, a hacker tries to access your website through an automated process of entering passwords that are easily available online.

If you haven’t updated your WordPress login credentials, chances are that a dictionary attack will allow a hacker to log into your website. This is why you need to update your login credentials and use firewalls that have built-in protection for brute force methods like dictionary attacks.


3.  Not Updating WordPress

Not updating your WordPress website leaves it vulnerable to hackers. If you're afraid that updating WordPress may break your website, you can create a WordPress backup before running the update. So if you're unsuccessful, you can always revert to the older version.

New versions of WordPress fix bugs and data leaks that may have existed in the previous versions. So, your website would be in a better position to defend itself from cyber attacks.


4.  Using 'Admin' as your WordPress Username

If you're still using the 'Admin' as your WordPress Username, you're exposing your website to cyberhackers. WordPress provided users with a pre-configured username known as 'Admin' in the early days. So millions of users never changed their username at all. They only set passwords.

By leaving your username as 'Admin', you've made the cybercriminals' work easier because they're already halfway through the hacking process. They only need to focus on cracking the password to gain access to your WordPress Website.


5.  Not Updating Plugins and Themes

Just like updating the core WordPress software, updating WordPress Themes and Plugins is vital for your website's security. An outdated theme or plugin is the most common place to find bugs and flaws that hackers exploit to gain entry to your website.

Theme and plugin developers usually identify and fix these bugs and flaws as frequently as possible to keep their users safe from hackers. So if you don't update your theme or plugin regularly, your site may become vulnerable to malware attacks.


6.  Using Insecure Web Hosting

All websites, including WordPress sites, are hosted on web servers. If hosting companies don't secure their web servers, all the sites they're hosting become vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

You can avoid this situation by choosing a reputable web hosting provider for your WordPress site. This way, the web servers hosting your WordPress site would be safe from the common cyber attacks by hackers.


7.  You Don't Have a Two-factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an authentication method that requires users to provide two verification factors before accessing an account. For example, you may need a one-time password (OTP) in addition to your regular password to access your online wallet.

The second verification factor acts as an extra layer of protection of your account against unauthorized users. The one-time password would be the second verification factor in the example above. So if a hacker knows your regular online wallet password, they'll still be unable to access your account unless they get the OTP sent to your smartphone in real-time.

It takes minutes to install the WordPress two-factor authentication plugin. You'll drastically reduce the chances of cybercriminals gaining access to your WordPress site even if they have stolen your credentials.


8.  Not Keeping a WordPress Activity Log

Keeping a WordPress Activity log helps you track everything on your website. You'll know any unsuccessful attempts to log in to your site as well as changes to your site's files. In the process, you'll be ready to boost your cybersecurity, where you spot vulnerabilities.


9.  Using FTP to Upload Files

Many WordPress website owners still rely on FTP to upload files to their websites. The reason why FTP gained popularity in the first place is that it allows webmasters to upload data in no time.

However, over the years, it has been observed that FTP is not the most secure way to upload files to your website. Hackers can easily take control of your website if you use FTP because it stores your login credentials in Plain Text.

This is why you need to stop using FTP immediately if you don’t want hackers to steal your data. Instead, you can rely on SFTP or SSH to upload files to your WordPress website.


Conclusion

WordPress is the most popular website builder because of its powerful features, scalability, and ease of use. However, its popularity makes it a target for hackers. Many users don't follow basic security practices like creating strong passwords and updating themes and plugins. You can reduce cyber threats to your WordPress site by keeping a WordPress setting strong passphrases and usernames for your Admin Logins. You may also install the 2-Factor authentication plugin to add an extra layer of security to your site.


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MonsterPost Editorial

Posting contributed articles about the major web design highlights and novelties. Come across a handful of useful tutorials and guides shared by experts in the web design and online marketing fields.

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