WordPress is currently the most popular content management system on the internet. It powers over 30% of all websites and blogs online. It’s also the most used platform by respected brands across the world. Because of its size and popularity, WordPress also accounts for two-thirds of all hacked sites. A recent report based on data collected by Sucuri shows that 90% of all hacked CMS systems they fixed in 2018 were all WordPress sites.
What happens when someone hacks your WordPress site?
The first thing you have to know about these hackers is: they don’t choose who they want to attack, everyone is a target, no matter how big or small your website is. The consequences of being hacked are more than just not being able to log into your website account. When hacked, cybercriminals have the power to manipulate and use your data, and data from your customers, to do bad things such as steal your files, extort money, or ruin your reputation online.
Some hackers can also modify your files and inject malware that can trick customers to download malicious files thereby expanding their reach. Other hackers can put ransomware which can lock all your files, and the only way you can get access to them is if you pay their expected ransom money. Like an organized business, these hackers have all the time and resources to exploit and gain access to your site.
So what are the things that make your current WordPress website vulnerable to hackers? Here are some of the reasons:
You’re using a weak password.
Do you hate it when your password doesn’t pass the security requirements when you first make them? Are you one of those people who get extremely annoyed when they have to create complex passwords? Well, that’s what hackers live for—another lazy human who can’t spend three to five minutes to create a stronger password. In their world, you’re an easy target.
Time and time again, you’ll always see websites reminding you to think of better, longer and more complicated passwords. And they’re not doing this just to waste your time. One of the ways hackers can force their way into your site is by using the brute force strategy. This strategy involves trying different passwords to get past your login page.
The first line of defense against hackers is a solid WordPress password. So if your current username and password are weak, there’s no better time to change it than today! It can be a little bit time consuming to create a strong password, but it’s worth every second. A strong password ensures that no hacker can luckily guess it right and gain access to your site.
You’re using an outdated WordPress version.
WordPress is known as one of the most secure CMS on the web but it’s only as good if you keep your wordpress up to date at all times. Updates are very important in WordPress. Failing to update your WordPress sites can result in many major problems—including getting hacked.
Think of updates as system maintenance for your site. Every update, WordPress fixes security issues or bugs. They give us newer and improved versions so that we can use the site with utmost convenience—it’s basically free! Updating also reduces the risk of your site getting targeted and being vulnerable to hacks.
An important note: When updating WordPress, make sure you update the main version as well as the plugin and themes.
You’re not running on HTTPS.
If you want to be fully secured, upgrade your site to HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). HTTPS allows you to transfer data securely from one server to another. It makes your site more secure for your visitors so they can give you their personal details without worry. This is important in pages that require your users to give their credit card information and other sensitive information.
Furthermore, HTTPS protects your site from deceptive scripts that may be hiding in your computer or ones that are used to steal data from your login forms. Aside from security, HTTPS also helps boost your rankings in search engines. Google favors sites that are trustworthy and secure so if you’re using HTTPS, rest assured that Google already likes you.
You’re using a bad hosting environment.
Every hosting environment should offer their users monitoring and malware scanning. Even a tiny loophole in your host’s security system can severely impact your business. A weak server is another entry point for clever hackers and this can be caused by using a bad hosting environment. Security should be one of the main priorities of your chosen hosting environment.
When choosing your website host, make a point to compare and research your options. Don’t just go for the cheapest or the most expensive ones. Your web hosting company reflects your company and business, especially if your website is your main shopfront. Bad hosting can ruin your reputation and brand.
You’re computer has a virus.
Another overlooked yet potential way of getting hacked is through a computer virus. Many viruses today can steal data, passwords, and even remotely access your computer without your knowledge. To keep your computer safe and free from malware, always update your OS and browser. Don’t be afraid to invest your money in a good anti-virus service.