How to Secure Your WordPress Website from Hackers in 2023

eCommerce Development January 9, 2023
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If there’s one thing you can never stress about with WordPress, it’s security. You’re probably wondering, “Is that even possible?” After all, what with potential hackers out to get every website is known to man and the list of possible risks seemingly growing daily? Why wouldn’t you be worried? Checkout the top 10 most common WordPress security mistakes

10 Most Common WordPress Security Mistakes

1. Not limiting login attempts

 

 

Let’s say you have a website that sells shoes. You’re in the business of selling shoes, and you want to ensure that your customers get the best experience possible when they purchase from you.

One way to ensure that is to limit login attempts on your site. If someone tries to log into your site using a username and password but fails three times in a row, they’ll get locked out for a while. This will prevent hackers from trying to guess your passwords repeatedly by entering different combinations of letters and numbers. It’ll stop them dead in their tracks, so they can’t keep trying until they finally crack it.

2. Failing to monitor your site for breaches

 

This is a big one. You can’t protect your WordPress Website if you don’t know what’s happening.

There are two ways to monitor your site: manually or automatically. The first way is more work for you, but it’s also the most accurate way to know if there’s been a breach. You’ll need to check your site regularly—at least once a week—and ensure everything is where it should be. If anything looks suspicious or out of place, that’s cause for concern!

The second monitoring method requires less effort but will only alert you when an actual breach occurs. This kind of monitoring is best for the sites that aren’t updated regularly because it only alerts when something has changed since the last time you checked in on things.

3. Not using an SSL certificate

 

This is one of the most common WordPress security mistakes, and it’s not hard to see why. Using an SSL certificate means that any data transferred between your website and users are encrypted. This prevents anyone from being able to intercept or tamper with the information.

If you don’t use an SSL certificate, you’re leaving your site vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack. An attacker could intercept all the data and inject malicious code into it, potentially compromising your site and its users’ information.

4. Using “admin” as your username

 

The most common security mistake is using “admin” as your username. This is because it’s the default username for WordPress and is easy to guess. If you use “admin” as your username, hackers can easily guess your password and hack into your account.

So if you’re running a WordPress site and want to keep it secure, change the default admin username to something else. This way, if someone does compromise your site, they won’t be able to log in as an administrator by guessing your password.

If you want to use “admin” as your username, change the password every few months (or every week) and never save it in a password manager like LastPass.

5. Not using a security plugin

 

By not using a security plugin, you are leaving your website vulnerable to hackers and other attacks. Without a security plugin, it’s impossible to know if any software on your website has been under any security loophole. It’s also impossible to track what changes have been done to your website. It could lead to larger issues if someone were to try to manipulate the code in any way.

The best way to protect yourself from these issues is by installing a free security plugin such as WordFence or Sucuri SiteCheckup. These plugins will monitor your site for signs of infection and alert you when something looks suspicious so that you can take action immediately.

6. Hosting

 

This is the most important factor in determining whether your website is secure because it’s the only thing you can’t control. If you choose a host that doesn’t have the right security features, or if they don’t update their servers regularly and consistently, then it doesn’t matter how many plugins or themes you use—your site will always be at risk of getting hacked.

When choosing a hosting provider, look for one with a track record of keeping security patches and updates up-to-date. They should also offer secure hosting options like Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates and two-factor authentication (2FA)…

A good host will also offer customer support 24/7, as well as plugins and themes for WordPress so that you can update your site when necessary.

7. Updates

 

Updating is the most important part of WordPress security. You should always be updating your plugins and themes and your core WordPress files. This will ensure that you have the latest security updates and patches.

This is a big one. If you are using an old version of WordPress, you are vulnerable to hackers and malware attacks. This means that if a new vulnerability arises in an older version, it could be used against you. It’s best not to wait too long between updates—especially when a major update like the recent 4.9 release added some much-needed security features previously missing from earlier versions of WordPress (like password-protected posts).

8. Random Plugins

 

Plugins are like apps on your phone. They’re super useful, but that doesn’t mean you should install every single one you come across.

If a plugin isn’t necessary for your site, don’t install it. If a plugin has a lot of downloads but doesn’t have many reviews, don’t install it. If a plugin is free and has no support, don’t install it.

This goes for both free and paid plugins—there are plenty of great free options out there that can do the job just fine. And if you’re willing to shell out some cash for a premium plugin, make sure it’s from a reputable company with solid customer service and good reviews from other users.

9. Shaddy plugins theme

 

Many WordPress users install plugins without really knowing what they are. They think that it must be good as long as it’s from WordPress! But this is not true. Some of the most common problems on WordPress sites are because of shady plugins.

There are a lot of shady WordPress plugins out there, and it’s hard to know which ones are trustworthy.

In some cases, they can even expose your website to malware attacks by advertising links or spamming other sites with your links.

To avoid getting scammed, read reviews and check for links to other sites. You can also use

sites like WPBeginner or WPDorftastic that offer reviews of different plugins.

Make sure to read through the privacy policy, so you know what data the plugin is collecting about you and your visitors.

Using a plugin from an unknown source is okay—as long as you do your research!

10. Inactive plugins

 

Inactive plugins are a common mistake that WordPress users make. When you install a plugin, you can activate it right away and start using it. But your site is more vulnerable to security issues if you never use it again—or if you don’t keep up with updates.

Your website is only as secure as its weakest link, so if one of your plugins has a security flaw, hackers could exploit it to gain access to your site.

The problem is that if you have a security hole in an inactive plugin on your site, hackers can easily find it and exploit it. If you don’t use a plugin anymore, uninstall it!

WordPress Security Guide To Prevent Hacking & Malware Attacks

What Makes Your WordPress Website Insecure?

There are a few main reasons your WordPress site might be insecure. First, updates are not taken care of as often as they should be. WordPress is constantly improving, and if you aren’t keeping up with the latest versions of its core software, you’re missing out on security fixes and features. These features can help protect your site from various threats (like malware).

Another common reason for poor security is unpatched plugins. Plugins are a huge part of the WordPress ecosystem, but many of them are abandoned by their creators or have known vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched yet. Hackers can easily exploit these vulnerabilities if you’re using an unpatched plugin on your site. They can also get access to sensitive information stored on your server.

Finally, there’s also the possibility that someone has gained access to your WordPress account and modified certain settings or installed malicious code without your knowledge. This can happen if they know your password or if they’ve somehow socially engineered their way into getting control over it (like by sending spam emails posing as support requests).

What do Hackers do To Your WordPress Website?

What do Hackers do To Your WordPress Website?

The first thing a hacker will do is find out how to access your WordPress website. This can happen in several ways, but the most common way is through a brute-force attack. This is where the hacker repeatedly tries to guess your password by getting it right one time after another until they get it right. If you have a strong password, this will take them a long time, and they may give up before they succeed.

A brute force attack will not always be successful, so hackers also have other methods. They may try other passwords related to yours, such as your name or email address. They may also try to break into your hosting account or even get someone else’s username and password for accessing your site.

Once they have gained access, here are some of the things that they could do with your website:

  • Steal content from your site without your knowledge (this is known as scraping).
  • Post false information on your site to attract visitors who click on links within their content, which will lead them away from your site (this is called click-baiting).
  • When visitors enter personal information such as credit card numbers into a site, cyber criminals may be able to steal their identities.
  • Create their websites using your content, confusing visitors looking for your site.
  • Post links to other sites containing malware or viruses to spread them further.

How To Prevent Your WordPress Website From Hacks?

The first step in preventing your website from being hacked is to make sure that you have a firewall installed. You mustn’t just go with the default firewall because sometimes those are not as strong as some third-party firewalls that can be installed on your server.

Another thing you should do is make sure that your site is updated regularly. Hackers tend to focus on outdated sites because they know the latest patches and updates won’t protect them. If you’re using WordPress, you need to make sure that you update it every month at least, or else hackers will find a way in.

You also need to use strong passwords for your accounts, including social media accounts, email accounts, and more. If someone gets access to one account, chances are good that they’ll try other ones until they find one that works!

Why You Can Still Be Hacked?

You may think that you’re safe and secure, but you could still be under risk of a hack. Even if you follow all the best practices and ensure your site is up-to-date, there are still ways to get hacked.

There are many reasons why WordPress sites can still be hacked, including the following:

1. Your hosting provider isn’t doing their job correctly (or at all).

2. You don’t have a firewall on your server or one that’s not strong enough to keep out bad bots.

3. You haven’t updated WordPress core since December 2022 (the last time there was a major security update).

4. You have outdated plugins installed or ones that aren’t updated regularly with their latest version (which means they could have vulnerabilities).

How To Get Security For Free?

You can get your security for free, but you must be willing to put in the effort.

The first step is ensuring your WordPress installation is up-to-date with the latest version of PHP and MySQL. This will protect you from any known vulnerabilities in older versions of either software.

Next, you should install a firewall on your computer or server. If you are using a shared hosting service, this is likely already provided by your provider. If not, many free firewalls are available online.

Finally, if you are running WordPress on a self-hosted server (or even if you aren’t), make sure it’s behind HTTPS (SSL/TLS). You can use Cloudflare to set this up for free. It will give users peace of mind knowing that their information is encrypted as it travels across the internet between them and your site’s server.

How To Fix a Hacked WordPress Website?

If someone hacks your WordPress website, you should take the site offline by replacing the website’s files with a simple HTML file that lets visitors know that the site is down for maintenance. This will prevent the hacker from making further changes to the site and give you time to fix the problem without worrying about the hacker causing more damage.

Next, you should take the following steps to fix a hacked WordPress website:

How To Fix a Hacked WordPress Website?

Change all passwords: Change the password for your WordPress account, as well as any other accounts that have access to the site (e.g., FTP, hosting control panel). Use strong, unique passwords for each account.

Update WordPress and all plugins: Ensure you are using the latest version of WordPress and all plugins. Hackers often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software, so it’s important to keep everything up to date.

Scan for malware: Use a malware scanner to check for and remove any malware that may have been added to your site. Several free scanners are available online, such as Sucuri SiteCheck and Wordfence.

Check for unauthorized users: Check the user list in your WordPress dashboard to see if there are any unauthorized users. If you find any, delete them.

Check for malicious code: Check your theme and plugin files for any malicious code that may have been added. If you find any, delete it.

Restore from a backup: If you have a recent site backup, restore it to a clean version. This will overwrite any changes that the hacker made.

Secure your site: Once you have cleaned up the hack, securing your site is important to prevent future attacks. ; This may include installing a security plugin, implementing two-factor authentication, and keeping all software up to date.

If you are not comfortable fixing a hacked WordPress website, consider hiring a professional to help you. A professional can identify and fix any issues with your site and help you secure it to prevent future attacks.

Problem With Free Security Plugins

Free security plugins are the easiest way to protect your WordPress website.

It’s not just easy — it’s also free. You can download free security plugins from the WordPress Repository and install them on your site in minutes.

But there is one big problem with free security plugins: they aren’t very good at protecting your website from hackers and malware attacks!

Many of the most popular security plugins are outdated. They don’t include the latest features or technology to help protect your site from hackers, like two-factor authentication (2FA) or cross-site request forgery protection (CSRF).

Top 4 WordPress security plugins right now

1. Wordfence

Wordfence is an all-in-one security plugin for WordPress websites. It has a firewall, malware scanner, and brute force protection. It also has an audit log that lets you see who’s tried to get into your site and what they did when they were there. This plugin is great for anyone looking for a simple way to keep their WordPress site safe from hackers and other threats.

2. ITeamsecurity

ITeamSecurity is a lesser-known security plugin, but it’s still one of the best options out there. It has several features that can help you identify and block threats on your website, including malware detection and blacklisting. This plugin helps you secure your database against unauthorized access and hacking attempts.

3. AllinOne Security

All in One Security & Firewall is a premium security plugin for WordPress that offers features that range from malware scanning to intrusion detection. It also allows you to block unwanted visitors, meaning you can protect yourself against potential threats.

4. WebArx

WebArx is another great option because it offers many features at an affordable price point. It scans for malicious code, disables external scripts, blocks brute force attacks, and protects against DDoS attacks and OWASP vulnerabilities (common in WordPress sites). It also monitors traffic logs for suspicious activity. It has a firewall that blocks malicious traffic before it reaches your server or site visitor’s browser (saving bandwidth).

Conclusion:

Many users often overlook these 10 common WordPress mistakes. WordPress is secure and safe when used correctly, but there are always some unnecessary security risks. In most cases, these issues can be avoided with a little extra thought and attention. They should not discourage people from using the platform to publish their content.

Manasi January 12, 2022
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