WordPress is easily one of the most popular options for websites today, as hundreds of millions of people use the platform. It accounts for more than 30% of the websites in the world today, which is very impressive. Because there are so many sites that use WP, it means that with the rise in hacking, a large percentage of the sites targeted will be running WordPress, naturally.
Some of those websites will have excellent security and will be up to date. Others will not be as protected, and they will provide enticing targets for hackers out there who are just learning, as well as those who have been hacking for years. You do not want to have your website be on the receiving end of any hacking, so you will want to make sure that you take the time to understand why hackers tend to target specific types of sites and what you might be able to do about it.
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What Are the Hackers After?
If hackers were all after the same thing, it would be much easier to know how to deal with them. The problem is that they are all very different, and there is no way to predict what they want when they are attacking a website. One of the common needs of hackers is money, which is a motivator for just about everyone. They might hold a site hostage and ask for ransom in some cases. Others might install loggers on to a site to steal passwords and other information. There are many ways that they can steal personal and financial information from people, and this is a serious risk.
However, it is not always financially motivated. Some people might have a different opinion from you and your company, and they might try to take down your company’s site, install a virus, or even change the images and text on your site. Others might be just starting to learn how to hack and who will be using your site as a testing ground.
Regardless of their reasoning, hackers are a serious problem today. Therefore, you want to learn how to secure a WordPress site to keep yourself and your visitors safe. If you don’t, it could lead to a disaster.
Why Should You Take Your Site’s Security Seriously?
There are many dangers associated with hackers. If you have a small hobby site and you do not get much traffic or make much money from it, you could still be at risk. Hackers may install malware on your site that will then cause an infection for your visitors, for example. The hackers could then get their personal information. So, even if you do not have a large company and site where you deal with peoples’ personal or financial information, there is still a substantial amount of risk you are facing.
For those larger companies that do store sensitive information, the risks are even more significant and potentially more devastating. Consider how quickly your visitors and customers will lose faith in your company if you are hacked, and their information taken.
What if you had medical details on the client that you were supposed to keep safe? Could you be in violation of the law if it was taken and exposed? There are countless things that you have to consider when thinking about what could happen. Therefore, you will want to make sure that you are always looking for ways that you can improve your WordPress security.
How Are the Hackers Getting Into the Sites in the First Place?
Since WP is so popular, you might be wondering whether it is genuinely secure if people can hack these sites. The developers for WP are always updating the software and putting out patches to make sure that it is as safe as it can be. However, this does not mean that it can’t be hacked. One of the reasons that WordPress sites are hacked is because the owners of the sites do not pay attention to the update notices that they receive.
When WordPress is updated, they should install the update immediately, so that it will have the latest protections from the various threats on the web. However, some people take ages to update their site, if they ever do, and this ends up leaving those websites vulnerable. This is because they still have old exploits in them that have been patched out with the newer updates.
It is important to remember that the exploits are not only found in old versions of WordPress core, but also with outdated themes and plug-ins. You will want to make sure that everything is up to date that you are using for your site. If you have any themes or plug-ins that you are not using, they should be removed, as they might have some exploits in them.
Another way that hackers are getting into sites is by cracking passwords. When you use weak passwords, they become very easy to discover for the software used by hackers. You will want to take the time to make sure that you are creating passwords that are impossible to guess and difficult to crack.
This means you need to stay away from actual words, phrases that have anything do to with you, etc. Instead, you need a long string of random numbers, letters, and special characters. The best option will be to have a password management tool that can come up with the password for you for this site, as well as all of your other online accounts.
Do Not Put Yourself at Risk
Hackers are a genuine danger today. It tends to be more a matter of when you are going to have a run-in rather than if. Even if they do not attack your website, they could cause havoc on another site that you visit.
Take steps to improve your WordPress security and always be safe with all of your online dealings.