Most people are well aware of the fact that hackers are a severe problem for anyone who ventures online… and even those who aren’t online in some cases. Hackers have targeted websites of large and small companies and even tiny hobbyist websites. They have targeted banks to get the personal and financial information of people who may not go online.
The problem with hackers is not getting any better, and that means anyone who has a website needs to understand more about this issue. Why do hackers target sites and how are they doing it? What will you be able to do to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place?
Why Are Hackers Focusing on Websites?
You might think that hackers would have better things to do with their time and energy than focus on ruining small businesses, but that’s not the case. While hackers could expend their energies doing better things for the world, most are in the field of hacking for a way to get money relatively easy. Others like the thrill of hurting others and trying to get away with it. For others, it is some combination of those things.
Why would they attack certain websites, though? There are many potential reasons for this. In some cases, the site might collect sensitive information about the people who visit and who do business with them. For example, they might be trying to gather names, account information, payment, personal data, health records, and similar information. They can turn around and sell that information on the black market, which is why so many people have their identities stolen each year. They can make a substantial amount of money doing this.
In other cases, hackers might be looking for intellectual property. There are some companies with a range of IP information stored on their websites and in the email. If this data were to get out, it could then be sold to a competitor or leaked to the public. In some cases, hackers are looking for any information, such as internal memos, that could damage a company. When they find it, they might put that information on the web for everyone to see, or they might attempt to blackmail the company to make some fast money.
What if you have a website that doesn’t collect any personal information and that doesn’t sell anything, though? You might be wondering why a hacker would even bother trying to get into your site as they would not find anything of value. That’s not the case at all, though. Many times, hackers will get into sites like those as a means to lay traps of different sorts. They could redirect visitors to another site. They could surreptitiously install malware on the computers of those who visit your site, they could install ransomware, and they could cause visitors’ computers to become infected with crypto miners.
Of course, there are also the “baby hackers” out there that are just starting to learn how to hack, and they might be practicing on some of the smaller sites out there like yours. Others will attack your site for the bragging rights and the thrill of causing damage. This is not something that anyone wants to have to deal with, so you need to learn how you can stop them with better WordPress security. First, though, consider some of the ways that the hackers might be getting into your site in the first place.
How Are They Attacking the WordPress Site?
Hackers have many different methods that they can use when it comes to attacking websites today. In some cases, they may try to find a way into the website through third-party products, such as plugins. These plugins, when they are not updated, could provide an exploit where hackers could get into the website.
The hackers might also look for any potential application vulnerabilities that exist. Even though WordPress is one of the most popular platforms in the world and it is regularly updated to help keep you safe, not everybody remembers to update to the latest version. This could leave their websites at risk.
Also, many hackers utilize tools that can help them to find the passwords used by admin and others who have access to your website. If you do not have robust passwords, and if you do not change them regularly, it could present a risk.
How to Secure a WordPress Site
While there is no way to make sure a website is 100% secure, there are some things that you will be able to do to help increase the safety of your website. To protect your WordPress site from malware, viruses, hacking, and other problems, make sure everything is up to date. This means updating the core WordPress, as well as all of the plug-ins you are using.
You will also want to make sure the theme is updated. If you have any unused themes or plug-ins, make sure that you delete them from the system. Just because you are not using them does not mean that they do not present a potential risk and an area where the hackers could infiltrate your website.
Make sure that the passwords are changed and that they are impossible to guess. You should make sure that they are at least 12 characters long, and they should be a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Make sure that they look random and that they do not spell out any words. The tools used by hackers today can often guess passwords, so you need to make it as difficult as possible. Check out our guide for good username and password security.
Also, it may be a good idea to choose a high-quality plug-in that can provide additional security. You want to find those that can offer a malware scanner, one that can detect and fix WordPress core files, one that contains a WordPress firewall, and other security benefits. Get an all-in-one security plugin to help provide the WordPress security you need.