According to statistics, WordPress accounted for 90% of hacked CMS sites in 2018. WordPress is a favorite for website owners, but it is also a favorite for hackers. Many WordPress sites are run by small business owners who don’t think their small website is of interest to hackers, making their sites an easy target.
WordPress sites are generally targeted for three main reasons. One reason is that they’re easy for a beginner hacker to gain experience hacking, even if the hacker doesn’t have any malicious intent. Another reason is so that they can exploit resources on the site, such as by using the site to send out spam emails or by mining cryptocurrency. And, finally, they are hacked because they have valuable data, such as financial information.
Keep reading to learn more about the top reasons why WordPress sites get hacked.
WordPress sites are vulnerable
Hackers know that WordPress sites are vulnerable and easy to hack into. This is because most hosting companies are not properly securing their platforms. Users don’t always thoroughly research before choosing a platform, often making assumptions that more expensive platforms are more secure or have a strong IT support team. But even the most expensive hosting companies can have problems with firewalls or lack the basic ability to scan for malware, leaving WordPress sites vulnerable to attacks.
Researching a host often provides valuable insights into the security of the site. For example, here is a Leadpage review – from the review, you can gather that this company has been around for a while, has quite a bit of funding, and has a strong support team, so they could be a challenging host to hack.
WordPress has a general login page
Gaining access to the admin side of WordPress sites is easy, because the default URL to access this area is “www.sitename.com/wp-admin”. This grants hackers access to the admin login page, where they can then use bots to try out different login credentials.
Most users aren’t taking the time to change this default URL, even though there are ways to change this URL login. This makes this page one of the most attacked areas of a WordPress site. And once they’re able to get through to that admin panel, they have complete control of the site.
WordPress uses plugins
Plugins are used to extend the functionality of a WordPress or to add new features. Users frequently turn to plugins to further customize their sites. However, sometimes users continue to use outdated plugins, which makes their site more vulnerable to attacks. Outdated plugins open up the possibility of hackers and bots using scripts to hack into the site.
Users can easily update their plugins by going into their admin dashboards, accessing their installed plugins, and checking for updates. And some hosting companies automatically update plugins. But as easy as it is to update plugins, most users don’t take the time to do so.
Users don’t update WordPress
As already mentioned above, many users do not take the time to update their plugins. They also don’t take the time to update their themes or their core WordPress software. And using outdated plugins and software weakens the security of their sites. Security flaws and bugs are a common problem, but most of the time, creators resolve these flaws and notify the users. It is up to the user, however, to update their site.
Wondering why people just don’t take the time to update their site? It is likely because they’re used to the existing software and don’t want to navigate an updated site.
Users download from unreliable sources
Another reason WordPress sites get hacked because users download plugins and themes from unreliable sources. This provides an easy backdoor for hackers to get into their sites. Most of the time, users download unreliable materials because they’re free. They think they’re getting a premium plugin or theme at no cost, but instead, they’re just inviting a hacker to their site.
There are plenty of reliable plugins and themes out there on developers’ websites, but users don’t always know how to find these materials or don’t know how to locate the best deals. So instead they take the first free plugin or theme that is offered to them.
If users take the time to find reliable hosting companies and always update their site, they’re less vulnerable to being hacked. But because it is so easy to set up a WordPress site, many users are unaware of the security concerns until it is too late.
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