One of the biggest horrors a site owner can experience is having their site hacked. This causes delays in the business and exposes information (both yours and your customers’) that can be used for various malicious acts. And even after you regain control of your site, you will lose the trust of affected customers. So being hacked is genuinely horrifying.
With that in mind, it is vital to know WordPress site vulnerabilities. Your knowledge of these vulnerabilities gives you the upper hand. Here are 9 of the most common WordPress site vulnerabilities and how you can address them:
Out of Date WordPress Version
Like everything around you, vulnerabilities evolve. To keep up, software developers ensure they stay one step ahead to protect their patrons. WordPress does just that. All the updates that are provided should not be taken for granted because these include improvements not only in functionality but also in security. Don’t make the mistake of not updating your WordPress version. Doing that will expose you to risks you would not want to experience.
SQL injection refers to a technique used by hackers to infiltrate your site by injecting malicious codes into your site’s SQL statements. It can enable them to access your database, exposing all stored information.
To prevent SQL injection, you should control user input and how this affects your queries. Make sure your codes are written while keeping your database protected.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
Another technique hackers use is cross-site scripting or XSS, which is the injection of malicious scripts, usually through a web application. The lack of user input validation is also the main culprit to this kind of attack. There are many types of XSS attacks, causing varying levels of consequences which range from pure disturbance to a full-scale account takeover.
Knowing this, you should take the validation of user input very seriously. Being too lax in this area exposes you to this threat and a lot more. Implement stricter rules in your programming, and ensure that anything that your users would key in is validated before being accepted.
Low-End Host Provider
Your choice of hosting provider plays an important role not only on your site’s performance but also in other aspects such as your site’s security. Since hosting entails costs, many websites, especially those running on a tight budget, end up availing the services of cheap providers. But, of course, a provider’s costs justify the quality of services it can give its users, so a low-end provider will have to make compromises to operate at low costs. Sometimes, this compromise is on security.
As a responsible site owner, you should always be serious about security. If you are starting with your site, make sure that you weigh your options. Never put security on second priority when you evaluate your shortlist. But if you already have a host running your site, assess if the security level is acceptable, and when it’s not, negotiate for fortifying your site’s security. This may lead to increased costs, but again, security is vital.
Weak Login Credentials
One of the most common mistakes of website owners is also a common mistake that most people commit: opting for weak login credentials. Simple credentials are very easy to remember, but such is also easy to guess, giving hackers the ability to steer the command of your site out of your hands.
To prevent your site from being hijacked, make sure that your admin user account, as well as its password, is hard enough to be a challenge to guess. Never settle for the default admin user account; do not use very obvious passwords.
Installing Untrusted Plugins of Your WordPress Site
A great thing about WordPress is the abundance of countless plugins that can help your site function to your satisfaction and that of your users. Unfortunately, while there are a lot of plugins that can be trusted, there are also some that are not. Going for untrusted plugins exposes you to risks that can put your site and your users in danger.
It is therefore advisable to only make use of trusted plugins. Make sure to scrutinize a plugin before you install it. Furthermore, ensure that you diligently update your plugins as hackers can even target plugins to gain access to your site.
Similar to plugins, there is also a wide range of themes that you can use for your WordPress site. However, themes also carry the same risks, so make sure you use the same scrutiny level when choosing the theme you would implement for your site. It is always best to be a bit of a cynic than to fall victim to hackers’ tricks.
Not Monitoring Your Logs
Your site activities are recorded, allowing you to review what has happened for a specific time. This also gives you the power to detect any strange activity. A lot, however, fail to utilize this power, especially those that have not experienced a hack firsthand.
Fortunately, your site has not been hacked yet but don’t be lax. Make sure to spend the effort in monitoring your logs so that you will be able to foil a possible hack.
Malware Vulnerabilities on your Computer
Finally, the computer for which you administer your site may also pose threats to your WordPress site. This is especially true in the case of malware that may be present on your computer. Protect both your computer and your WordPress site by employing reliable anti-malware tools.
Free your WordPress Site of these 9 Common Vulnerabilities now
These nine vulnerabilities are very common, and these are where most hacks become successful. Therefore, you must address these vulnerabilities to secure your site and protect yourself and your site’s users. Follow the tips mentioned above on how you can face these vulnerabilities now.