Common WordPress Security Threats 2021: Explained

WordPress, as all CMS does, has several potential vulnerabilities. Some of them are SQL injection, DDoS attacks, and brute force attacks. 

When getting hacked, your website can lose its credibility, and you’ll get a hard time rebuilding it all over again. You sure don’t want to trade all the energy you’ve put into growing your website for that.

Should you want to familiarise yourself with WordPress security, read on. In this article, we’ll uncover the common WordPress security threats and how to prevent them from happening on your site.

How to Avoid WordPress Security Threats

Here, we’re looking at the four basic requirements for a more secure WordPress website. Skipping one of these tips allows attackers to get into your system quickly. Therefore, you can use this as a checklist.

    • Choose the right host. Your website’s security will be significantly influenced by how your web host secures its server. One of the great examples is Hostinger. Apart from facilitating free SSL certificates, it uses Cloudflare to protect its servers from cyberattacks.
  • Backup. Getting a copy of your website allows you to restore all of your files when malfunctions occur. Therefore, schedule a backup and make it automated. You can use a plugin like Jetpack by Automattic to help with the process.
    • Use strong passwords. Since hackers can commence dictionary attacks, combine random strings of characters into your passwords. They should contain lowercases, uppercases, numbers, and special symbols. Ideally, you should use a platform manager app like 1password, and two-factor authentication, like Authy.
  • Don’t download plugins and themes for untrusted sources. As hackers can put harmful code in them, keep in mind downloading plugins and themes from their official sites.

Now, you’ve learned about the essential security precaution for your WordPress website, let’s dive right into the six common WordPress security threats.

SQL Injections

SQL is the language of database management. It’s what makes up your WordPress site’s database, and use to retrieve information from it. By embedding malicious SQL commands into your website environment, an attacker can trigger the database to give out sensitive information.

Attackers can inject malicious code from visitor’s submission forms or a search bar. Thus, be sceptical about every input you get. Squeeze the following code into your .htaccess file to add some rules that can help prevent SQL injections on your site.

Unauthorised Logins 

Unauthorised logins and brute force attacks, happen when hackers attempt to quickly input tons of potential username-password combinations to get the correct one. Once they’ve found it, they can get into your account and steal sensitive information.

Your WordPress username is Admin by default. Thus, you need to change it first and foremost. Next, ensure you have a solid password. It’s the best way to frustrate hackers. Last, add Two-Factor Authentication. Meaning, you get to verify every login attempt on different devices.

Additionally, consider changing the login URL from the default website.com/wp-login/ to an alternative that only you will be aware of.

Malware

Malware is short for Malicious Software. As the name suggests, malware is any software that’s intentionally created to cause damage. Typically, attackers take advantage of outdated plugins and themes and place arbitrary code in them. 

When you use the infected theme, the code can corrupt your WordPress PHP files and exploit your resources.

To prevent such situations from happening, always update your plugins and themes. If it’s your first time using WordPress, always check the plugin and theme’s stats you’re going to use. Their official directory will show you if the creators still actively upgrade them.

Outdated Core Software

Outdated WordPress sites pose additional loopholes hackers will take advantage of. Updating WordPress will make sure that as many known bugs or vulnerabilities are patched out.

Now, hackers can use the information to find security issues. Therefore, if you don’t update your WordPress, your site is prone to another series of attacks.

We recommend you always check for updates. If one is coming, hit that Update button immediately.

Phishing

Phishing happens when scammers set up and distribute fake domains that look like legitimate companies or organisations. Commonly, this attack uses urgent emails to make users take the bait. When they click on the link, their sensitive information may become vulnerable. You should protect yourself by learning how to spot a phishing email.

Additionally, you can install All In One WP Security & Firewalls to block spam phishing comments.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

When under DDoS attacks, your website can become inaccessible for you and your visitor. The attackers send a massive amount of traffic your server can’t handle. Consequently, your site will slow down and crash.  

Our advice is to check your logs regularly. By doing so, you can locate where your traffic is coming from and track any error happening on your site. When you see an abnormal traffic spike, call your web host for help. 

To reinforce your site’s security, install DDoS protection. The tool will notify you when there is a security breach attempt. It also helps you mitigate the attack, so your site will be back in business again.

Conclusion

What you’ve just learned are the six most common WordPress security threats. We can go on and on with the list, as there are more of them out there. With that in mind, we recommend you stay alert of the latest issue about WordPress security threats. That way, your WordPress website will always be up and running.

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