Safety threats to look out for in your WordPress site
WordPress is an SEO-friendly CMS platform that makes it easy for beginner designers and corporations to design and customise their very own website for professional use. Everything about it’s interface is designed for easy maintenance and usage, thereby making it one of the most popular CMS platforms out in the business field. Unfortunately with that popularity, also comes a chance for exploitation. Hackers and dishonest cyber bullies have taken to hacking and discovering ways and loopholes into the websites of others.
Therefore it is necessary to take steps in order to prevent safety threats against your WordPress website before it’s too late! Here are some of the most common threats you need to look out for today:
1. Disclosed WordPress Version Information
The WordPress version you’re using is actually available information on default. With the right steps, others can easily find out what version you’re using. In fact, some of the themes used actually shows what version you’re using visually on each page! To the average person, this seems like nothing remarkable. But that cannot be further from the truth! By knowing what WordPress version you use, especially if your website is running on an older version, hackers will be able to hack in and exploit your site by targeting security vulnerabilities.
Luckily enough, that situation can be prevented simply by regularly updating WordPress and it’s themes as well as plug ins so that the updates can work on preventing any breaches. It’s also a good idea to take charge and remove the version information yourself ( from BOTH your page header meta and also readme html file). You can use the Hide my WP plugin and avoid people who use bots and crawlers.
2. Editable Theme and Plugin Files through Dashboard
While convenient, this is immensely risky as that means someone has gained access to your dashboard and can therefore deal a lot of damage to your WordPress website. A recommended solution is to only allow access through FTP, and disable the editors that grant dashboard access.
You can also install a security plugin but plug ins are not sufficient in preventing access since you can turn it off and gain access again.
3. Open Firewall Settings
Do not leave the firewall settings on WordPress as default. Unfortunately, the firewall settings on WordPress has a lot of open holes where bots and unwanted visitors can slip in. Don’t give them a chance to even do that. Install security plug ins to optimize rules in your .htaccess file or manually install basic 5G blacklist firewall rules.
4. Default Table Prefix
As it turns out, WordPress has a standard table prefix that a lot of users use. By way of exploiting SQL injection, hackers can actually gain access to your website since they know where and how to inject information into your database.
Luckily enough, plug ins can save the day. Plug ins like Sucuri can actually modify the default prefix. So back up (always back up) your database just in case you get hit with an ironic Murphy’s Law situation- where everything that can go wrong, goes wrong. After backing up, choose a new prefix or let them generate a random one for you.
5. User Registration Option
If you look through your WordPress site option, pay attention to the users section and make sure that it doesn’t allow just anyone to register as a user. Because that means literally anyone can register, regardless of background and intent- Yikes. Go under general settings and remove that option!
6. Login Confirmation
When you log in to your wordpress website and mistype, you’ll notice that the login screen will inform you when you got the password or username wrong. It actually reveals the correct username- which makes it easier to hack because they now have your username without having to know the actual password! This means your website is more susceptible to brute force log ins- bots trying to figure out various login combinations multiple times in order to access your wordpress site.
This places your website at risk of being compromised, and also causes a lot of stress on your servers. There are two ways you can go to solve this potential problem. Install a plugin to limit log in attempts and also contact your web hosting provider and ask them to block the IP addresses that have made unsuccessful logins multiple times.