WordPress, the world’s biggest self-hosted blogging platform, which powers more than 60 million blogs globally, is one of the most straightforward content management systems to set up and operate. WordPress is also free to use. Because of this, WordPress is now in the news because it is the target of a wide-scale assault by many computers from all over the internet – known as an automated botnet attack – that is trying to take over servers that operate the WordPress content management system.
Some believe that the present assault is the prologue to creating a botnet of infected machines that will be much more powerful and destructive than those now in use. This is because the servers have bandwidth connections that are generally tens of thousands of times faster than botnets made up of infected PCs in households and small enterprises.
When faced with a circumstance like this, WordPress’ popularity comes at a cost, as users interpret a perceived weakness in the platform’s simplicity of use as a lack of security.
Is my WordPress site susceptible to hacking?
WordPress newbies and small-business owners sometimes believe that they do not need to be concerned about security issues. They believe that their website will be too little and inconsequential to attract the attention of hackers.
This is an absurd assertion.
WordPress sites of all sizes are being hacked at this time. Hackers utilize automated bots to monitor the internet for websites that have security flaws, and they will hack into any website that provides an opportunity.
Another important point to remember is that you may not even be aware that hackers are trying to get into your site until they have already done so. If you do not get frequent security warnings about hacking attempts, you will most likely only learn about a hacking effort after it is successful and something on your website goes wrong.
What you should take up from this is that all websites are susceptible to hacking – and that prevention is always preferable to cure. Installing a security plugin and doing other preventive security steps can help to keep your website secure.
Why is security important?
A hacked WordPress site has the potential to inflict significant harm to your company’s income and reputation. In addition to stealing user information and passwords, hackers may also install harmful software on your system and potentially disseminate malware to your users.
Worst case scenario, you may find yourself forced to pay ransomware to hackers to recover access to your site. According to Google, more than 50 million website visitors have been alerted that visiting a website may contain malware or steal personal information from them.
Furthermore, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites per week for malware and approximately 50,000 websites each week for phishing. Therefore, if you are running a commercial website, you must pay special attention to the security of your WordPress installation.
In the same way that it is the obligation of the business owner to safeguard their physical shop building, it is your job as an online business owner to secure your company’s website.
Sometimes the weak security typically entails continuing to use the word ‘admin’ as a user name – this is the default administrator account that is created when you first install WordPress – as well as a password that is likely to be cracked by brute-force attempts, which is precisely what happened in this attack.
As a result, if you have deactivated or, even better, deleted the default ‘admin’ account in your WordPress installation and have substituted anything else in its place as the primary administrator of your WordPress dashboard, you will most likely be removed from the attackers’ direct attack ranges.
And suppose you’ve created a strong password with at least eight characters that include a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, digits, and extended characters. In that case, you’ll be in an excellent position to avoid being targeted by a botnet if and when one comes knocking on your WordPress front door.
However, keep in mind that this assault serves as a fantastic reminder that safeguarding your WordPress blog or website so that no one can get into it unless they’ve been invited is something you must be sure of at all times.
If you have an administrative user with the name ‘admin,’ you must do the following two steps:
To do this, create a new administrator account with a different name and a secure password.
While performing this action, you will be prompted by WordPress to choose which other account you would want to assign posts, pages, and other items made by ‘admin’ to once the account has been deleted. Next, select the newly established admin account name from the drop-down menu.
Afterward, activate two-step verification for each user associated with your WordPress installation. The open-source Google Authenticator service is the most straightforward for a WordPress user to install and use. This is something you’re probably already acquainted with if you have that feature enabled for your Google account or other services such as Dropbox or Amazon S3.
Furthermore, you’re in luck if you have a self-hosted WordPress site since there’s a fantastic plugin that does all of the work for you: the Google Authenticator plugin for WordPress.
Make sure you get it right away, either by getting it directly from the WordPress plugin repository or by installing it using the “add new plugin” option in your WordPress admin dashboard.
To make use of this security feature, you’ll need to download the free GoogleAuthenticator app on your smartphone. There are mobile versions for Android, Blackberry, and iOS devices available.
Having this set up in your self-hosted WordPress site, in my opinion, is the least minimum you should have in place to provide you with a reasonable amount of protection for your peace of mind. A hacker would have a more difficult time gaining access to your website.
Maintain WordPress’s stability.
Updating WordPress on a regular basis is yet another vital security step. WordPress software updates are released on a regular basis to improve speed and to address any security vulnerabilities that are uncovered.
You may set your site to get automatic updates for most WordPress core releases, which means that your site will be updated in the background without you having to do anything. Larger releases, on the other hand, must be carried out manually – always create a backup of your site before doing so!
The WordPress dashboard will display notification messages as soon as new updates are made available. Simply click on them to take action. Updates to plugins and themes should be performed on a regular basis as well.
If you want to make sure that your WordPress site is safe, you can’t just do it once. Because cyberattacks are constantly changing, you need to watch them. The risk will always be there, but you can use WordPress security measures to reduce the chances.
If you have read this article, we hope it has helped you understand how vital WordPress security measures are and how to use them.
Furthermore, there are actions you can do to improve the security of the server on which your WordPress platform is installed, as well as the ones you may take to protect your data. Finally, there’s a fantastic lesson on the WordPress Codex that might provide you with further information.
Don’t allow spammers, hackers, and botnets to ruin your online presence. Use these tips to protect yourself. You can rest assured.