What Makes Your WordPress Site Vulnerable
The most common WordPress security issues occur before or just after your site has been compromised. The goal of a hack is to gain unauthorized access to your WordPress site on an administrator-level, either from the frontend (your WordPress dashboard) or on the server side (by inserting scripts or files).
Here are several factors can make your WordPress site more vulnerable to successful attacks.
1. Weak Passwords
Using a weak password is one of the biggest security vulnerabilities you can easily avoid. Your WordPress admin password should be strong, include multiple types of characters, symbols or numbers. In addition, your password should be specific to your WordPress site and not used anywhere else.
2. Not Updating WordPress, Plugins or Themes
Running outdated versions of WordPress, plugins and themes can leave you open for attacks. Version updates often include patches for security issues in the code, so it’s important to always run the latest version of all software installed on your WordPress website.
Updates will appear in your WordPress dashboard as soon as they’re available. Make a practice of running a backup and then running all available updates every time you login to your WordPress site. While the task of running updates may seem inconvenient or tiresome, it’s an important WordPress security best practice.
If you manage more than one WordPress website, a tool like iThemes Sync can help by giving you one dashboard to manage multiple WordPress sites.
3. Using Plugins and Themes from Untrustworthy Sources
Poorly-written, insecure, or outdated code is one of the most common ways attackers can exploit your WordPress website. Since plugins and themes are potential sources of security vulnerabilities, as a security best practice, only download and install WordPress plugins and themes from reputable sources, such as from the WordPress.org repository, or from premium companies that have been in business for a while. Also, avoid bootleg or torrented “free” versions of premium themes and plugins, as the files may have been altered to contain malware.
4. Using Poor-Quality or Shared Hosting
Since the server where your WordPress website resides is a target for attackers, using poor-quality or shared hosting can make your site more vulnerable to being compromised. While all hosts take precautions to secure their servers, not all are as vigilant or implement the latest security measures to protect websites on the server-level.
Shared hosting can also be a concern because multiple websites are stored on a single server. If one website is hacked, attackers may also gain access to other websites and their data. While using a VPS, or virtual private server, is more expensive, it assures your website is stored on its own server.