10 Common WordPress Security Mistakes to Avoid

One of the worst feelings as a business owner is heading to the office and finding out the door is broken. This means all the computer systems are gone and someone’s done a real job ransacking the place.

While this scenario can happen to anyone in the real world, the virtual one’s no better. Websites too are susceptible to theft and fraud through hacking and blacklisting. Many websites get their information siphoned off by hackers. Hackers can send spam emails, extract private information, store illegal files and do a lot of other things, so it’s important to keep your websites in check.

If you’re an owner of a website, then it’s important that you prevent your site from getting compromised in any way. Keep track of these ten most common WordPress issues.

10 Common WordPress Security Mistakes

1. Not Using a Firewall:

You need to ensure your website is safe by using the strongest WordPress firewalls for site security. It acts as a guard for your website and prevents suspicious IP from making requests and trying to enter your website. Common WordPress malware infections include malicious redirects, drive-by downloads, backdoors, and pharma attacks.

2. Remaining on Shared Hosting:

Many host providers offer security to the websites they host. The severity of these measures are dependent on the plan selected, but even the hosting types have a few shortcomings.
Managed hosting concerns include limited customer support, software restrictions and more. When it comes to shared hosting, there is a lower scope for authority to install software of your choice.

3. Irregularly Scanning Websites:

According to research, websites get attacked at least 44 times a day. The research also shows that at least 18,500,000 sites are hacked on a daily basis! To top it off, Google then bans 17% of hacked websites even if it isn’t their fault.

There are other security plugins, which perform fast WordPress malware scanning that is in-depth and thorough. Here are a few tools that show how to scan for vulnerabilities:

  • Keyword Identification: Phrases such as ‘base64_decode’ or ‘eval’ are generally associated with malware. Scanners generally run scans to search for these phrases, but the drawbacks include a large amount of malware
  • Signature Matching: This generally requires matching website files against malware patterns. If a match is found, then an alert is sent telling you that an infection has been found.
  • Matching Themes: Malware can be identified with WordPress core files being matched against official WordPress core files.

4. Not Having a Good Backup Solution:

Losing websites can be very painful and harrowing. WordPress backup services will, however, help you recover part or the entire site back to normal in case there is any data loss. Finding the right backup service is important, so here are a few things to consider to safeguard yourself:

  • Having the service available to backup every part of the site including themes, files, pages, posts, settings and other configurations
  • Locating backups must be safe and generally not on the hosting server
  • Have multiple backup versions in different locations. You can store the backups on a Google Drive or even Dropbox to be on the safer side
  • Real-time backups are crucial for WooCommerce site owners as they store every order and save you from financial loss.

5. Not Taking the Right Steps to Harden Website Security:

Take little steps to make your website secure as it will go a long way to ensure overall security. Plugins such as MalCare can help users to harden their websites with small measures such as:

  • Disabling file editor
  • Blocking PHP execution in untrusted folders
  • Blocking theme/plugin installation
  • Changing security keys and
  • Resetting passwords along with activation keys

6. Not Updating WordPress along with its Add-ons:

Websites are always a work in progress because of the constant upgrading that needs to be done, especially in large sites. By leaving them unmanaged, they could get into the hands of mischievous hackers who would love to exploit any vulnerabilities.

There are two reasons many website owners leave their security parameters unguarded. They assume that hackers don’t target smaller websites when in fact, hackers attack them because they’re lenient.

7. Using / Buying Bad Add-Ons:

WordPress plugins and themes are some of the common WordPress add-ons. Poor add-ons can make these sites vulnerable to any hack attacks. Here are a few measures to choose safe WordPress plugins and themes:

  • Get themes and plugins from sources which are reputed, including the WordPress plugin repository.
  • Don’t purchase plugins and themes which are available on huge discounts on unknown or obscure sites. Many WordPress add-ons can get compromised causing serious security risks to websites
  • Choose plugins and themes which have good reviews as well as ratings from experienced WordPress users.

8. Using Bad Login Practices

The login pages for WordPress are some of the parts which are commonly attacked. This is because people won’t implement the right sort of protection on the page. Here are some common practices that need to be avoided to ensure login protection:

  • Using passwords that are easy to remember leaves sites vulnerable. Avoid common usernames such as “admin” or passwords like “password123”. This makes it so much easier for a hacker to log in.
  • Having a similar display name and username makes it all the easier to guess the credentials to your login. Have different display names so that hackers find it harder to figure it all out.

9. Make Every Contributor an “Admin”:

WordPress also offers systems that are known as user roles which give site owners the power to assign certain responsibilities:

  • Super Admin or Admin – They have full control over the sites which includes add-ons, content and even site users
  • Editor – Control over publishing content on the site. This includes publishing anybody else’s content as well and adding script tags for formatting
  • Author – They can modify, publish and even look through content from the website
  • Contributor – Can edit, read or even delete the site content but isn’t allowed to publish anything else on the site
  • Subscriber – Can only read the content and can’t do anything else

10. Being a Theme/Plugin Hoarder:

There are tons of themes and plugins available until you can find one that suits your needs. By simply disabling any old plugins and themes, you can put your site at a lot of risks. Any unused add-ons are overlooked which means that owners generally tend to forget to update the same.

Another habit many site owners have when it comes to hoarding is keeping a lot of inactive users. Any older users who don’t contribute should be deleted immediately after routine checks.

Thus, most of the security mistakes are committed by WordPress site owners. Keeping the site secure ensures that the site is impenetrable and harder for hackers to mess around with.