Because of how popular it is, as a content management system, WordPress is able to enjoy a very large community of users that spend a considerable amount of time sharing information, tips, and resources with others. Not surprisingly, but online security is a major concern for most website owners, and most conversations about WordPress tends to center on this particular issue; the risks posed by hackers and the numerous security vulnerabilities. Despite the well intentions of most users, there are still many myths that exist in relation to WordPress and security; as falsehoods are still being spread to this day.
1. Nobody Hacks Blogs
The vast majority of hacking attempts are carried out using automated methods. Most hacking attempts are neither driven by political or personal motives; financial gain tends to be the main reason.
If you’re a blog owner, then you’re probably thinking that you don’t have anything for sale on your website. You also probably don’t have any credit card information on it also, so why would they want to hack into your site?
The most likely reason is because of resources.
The main ways that these hackers will exploit your website include the following:
- Putting spam links into the content of your site, in order to boost the ranking of other sites.
- Planting malware on your site so that unsuspecting visitors will be infected with it, allowing them to steal financial information from them.
- Redirecting all the traffic your site is getting, to another site.
2. All you need is a Secure Username and Password
There’s no doubt that using both a strong username and password aids in securing your website. After all, one of the most common hacker attack methods involves using thousands of different passwords with the default WordPress username ‘admin’. So doing something as simple as changing your default username will make it increasingly more difficult for hackers to get into your website, and if you choose a password that is virtually impossible to guess, by using a string of lowercase and uppercase letters, special characters and numbers, that’s an even bigger bonus.
But the reality is that a secure username and password is good, but it doesn’t prevent a hacker from exploiting the various ways of getting onto your computer. Hackers may exploit security vulnerabilities present in an old plugin or phishing, to get onto your site.
If your site isn’t protected using the two-factor authentication, which sends a code to your mobile phone every time someone logs into your website, then your site is more at risk. A secure username and password is always a valuable line of defence, but it shouldn’t be the only strategy that you adopt. Two-factor authentication is another thing that you should also look at, as it adds an additional layer of security to your site login.
3. SSL Sites Are Safe
An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is designed to add an additional layer of security to the communication that exists between the site and the visitors. Having a SSL certificate on your site is an important component of ensuring communications that take place between the visitor and website, especially when sensitive information is involved (such as credit card numbers), is encrypted, and thus unable to be read, during times of data breaches.
A site that has a SSL certificate will have a URL that starts with an https:// instead of the http://, this indicates that data is properly encrypted on the site. Many end users know to look for this sign when parting with sensitive information on a website, and Google has implemented measures to encourage more webmasters to switch to HTTPS, especially for websites that collect personal information. Even, you can show your organization’s name next to the site URL and enable green address bar using EV SSL Certificate from trusted and popular Certificate Authorities like Comodo.
The unfortunate reality of it all is that the kind of security that a SSL certificate offers exists only on a transactional level, protecting information passed between the user and the site, but not the data stored on the site server itself. So, without up-to-date plugins, a firewall and other security measures, your computer is open to hackers, even if a SSL certificate is present, and that ironically can still put the information shared on your site at risk.
4. I Will Know When My Site is Breached
Professional hackers do their utmost to ensure that their presence is unknown to their victims. Which means, by the time you find out that your site has been hacker; there may be a considerable amount of time that has passed.
Some hacking methods that can be difficult to pick up include:
- Website redirection, which diverts all your traffic to another site. In most cases, you’ll only know about this if you click on your own site in the search engine.
- Hidden text inside your pages and posts.
5. Just Need to Setup My WordPress Site
A WordPress site is a commitment that is forever on-going, just like having a pet. Your website needs to be constantly maintained, with at the very least, up-to-date plugins and WordPress versions. This is important, even if you do not add any new content to your site.
If you set and forget your WordPress site, then there is a good chance that hackers will discover it, and eventually find their way onto it, with very little resistance, due to the outdated nature of it. So if you’re unable to maintain your site, for whatever reason, it may be best you took the site offline.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website where he writes extensively on extensively computer related issues and topics.