# 7 Top Reasons WordPress Sites Get Hacked: Exposing the Malware Threat

Discovering that your WordPress site has become the victim of malware can indeed be a frustrating experience for the site owner. It not only disrupts the normal functioning of your website but also risks your data, reputation, and the trust of your site visitors.

Are you worried about WordPress security? Are you taking the necessary measures to safeguard your websites from malware?

Although hackers target all websites equally, it’s important to know that some mistakes can make your website more vulnerable to attacks. 

Each website has its own level of vulnerability, but some specific actions or negligence can create security weaknesses that can further attract hackers. 

With that said, let’s understand the top reasons to get your website hacked, so you can learn about them and can take proactive steps to significantly decrease the chances of your website being hacked or compromised. 

Here we go-

Top reasons for hacked WordPress site

Here are the most common vulnerabilities that get extra attention from hackers.

1. Keeping weak password

Weak passwords are the most common vulnerabilities behind hacked WordPress websites. It serves as the key to your WordPress site, granting access to numerous critical accounts.

It is highly important to use strong and unique passwords for each of these accounts because they jointly provide a hacker with complete control over your WordPress website.

The following accounts require strong passwords-

  • Your WordPress admin account
  • Web hosting control panel account
  • FTP accounts
  • All email accounts linked to WordPress admin and hosting
  • The MySQL database associated with your WordPress site
Using weak passwords for all these accounts can significantly increase the risk of hackers successfully cracking them using basic hacking tools. To mitigate this vulnerability, it is crucial to employ unique and strong passwords for each account.

2. Choosing an insecure hosting provider

When choosing a hosting provider for your WordPress site, find the one that prioritizes security. 

Unfortunately, some hosting companies fail to properly secure their hosting platform which can cause websites hosted on their servers to be vulnerable to hacking attempts.

Best WordPress hosting providers ensure that your site is hosted on properly secured servers that can block many of the most common attacks on WordPress sites.

Bonus tip– For those who want to take extra precautions, we highly recommend using a managed WordPress hosting provider. This will provide additional layers of security and also keep your site always up-to-date and protected from malware and other potential threats.

3. File permission

If you’re concerned about WordPress security, paying attention to your file permissions is important. File permissions are essentially a set of rules that decides how your web server controls access to the files on your site. 

Thus, it’s crucial to get these permissions correct, as wrong settings could give hackers free control to write and change your files.

It’s recommended to set the file permission to 644 to protect your WordPress files. Moreover, all folders on your WordPress site should have a file permission of 755. 

By adhering to these simple yet important steps, you can safeguard your site against potential security threats.

4. Unsafe access to the WordPress admin area

The WordPress admin area is the gateway to your website’s backend; it gives the ability to users to perform various actions.

It’s also one of the most commonly targeted areas by WordPress hackers. Thus, leaving it unprotected can leave your site vulnerable to attack. 

Add additional layers of authentication to your admin directory to secure it. One effective method is to password-protect your WordPress admin area and keep an additional password to gain access.

For multi-user WordPress sites, enforcing strong passwords for all users can also help prevent unauthorized access. Also, implementing two-factor authentication can provide an even higher level of protection and make it more difficult for hackers to breach your WordPress admin area.

5. Outdated themes and plugins

Updating your theme and plugins is just as important as updating the core software. An outdated plugin or theme can pose a potential security risk to your site.

Usually, security flaws and bugs are discovered in WordPress plugins and themes. The good news is that theme and plugin creators can quickly fix these issues, but at the same time, if you don’t update your theme or plugin, you’re leaving your site vulnerable to attack.

6. WordPress Version Update

While some WordPress users may feel hesitant to update their website, it’s important to keep in mind that each advanced version of WordPress contains critical updates that fix bugs and WordPress security vulnerabilities. Ignoring these WordPress updates means you are leaving your site vulnerable to malware and hackers.

Many site owners fear that an update might break their site. Create a complete backup of your WordPress site before running an update rather than simply avoiding it. This will help you to revert back to the previous version if anything goes wrong during the update process.

7. Plain FTP and not SFTP/SSH

FTP accounts are an essential tool for uploading files to your web server using an FTP client. Most hosting providers support FTP connections using different protocols, including plain FTP, SFTP, and SSH.

While plain FTP may seem like the easiest option, it’s also the most vulnerable. When you connect to your website using plain FTP, your password is sent to the server unencrypted (in plain text) which makes it easily intercepted by hackers. To avoid this, it’s recommended that you always use SFTP or SSH instead.

Thankfully, you don’t need to change your FTP client to make the switch. Most FTP clients can connect to your website using SFTP and SSH protocols as well. Simply change the protocol to “SFTP – SSH” when connecting to your site, and enjoy secure FTP connections without any extra effort.

If you’re interested in further understanding the process of removing malware from your WordPress site, we recommend checking out our previous blog post dedicated to this topic. It provides complete guidance and practical steps to effectively remove malware from your WordPress site.

Final Thoughts

Using plugins is the best way to improve the functionality of your eCommerce store. We hope that this blog will serve as a reliable source in your search to find the best WooCommerce Plugins for your online store. If you are not comfortable with installing WooCommerce plugins, you can get in touch with us. We have a team of experts who are readily available to flawlessly handle the task for you.

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