4 common reasons why WordPress websites are hacked
Having your website hacked and out of action is never going to be ideal. Website downtime not only looks terrible for your brand’s reputation but usually results in missing potential leads or loss of orders if your site is e-commerce based.
On a small scale a breach in your site’s security results in the annoying cost of having a website developer remove the malware. However, depending on the size and nature of your business a cyber attack can lead to more serious implications like corrupt data, serious financial loss and liability to third parties.
40% of all websites are run on WordPress- due to the platform’s popularity hackers are able to cause damage to a larger pool of websites. These peskie hackers don’t discriminate either, businesses of any size who use WordPress are susceptible to a hacking incident if they aren’t taking the right steps to prevent it.
You might be thinking “why would anyone want to hack my website?” or “what would a hacker gain from hacking a website like mine?” First of all it’s not you, your business or your site, they are targeting the software you use. They will look for common vulnerabilities and execute hacks on a larger scale and hope this succeeds, and when it does it provides them with a way to keep repeating this method on other websites.
Out of all cyber attacks, 43% are aimed at small businesses and only 14% of these businesses are prepared. While you may never experience a cyberattack yourself (and sometimes you may never even know you have been attacked!) it is a good idea to understand why hackings occur and how to prevent it from happening to you.
Here are 4 common reasons why your WordPress website could are hacked:
1. Financial gain
This is a pretty obvious one, hackers will hold your website ransom by either shutting you out or blocking your website from being active until you pay them a fee. This fee could range from a few hundred dollars to well into the thousands depending on the size of your organisation.
2. Steal sensitive data
This is probably the most serious threat to your business, especially if you store confidential customer data such as payment or contact details. You are liable when it comes to protecting your customer’s precious data and if this data is leaked it not only a major headache but potentially result in legal consequences.
3. SEO spam
A practice where the hacker will introduce spam content to your website and this can appear in many different forms such as;
- Rerouting legitimate users to spam websites
- Spreading malware for their own benefit
- Creating new pages on your website, categories or other content that you didn’t post
- Unusual ranking metrics in your research tools
- Adding content on your site in a different language
All of the above is generally performed to increase their own SEO and could potentially have you blacklisted on Google (something you NEVER want to happen!) So you can say goodbye to all your hard work creating amazing organic SEO content and building a site that follows all the SEO guidelines.
Sadly the search volume for the phrase “how to hack a WordPress site 2022” is extremely high. Hackers usually have different motivations but a vast majority of hackers are ethical hackers and beginners who want to learn how to hack a website and take control of less secure sites ‘just because they can’. Other reasons include;
- Learn new tips and techniques
- Advance their career
- Showing off
- To be challenged
- And my absolutely favourite – to have fun *sigh*
It’s important to note, these reasons for hacking are not just exclusive to WordPress sites, other website platforms such as Shopify, WIX and Squarespace are just as susceptible to being compromised.
It’s easy to think “it won’t happen to me” but website hackers are getting more advanced everyday and if you don’t stay on top of your website maintenance and security it can be a literal disaster (and nobody wants that!)
If you would like some peace of mind that your website is up-to-date and less likely to be hacked get in touch, I offer a range of maintenance packages that suit all business types (and budgets) because it’s always better to be safe than sorry!