To protect your site and your visitors, it helps to understand what type of vulnerabilities you may be exposed to. Below are some of the most common vulnerabilities that site owners face and some suggestions on how to manage these risks.
1.Insecure WordPress logins
Your WordPress login is a valuable target for attackers because it provides access to your site administration dashboard. If attackers can gain access to your login credentials they will have full control over your site. An insecure or weak administrative password provides easy entry for attackers.
Weak passwords are passwords that can be easily guessed or uncovered through brute force attacks. Brute force attacks are attacks that keep trying different password and username combinations until access is gained. These attacks are possible because WordPress doesn’t limit the number of login attempts an attacker can make.
To prevent these attacks, it’s important to:
- -Use a secure password
- -Enable two-factor authentication.
- 2. Outdated themes and plugins
Any theme, plugin, or application that you add to your site may introduce vulnerabilities. If attackers discover these vulnerabilities they can exploit these weak spots to gain access to your site and users.
After plugins, themes, and applications are released, developers often continue working on these components. For example, adding new features, fixing bugs, or patching security issues. If you do not keep your various components up-to-date, you miss out on these improvements and may leave vulnerabilities exposed.
3. Incorrect WordPress permissions
When you create your WordPress site, you create an administrator account, and you may also create user accounts. For example, if you have a team of people who are working on your site or if you have a subscription service. Each of these accounts has a set of permissions assigned to them that determines what a user can do on your site.
When setting these permissions it is important that you only allow users as much ability as they need. For example, you don’t want your subscribers to be able to edit posts or your editors to be able to change site settings.
Roles in WordPress are as follows, from most to least permissions:
Administrator—can fully control your site.
Editor—can modify and publish site posts.
Author— can modify and publish their own posts.
Contributor—can create drafts of posts.
Subscriber—can only modify their profile.
To ensure that you are assigning permissions correctly, make sure that you place users in the lowest possible role you can. You can always change their role later if you find that the current one isn’t high enough. However, it is hard to undo the damage caused by users with high level permissions.
4.Running your website on HTTPS
Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) is the method used to connect your site to your user’s browser. If your full site address starts with http:// then you are using an HTTP connection. This connection is available to any user and does not require any sort of authentication to use.
Because HTTP connections are not protected in any way, attackers can intercept requests made by users visiting your site. For example, if a user clicks a link on your page, a request is sent to your web server for that page. If an attacker intercepts and modifies this request, they can send your user to a different page entirely.