WordPress Security Issues – what they are, and what you can do

WordPress is often considered a safe blogging platform, and under normal circumstances you shouldn’t have to worry about major hacking attempts. At the same time, this CMS does have its share of vulnerabilities and security problems. Professional penetration testers have recently brought up a few of these problems, but others have been known for years.

Cross-Site Scripting

wordpress security issuesAn XSS attack can be devastating because it gives the hacker complete control of your website. The hacker will pass a script through the browser that will affect how your website looks and behaves. Hackers can even make your blog a breeding ground for new malware so that your visitors get infected.
Penetration testers have recently discovered how vulnerable many themes are to an XSS attack. Many of them were free themes, but there were also premium themes that were supposed to be safe. Most theme providers have fixed the errors so that an XSS attack is impossible, but you should still be wary when downloading both free and premium WordPress themes.

Embedded Links

Many free themes have links at the bottom that point users back to the website where you downloaded the theme. If it’s just used for this purpose, then the link is harmless. Some hackers have learned that they can use embedded links to ruin your website.

Embedded links often hurt your search engine ranking, and they can also be used to force readers to download malware files. Your blog may unintentionally become a place where computers become infected. You can often beat this with a plugin that removes embedded links.embedded links

Fake Admin Page

This is another problem that affects WordPress themes. Many free themes have coding written into them to create a fake admin page. This enables the theme’s creator to quickly access the admin features of your blog. The hacker can change pages, insert malware and destroy your blog.

While it can be difficult to know if there is a fake admin page, the best thing you can do is download themes from reputable sources. Most reputable sources will check for coding like this to ensure your safety.

Directory Attack

secure your wordpress installA directory attack is not really a problem with WordPress itself, but rather a problem with your host. Most hosts allow hackers to easily access your website’s directory. This allows the hacker to see each and every file on your blog, and it makes it easier for the hacker to assess your vulnerability.

You should close the directory to ensure your safety. Contact your host and have the directory closed so that no one can access these files.

Weak Coding

WordPress often has very strong coding that can be difficult to penetrate, but there are areas here and there that are weak. If hackers can find them, then they can attack your website. The best way to beat this security threat is to constantly update WordPress.

You may notice that WordPress periodically comes out with new updates. The updates rarely cause any visual changes, but that’s because most of the updates correct the weaker coding behind the scenes. Having an outdated version of WordPress makes your blog more vulnerable. As such, one of the best ways to protect your site is to update WordPress when a new version comes out.

The simplicity and plug-in options of WordPress make it one of best blogging systems. However, there are a number of security threats you need to be aware of. You can protect yourself from WordPress security issues by downloading themes and plugins from reputable sites, and always updating WordPress when a new version is available.

522 Digital, LLC is a digital marketing and advertising agency that uses the latest technology to help its clients excel, safely, online.