WordPress is the completely open source software that has the massive popularity. The developers work hard for the aspect of security and achieve the constant major and minor upgrades to avoid all the possible loopholes and potential dangers. Nevertheless, this script still has some default threats that you need to pay attention. In the following, we have listed the default WordPress security issues and threats and told you how to deal with them.
Actually, you may already have taken a lot of steps and tips for the improvement of the website security, such as regular backup, credential information safeguard, security plugin installation and many more. In addition to these, you’d better also check out the following threats and avoid them carefully.
Everyone Knows You Use WordPress Plus the Current Version
Actually, WordPress has a line of code by default, which tells out that your site is built using WordPress, along with the current version the site is using. Based on the design of your templates, the information might be showcased visually on all your webpages.
To be frank, this fact can be risky. After all, hackers may choose to intrude your website for no other reasons than the fact that your website is WordPress powered. In addition, it is possible that they may find the way to know your WordPress version. If unfortunately, your site is running an outdated version, hackers can easily target the security vulnerabilities and weakness that have already been patched by the recent upgrades.
How to Fix
In fact, the best way to fix this issue is to hide the fact that you are running a WordPress based website. You can check the post of how to hide WordPress to learn the ways of doing so. After this practice, hackers who search for the WordPress based sites using some bots can be cheated, thinking that your site is not the easy and viable target.
In addition, you have to update this script as soon as the new update is released. This way, even if people find that you use WordPress for website creation, the updated version can erase some obvious dangers effectively. Note that whenever the new release is made public, you can find a special message from your admin panel. You simply need to click the link of “Please Update Now” to start the update via a simple click.
Everyone Knows Your Default Username and Login Page
With the default installation of WordPress, you can get the common username of admin. In this case, if you do not change the username, people who have the bad intentions can access your admin panel simply by decoding your password.
In addition, for any WordPress site, the login page is fixed. You simply need to add the suffix of “admin” or “wp-login.php”. After that, the login screen will be showcased. This way, hackers who are looking to start the brute force attack on your website can feel easy.
How to Fix
Firstly, after the installation of WordPress, you have to change the username to something that people feel hard to guess. You can do this by editing the database via the phpMyAdmin. Or, you can create a new user account, assign it to the user role of administration and delete the default account.
In addition, you also need to customize the login URL of your WordPress site. By doing so, hackers cannot find the way to access your back-end. For this, the simplest method is to use the WPS Hide Login plugin. With it, you can customize this crucial link from the WordPress admin directly.
The Files of WordPress Plugins and Themes Are Editable on WordPress
If you know something about coding stuff, you might be familiar with the theme and plugin editor on your WordPress dashboard. Surely, this tool is pretty handy. However, it can cause the huge security issue for the following two reasons.
- It is possible that you may modify these files incorrectly. Thus, your site can be broken and is public to the online dangers.
- If someone gets the access to your WordPress admin, this editor can help them do a lot of damaging things on your website. Even, they can open up a backdoor for them for the next hacking.
How to Fix
Personally speaking, we think you can disable this editor using the following line of code. If you really need to make some adjustments on the coding stuff, you can use your FTP client. Note that this line of code needs to be inserted into the wp-config.php file.
It is true that there are some WordPress security plugins that can do this for you. However, most of these plugins allow you to enable and disable this ability. In this case, some dedicated hackers may use the special software to turn the ability on. And then, they can get the right to edit your plugin and theme files without the need to hack your FTP.
There Is A Default WordPress Table Prefix that People Use
The table prefix will be showcased before the table names of your database. By default, WordPress has a standard table prefix of “wp_”. Unfortunately, if you do not change it and hackers know this, they can exploit the SQL injection for gaining the access to your site and start the mass attacks after targeting your default table prefix.
How to Fix
Surely, you can add some lines of coding stuff into your WordPress configuration file to change the table prefix of your WordPress database. But personally, we think you’d better use the Change DB Prefix plugin. With it, you will not be bothered by the PHP code and can finish the changes easily via the WordPress admin.
Here, you can click the Settings > Change DB Prefix button to access the plugin settings page. After making sure that the wp-config.php file is totally writable. You can enter your custom table prefix freely.
The Default WordPress Firewall Settings Are Open
In fact, WordPress has the open firewall setting. In this case, even some known bots, unwanted visitors and malicious intruders can get the green light to attempt the attacks.
How to Fix
For this, you firstly need to make sure the reliability and security of your hosting provider. Generally, most quality web hosts will pre-configure the reliable firewall on their web servers. Also, you can install and set up the firewall on your WordPress site manually. Here, you can check this WordPress firewall tutorial to know how to do so.
WordPress Allows Unlimited Login Attempts By Default
With the default WordPress settings, the login attempts to your website are unlimited. In this case, many hackers may leverage this chance to access your website back-end to do something bad. Especially, if people decide to brute force attack on your site, this default setting allows them to attempt unlimited combinations of password and username.
How to Fix
Surely, you need to limit the login attempts of your WordPress site. For this, you can use the Limit Login Attempts plugin. From the settings page of this plugin, you can decide the maximum number of allowed retries when logging in for each IP address and the maximum minutes for the lockout. In addition, you can choose to handle the cookie login or not.
Everyone Can Register to Your Website
Everyone can register an account on your WordPress site no matter what the purpose is. But actually, the practice of account registration is only necessary for some special websites, such as the online forum and the e-commerce website.
Actually, when people register to your site, they can be assigned with a user role that has some specific permissions to do something to the website. Frankly speaking, this is not safe if you give them too many rights and permissions without realization. After all, hackers may intrude the critical information via the permissions you grant to them.
How to Fix
If you just run a personal blog or a common website showing your web content without the need to attract people to register an account, you’d better disable the universal registration option. For this, you can enter the Settings section and move to the Membership part.
If your website needs the registration system, you have to control the user roles with the proper permissions.
No SSL Access
This security threat is related to your hosting solution. If you host your WordPress site with a cheap hosting provider, it is possible that you have no SSL certificate installed, neither the public one nor the private one.
If so, all the interaction on your website will go through the unencrypted HTTP but not the safe HTTPS. This means hackers can easily eavesdrop on your login attempts so as to steal your login credential.
How to Fix
Actually, getting the SSL certificate is simple. You can purchase from your hosting provider or from some service providers like CloudFlare. Just check this post to learn more about SSL and how to secure your WordPress website using the SSL certificate.