The Keys to Avoiding and Retrieving a Hacked WordPress Site
Serving as one of the most prominent risks to website owners, hackers often target WordPress sites hoping to earn a quick dollar. Today, WordPress source code is available for everyone causing WordPress to be extremely vulnerable to hacking. As a result, precautions must be put in place as a preventative measure to help website owners avoid hacking attempts. By reading and implementing the following strategies, you can ensure that your WordPress site will withstand any hacking attempts.
Problem 1: Easily Guessable Usernames and Passwords
The first step in protecting your site is to devise both a username and password that are unique and impossible to guess. Your login password should consist of uppercase, numbers, characters, and symbols. Quick note: Password is never an acceptable password. By crafting complex usernames and passwords, you will prevent hackers from easily cracking into your website.
Problem 2: Outdated WordPress Themes and Plugins
Before utilizing a theme or plugin, it is essential that you check to make sure they have four to five star ratings. Often, outdated WordPress plugins and themes are not updated with features that seal openings that hackers frequently exploit. You should weekly check for updates and stay connected to any news about potential openings that hackers could manipulate.
Problem 3: Avoid Shared Desktop Hosting
Always avoid frequenting shared hosting platforms. Stay away from shared hosting as hackers may gain access through a shared hosting server and begin damaging your site. Enforcing this measure will prevent the occurrence of a hacking attempt.
What should I do if I’ve implemented these strategies and still been hacked?
Regardless of any precautions, hackers are dedicated to their craft and can still gain access. Suppose your WordPress account is hacked despite taking all the above precautions, will it be possible to retrieve the site? Well, yes! All you need is to follow these simple guidelines, and if you can still access your WordPress dashboard, the process is pretty straightforward. First and foremost, you need to change your password, scan the site for malware, erase the malware and remember to make your password as complex as you can.
Another key, if such a case happens, stay calm. Panicking at this moment will prove even more disastrous than the hack; take a deep breath
Step 1: Scan your Computer
Install antivirus software and scan your computer. Sometimes, hackers gain access via malware sent to your computer which you need to completely destroy. Next, update your PC operating system as these measures reduce the possibilities of another hack.
Step 2: Assess the Extent of the Hack
After assessing your computer and ensuring it is free of malware, you should try to access your site. Once there, assess and determine the type of hack. How is your WordPress behaving? Are there external links on your site? Observing how your WordPress is behaving helps you to know what line of action to take.
Step 3: Contact your Hosting Site
Before you dedicate yourself to any other line of action, contact the WordPress team. Their support staff are highly-experienced in providing aid to hacked website owners, and they will work to help recover your website speedily. Often, they will also help identify the origin of the hack. Through this step, WordPress support staff will provide information of any backdoors that pose a threat to your website. Heed the information and make sure to delete the backdoor if any. Once the support staff retrieves your website, you must change your login credentials. If your password was weak, do not use the same one!
Step 4: Restore your Information from Backups
Because the restore feature is only possible if you had previously created backups for your site, you should always attempt to retain updated backups. If not, contact WordPress support staff and they will have your site restored to the manner it was before the hack.
Afterwards, you should once again update your WordPress plugins and themes to the latest versions and scan your computer once more to make sure that your computer is clean and free from malware.
Now, you can embark on your blogging venture well-informed and fully equipped to avoid future hacks!