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Ever wonder “What if your WordPress gets hacked?”

What If Your WordPress Gets Hacked Blog by Gecko WebsitesIf you haven’t yet taken your website security seriously, you may be wondering what if your WordPress gets hacked? There are a lot of things we should be doing to protect our data, but somehow we just never get around to it. That includes things such as backups, security, proper passwords and so on. Of course there are a lot of reasons to secure your website. Hopefully this article will serve as a reminder as to how costly and time-consuming it can be when things go wrong. Click on the image to the right to view it in a larger format. It was created by Mike Wallagher from www.StartBloggingOnline.com. Check out his blog for interesting tips regarding writing your own blog.

WordPress is the most used and popular content management system (CMS) in existence. It’s used on over 72 million different websites from all around the world. On an average day there are approximately 500 000 new posts displayed. As the number of WordPress websites increases over the years, so do the number of hacking incidents. In 2009 there were roughly 81 000 hacked WordPress websites. In 2010 there were 98 000. In 2011 the number jumped to 144 000, and in 2012 it rose again reaching 170 000 hacked sites. So, what if your WordPress gets hacked? If you search in Google for “hacked WordPress”, you’ll find quite a few people who are desperately looking for help to fix their websites. Don’t end up being one of them!

How Do WordPress Websites Get Hacked?

There are a lot of different ways a site can get hacked. Let’s break it down into four of the main reasons:

  • 41% of the cases are due to poorly setup hosting accounts and PC malware.
  • 29% are due to themes. They may be poorly created or simply out-of-date.
  • 22% are because of plugins. They too may be written with poor computer code, but they may also simply be out-of-date as well.
  • 8% of sites are broken into due to weak passwords.

Looking at these four points, there are steps you can take to prevent your site from being hacked. First off, use a reputable hosting company. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be a large brand name company. Often the smaller hosts are more on top of their server security. Ask the right questions before signing up with just any hosting company. Make sure your computer is updated with the latest software. It should also have a good anti-virus software installed and updated. Use programs to check for malware on a regular basis.

When using a WordPress theme and various plugins, get them from reliable sources. Updates should be available by the vendor to ensure that they remain updated and secure from any hacking attempts. What if your WordPress gets hacked anyway? You may need to re-evaluate the theme and plugins you’re using. They may have been okay at one point, but perhaps they’re no longer being updated and now have security issues.

By now, I would expect that everyone is very aware that it’s important to use strong passwords. That means that you shouldn’t use words which can be found in a dictionary. A password should also use a combination of capital letters, small letters, numbers and special characters. It should also be at least eight characters in length. What if your WordPress gets hacked due to using a weak password? Well, as tough as it sounds, I have to say that you should have known better!

Why Do WordPress Websites Get Hacked?

What do the hackers want? Why do they bother? Sometimes it’s just simply for fun. They want to test their computing skills. They can then brag to their friends and improve their status within the hacking community.

In more serious situations it’s your competition and they want to steal your data. They’re after your personal files. In extreme cases they may simply want to eliminate you. By destroying your website, they may end up destroying your business. What if your WordPress gets hacked by your competition? If you know who it is, you should get the authorities involved. It is illegal to gain entry to computer systems for which you don’t have permission. Deal with the situation properly and protect yourself from further abuse.

Other groups may want to hack your website to place links on your site which take visitors to their site. Such links may be tied in with online advertising, so they end up profiting monetarily by having people click on these links.

How Much Time And Money Is Needed To Recover Your Hacked Website?

Being too busy to worry about backup, is like being too busy driving a car to put on a seatbelt.

It’ll probably take at least one day before you even realize your site has been hacked. You’ll then need about another day or so just to figure out what happened and to realize that you’re going to have to get some outside help. Then you’re looking at around three days to simply remove all the malicious software and restore your website so that it’s functioning as it was originally. Next the site will have to be made secure to ensure that it doesn’t get hacked again, which can easily cost a lot. Often there’s only a 75% chance that you will fully recover and be able to restore your site. During all this down time, your business will suffer potential loss of credibility, clients and income. The costs can quickly get out of control. What if your WordPress gets hacked? Get professional help right away. You want your site to be up and running properly again as quickly as possible.

Check List

Don’t remain in a situation where you’re wondering what if your WordPress gets hacked. Be proactive and take concrete steps to ensure it doesn’t happen in the first place. Use this basic check list to get the first steps taken care of.

  • Backup your website regularly.
  • Keep your website updated.
  • Avoid themes from untrusted sources.
  • Use well-established hosting companies.
  • Ensure your computer is free of viruses and malware.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Install security software.

Hopefully this article will get you to stop wondering what if your WordPress gets hacked, and you’ll start with these first steps to protect one of your most valuable assets.