But now, online platforms like WordPress come with prebuilt templates that even newbies can add photos and text to. And another development that this type of website building has brought is that it’s also really easy to put your site at risk of a breach!
It’s estimated that over 70% of all WordPress website installations are vulnerable to being hacked.
Today’s websites are really a company’s presence in the world. If you don’t have a website, potential customers wonder what’s wrong, and many people will never find you. Website analytics and SEO are also vital to capturing new customers and understanding your sales funnel. But this also means that any website downtime or issues can mean you’re closed for business!
Just how easy is it to leave your website wide open for problems and data leakage? Here are the ways you can easily induce website vulnerability.
Ignore Adding Security
If you’re setting up a WordPress site “out of the box” and don’t know much beyond the basics, this means you can easily leave it without any anti-malware protection.
Not having anti-malware protection or even basic protections on forms, like a captcha, can result in your site files being infected with ransomware or another type of malware.
Don’t Use an SSL Certificate
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get your site up and going, then you may forgo the additional SSL certificate that adds an “S” to HTTP. That “S” stands for security, and if your site doesn’t have it, that means that any data sent to you through the site (via form, shopping cart, etc.) is not encrypted and easy for any hacker to grab.
You may find that you can’t even hook up an e-commerce plugin to your site without having an SSL certificate, which is required for encrypting data transmissions and making your site secure.
Leave Old Plugins Installed
One way that WordPress differs from the websites of old is that it’s powered by plugins. Want to connect Google Analytics? You need a plugin. Need to add UPS shipping to your shopping cart? That’s another plugin. You need a plugin for just about everything, and each one of those is an opening to your website for a hacker.
If you just deactivate a plugin, it’s still leaving your site vulnerable, even if it’s not turned on. The same goes for all those pre-installed themes you aren’t using. If they’re just left deactivated but not removed, they can leave your site at risk of a breach.
Never Update Your Plugins or Theme
One of the most popular ways to leave a website at risk is to never update the theme or plugins. Updating these can be a pain, especially if they’re something that can “break” your site when updated due to a coding problem or conflict.
So, many users just ignore all those updates and their little red alert notices. The problem is that not updating these means you’re not installing critical security patches that can seal a found vulnerability.
Don’t Back Up Your Site
One phishing attack that causes a server compromise can completely wipe out a WordPress website database. This means zero data to restore even if you’ve sealed the breach.
A great way to leave your site at risk of being destroyed forever and you starting from scratch rebuilding it is to never back up your site.
Most webhosts will have backups available, but some require you to actually turn them on. Many a website owner has been disappointed when they realize their webhosting company is just supplying the server, and nothing beyond that. It’s up to you to know how to use your control panel and turn on daily site backups.
Trying to Handle Your Website Admin Yourself (When You Don’t Really Know What You’re Doing)
The ease of setting up a website based upon a plug-n-play template can give Canadian business owners and their staff a false sense that, “We can handle this, how hard can it be?”
But if you’re not an expert at the backend of website security and administration, then you can find yourself in a real mess as soon as you have an attack or other problem on your site that causes it to go down.
There is so much going on when it comes to website optimization, security, and monitoring, that if you want to ensure your site is running smoothly and is protected from hackers, then you really need to have a professional handling it.
Get Affordable Website Help to Keep Your Site Running Securely
Data First Solutions has experts that live and breathe plugins, website security, and updates. We can help ensure your GTA business has an online presence that is optimized and free from security risks.
Contact us today to book a free website assessment. Call 416-412-0576 or book your assessment online.