It’s estimated that over 455 million websites run on WordPress. This open-source content management system allows website owners to integrate and use various free and premium plugins to extend the features and functionality of WordPress.
“All in one SEO pack” is one such WordPress plugin that is most popular and widely used by heaps of website owners. If you are a possessor of a WordPress site, the chances are that you’re already using the said plugin. And maybe you already know that over 800 thousand sites are currently infected by a malicious code and malware infection found in the All in One SEO Pack plugin.
A security researcher recently discovered high-level and critical security vulnerabilities in the All in One SEO Pack, which leads to arbitrary code execution on your site. One of the two severe vulnerabilities is an SQL injection, and the other one is the Authenticated Privilege Escalation bug.
Cyber hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to compromise your WordPress site and get access to your sensitive information and every single endpoint registered by the plugin. If you’ve installed the All in One SEO Plugin on your website, then you need to make sure that you’re not putting your users at risk. In this article, we have provided you with some essential safety measures that will help you protect your WordPress website from data theft and getting hacked.
While it may seem obvious, most website owners aren’t even aware that their plugins are outdated. The vulnerability stems from a backdoor left accessible within the plugin, allowing remote code execution and PHP Object injection. In that case, it won’t take long for hackers to start exploiting this vulnerability if it isn’t patched soon. Therefore, we highly suggest you update your WordPress plugins immediately to avoid your site getting compromised. Additionally, never install plugins from unknown sources because they might have malicious code in them that can cause problems with your site and even compromise security.
The biggest issue is that some plugins allow search engine crawlers to access your server’s PHP files. That means if you’re not running a firewall or any other security software, cybercriminals can use this opportunity to break into your site and add malicious code to pages.
Another important aspect to consider when safeguarding your site is to ensure that it’s always updated. Also, keep your WordPress installation updated to the latest version as soon as new updates become available. Some plugins may cause conflicts with each other or with the core WordPress software itself, and these issues should be resolved immediately to prevent any security breaches or crashes.
You need to make sure your WordPress site runs on a web host with a dedicated IP address for every website hosted on their server. It is the best way to ensure that your site is not being attacked by scripts from other websites hosted on the same server as your WordPress site. Also, make sure that your host provides you with regular security patches.
Always use strong passwords that contain numbers, symbols, and letters to impede hackers from brute-forcing their way into the admin area of your site. In addition, you should change them regularly, ideally every couple of months. Never use the same password twice on all accounts and share your account details with others. If you are using the same password for multiple accounts, ensure that they are all secured with two-factor authentication, which leads to our next security tip.
The most critical security feature you can add to your WordPress website is two-factor authentication (2FA). It’s a way to ratchet up the security on your site by requiring more than just a password to gain access. Instead of logging in with just a username and password, you will also be required to input an additional code that’s sent to your phone only. That way, even if someone steals your password, they won’t be able to enter your account unless they also have access to your phone.
Avoid using the auto-update function when you need an application to be installed or updated on your WordPress site. Instead, download the plugin manually and upload it to your server via FTP or SFTP (secure file transfer protocol). Doing so will allow you to check that the file hasn’t been tampered with before installing and using it on your site.
It’s essential to get an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate and encrypt your site using HTTPS. Using an SSL certificate for your website enables you to ensure that your visitors’ data is encrypted when they use your services or make purchases. Most hosting providers will offer this service as part of their packages, or you can purchase one from an external provider.
If your site gets hacked and you lose all of your data, you could lose business and money. Creating a backup of your site on a regular basis can prevent this from happening. It is equally crucial to scan your site regularly to shield it against potential security threats and vulnerabilities.
We hope these above-mentioned security measures will help you secure your WordPress site. Remember, it only takes a few seconds for the bad guys to hack into a website, so taking a few minutes to protect yourself is crucial. At Autus Digital Agency we take the worry out of managing your own website with our expert WordPress maintenance service.