6 Ways Your Website Could be Hacked and How to Prevent Them

How to protect your website from hacks and malwareHas your website ever been hacked?  If so, you’ll know that a security breach can leave you feeling vulnerable. It is a scary and extremely common phenomenon. According to Google’s State of Website Security report there was a 32% increase in the number of websites affected by hackers over last year. So what do you do to prevent an attack in the first place? Here we will look at the six most common ways a website can be hacked and how to prevent them in the first place.


 1. Missing security updates

Failing to update old versions of software can leave a site vulnerable to attack. Thus it is very important to keep web server software, content management systems, and all plugins and add-ons updated. Security releases from WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla! Should never be ignored. Hackers can threaten the entire site if software is not updated.

2. Security policy holes

Having many people who access the website can lead to security breaches. Multiple administrators who are able to create passwords, sign in using HTTP, and upload files can allow for malware to infect the website. Not everyone needs administrative access and limiting it can help protect your site. Checking logs for suspicious logins or activity can be beneficial.  It is also vital to utilize encryption for pages that handle sensitive information on your website.

3. Compromised passwords

Reusing passwords, creating common or easily guessed passwords, and not taking advantage of two-factor authentication can leave your site vulnerable. It is recommended that passwords utilize numbers, letters, and symbols and are not used for multiple accounts. Avoid using  keyboard and sequential patterns, common words, or personal information such as your name as passwords. Even with a strong password, hackers can scan through random combinations and might get lucky. That is why two-factor authentication, which also verifies an email address or phone number can help add a second layer of protection to your website.

4. Phishing

Sometimes even the best passwords cannot protect your website due to human error. Phishing scams will likely come in the form of an email requesting personal or login information. The request will come from hackers posing as a legitimate source. Always be cautious of any email solicitations requesting personal information. Verify the source of a request by checking the sender’s email address or hovering over internal links before clicking.

5. Data leaks

Misconfiguration of uploaded data can allow sensitive information to become public. Hackers can simply use a google search to reveal websites that have accidentally allowed information to be public that should be private. Periodic security checks are necessary to secure your website.

6. Insecure Themes and Plugins

Your website’s content management system, such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla! could contain insecure themes or plugins. Be sure to allow updates to patch security issues. Avoid free themes or plugins from sources that cannot be verified as secure.


Now that you know some of the ways malware can affect your website, you can safeguard yourself against attacks. It is important to take all of these preventative measures to protect your website. To be alerted by Google in the case that your website is hacked, start by registering your site in Search Console. Hackers have become more sophisticated and Google reports that the increase in malware is not likely to slow any time soon. Need help?  BlueTreeDigital is experienced in the removal of malware from website and helping businesses recover from a hacked website. And don’t forget, we can help build, secure, and keep your website up to date to prevent malware attacks.