5 key signs your WordPress site’s been hacked

5 key signs your WordPress site’s been hacked

Getting hacked is one of the biggest concerns firms of all sizes face. The consequences of a hacked website can be enormous, impacting your reputation and finances. Not only that but the time and resources required to rectify the problem are also costly. This can include business disruption, lost sales, recovery of assets, fines, and compensation.

You might think it only happens to other people. But the truth is, anybody with a website can become a target, and it’s not always apparent if you have become one.

Many common forms of hacking put your site and its users at risk, which is why online security is vital, mainly if you store user information or sensitive data on your website. Learning the signs that your site has been hacked is essential to avoid presenting malicious content to your visitors without realizing it.

Some subtle but standard signals may indicate your WordPress website has been hacked.

1. Unexpected users are registering on your site

If your registrations are turned off but someone is still adding users, it means someone else has administrative powers. These exploits often stem from outdated plugins or security issues with your host’s FTP.

Under your dashboard’s ‘Users’ menu, you’ll see a list of people with administrative powers. If you don’t recognize someone on the list, it’s a tell-tale sign that you have been hacked.

2. You are unable to access your admin account

Your admin account should only be accessible via your unique username and password. You’ll lose access if someone changes your password or deletes your account. Alternatively, you might find you can log in but that your administrative controls are missing.

To determine why you have been locked out of your account, check that you’re entering your password correctly. If it doesn’t work, you have likely been hacked due to a weak password. A strong password should be a random combination of letters and numbers that would be difficult to guess. If you haven’t updated your password to a strong one, we recommend changing it now.

3. Sudden dips or spikes in traffic

Unusual drops or spikes in your website traffic are another sign that something isn’t right. If you notice an unexplained dip, it could be because hackers are redirecting existing traffic away from your website. If you see a noticeable increase, it could be because hackers are sending new traffic to your domain after uploading their content.

Improper file permissions are the likely cause of allowing hackers to do this. It enables them to add a custom redirect script to your WordPress site, steering visitors to a different location. To avoid this problem, you need to configure your permissions.

4. Your WordPress site redirects to a different URL

If your website redirects to another site, it’s another indicator that it’s been hacked. This issue often goes hand in hand with a dip in traffic, so analyzing your website analytics is an excellent place to start.

You should regularly check that every URL displays the correct information. This check should be done while logged in and out of your admin account, as some redirects are intentionally only detected to users who are logged out.

5. Your homepage design displays manipulated content

If you notice new content has been added to your site, you have probably been hacked. Although you might assume this would be glaringly obvious, the change can be as subtle as a few new links. It’s also possible for a hacker to include hidden links on your site, which is trickier to spot unless you look into the website’s code.

Often, a weak password and using default credentials, such as the admin username, are to blame in this situation, so it’s important to choose yours carefully.

What can I do if my WordPress site has been hacked

Each day, hackers experiment with new ways to gain access to websites. Hence, it’s best to implement preventative measures to help secure your site more effectively, such as avoiding default credentials, enabling two-factor authentication, using Secure Socket Layers (SSL), and opting for a secure hosting server.

Most hacking attempts are moments of opportunity, with 51% of WordPress websites hacked because of a theme or plugin and 8% due to a weak password. The rest are often down to poor hosting security.

At WP Tech Support, your website’s security is our priority, and we know exactly what we’re looking for regarding site vulnerabilities. We can implement measures to improve your current security level and back up your entire website to our secure cloud server daily. Look at our WordPress maintenance plans to find the one best suited to your requirements.

Table of Contents

Leave a Reply

Comment policy: We value comments and the time that visitors to our blog spend to give feedback. Please note that all comments are manually moderated and any deemed to be spam or promotional will be deleted.