Why You Shouldn’t Use The Username Admin
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Why You Shouldn’t Use The Username Admin

WordPress users, who prefer running their sites with a username as Admin, are more vulnerable to attacks.

For example, Brute Force attacks target users with common passwords for WordPress logins.

In this resource, we’ll cover why keeping the (admin) username in WordPress can cause catastrophic damage to WordPress users.

You’ll also learn how to change the existing username’s data or proceed to create a new account.

Why shouldn’t you use the Username ADMIN?

Let’s address and briefly describe why running your WordPress site with the ADMIN username is not recommended.

Brute Force attacks

As its name suggests – brute force attacks involve trying login combinations on a site’s login system.

For example, hackers target WordPress default login pages with common usernames, such as Admin, along with commonly used passwords, such as Love1234, Admin1234, and cool@1234.

In simple brute force attacks, hackers target login pages with common usernames, such as Admin, used by most WordPress users.

In this case, brute force attacks easily find WordPress users with credentials such as Admin and common passwords. Once this happens, attackers can log into victim sites.

So – if your site’s username is Admin, stacks of the site’s compromise are high.

Social Engineering scams

WordPress users with ADMIN as their handle fall victim to social engineering attacks – helping hackers exploit human psychology. Such attacks help hackers gain sensitive information from Admin users.

On sites where Admin accounts are created, hackers guess the emails of admin, super, or power users on a WordPress site. This enables them to create and launch email hacks quickly and easily, which is applicable in most cases.

For example, an admin can receive emails from suspicious people not identifiable by WordPress beginners. Such emails look like they are from legitimate companies, helping hackers often trick admins into taking sensitive actions That could compromise their site’s security.

Real-Time attacks on Admin accounts

Hackers can also launch real-time attacks on admin accounts.

For example, if hackers access an admin’s account cookies, account takeover becomes easy for attacking agents.

In this case, clicking a simple link from the admin account may cause system errors. For example, by clicking a suspicious link, attackers can store the admin’s cookies, alter HTTP requests, and resend them to the server’s infrastructure.

When this happens, attackers can access the admin’s account from anywhere, making cookie stealing applicable to get admin status on a WordPress site.

Run as Administrator

Admin accounts can perform any action on a WordPress site – including installation, backup, and restoration.

In such scenarios, if there is no backup system, actions taken by admin accounts are not reversible.

I have clarified that you can damage your WordPress site as an admin if you’re not careful enough. For example, changing user roles in WordPress can create loopholes in access controls, action levels, and site management.

Next, let’s learn how to change WordPress usernames’ data for security reasons.

Change data for existing Admin account

In WordPress, changing data for existing users is limited.

In this case, once you’ve logged into the Admin dashboard, you can proceed to the Users page and click Edit under username – as shown in the screenshot below.

Username Admin

On the next page, you can see that WordPress only allows changing passwords for existing accounts. In this case, once you’ve created a username, such as admin – changing usernames remains impossible in WordPress.

However – let’s address creating new user accounts in WordPress.

Creating new user accounts in WordPress

Instead of creating usernames with ADMIN, create new accounts with administrative privileges and a different username.

For example, it is recommended that WordPress users create a user with a username like John and a complex password. This can prevent brute-force attacks on WordPress admin accounts.

Let’s describe how to create a new account with administrative privileges.

Once logged into the WordPress dashboard, go to the Users -> Add New page and click the Add New button.

Enter information for the new admin account on the next page, such as username, password, and access levels.

Username Admin

Ensure you avoid using the ADMIN as your new account’s username.

Note: Following the abovementioned procedures, you can create unique users with administrative rights in WordPress. At the same time, you can prevent hacking attacks that apply to admin usernames, such as simple brute-force attacks.

Professional Tips

  • As WordPress allows creating accounts with different access levels, you can create accounts with limited rights, such as Author for creating and editing WordPress content.
  • You can temporarily allow users to perform administrative tasks if required. For example, using WordPress plugins, you can enable an author to create new users on WordPress. Once the process has been finished, you can change accounts to their previous status.
  • If you’re using multiple accounts in WordPress, make sure you’ve created admin accounts with unique identifiers. For example, admin posts, admin users, and admin manage are admin accounts with different roles.
  • You should’ve configured Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on admin accounts. It helps you create two-step login verification for super users. Successful login is impossible when attackers gain access to an admin with 2FA enabled. WordPress asks users to enter code from the admin’s email or phone after entering a valid username and password.

Conclusion

Admin accounts in WordPress have super-level rights. Security concerns with common usernames can create problems for Webmasters.

In WordPress, you should avoid creating users with Admin as a username at all costs. Instead, create super users with names, such as John.

Lastly, you can manage users’ rights with point-and-click WordPress plugins, such as User Role Editor. It helps you quickly change users’ rights in the WordPress dashboard without learning how to code the WordPress backend.

If you need more details on creating WordPress users and avoiding common usernames, such as ADMIN, join the conversation in the comments below and help us maintain WordPress users’ security.

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