Why Website Hackers Don’t Care About Your Business

You have a WordPress website because it’s simple to use and easy to make updates. But did you know that some less than honorable people may be trying to break into your site? While we call them website hackers, they call themselves savvy.

Wait…before you break into a complete panic and cold sweat, keep reading to find out what they want.

Some hackers do it for the fun of it or the anonymous notoriety, think Target and the US Government. Others do it because they can. However, the main reason and motivation for most is cold hard cash – money and profits to be made.

Are you shocked about this one?

Most people think hackers of small websites are in it to steal your personal data like they do for the big and beefy sites that contain important data like socials and bank information. But they are trying to hack you for your resources – so they can do there thing free of charge.

Plain and simple; they want your resources. Here’s what they are after:

1. Spam

By using your resources, the website hacker can churn out a lot of spam emails – for free and somewhat untraceable. The spam email will come from your server and not their account. Unfortunately, not everyone is savvy enough to spot a spam email or phishing scam.

Spam isn’t always served up in an email. Another way they use your site is to insert links to websites that sell things – think knock-off shoes. The links may also be hidden as a way to move up the search engine rankings.

Some savvy marketers find it easier to buy thousands of hacked websites than to build a genuine product and do the work to promote it.

2. Free Website Hosting

They don’t want your site; they want the computer power of your web server. They want free hosting. Your space can be used to hide a website hacker’s identity since they’re using a server that isn’t linked to them.

With the cost of web hosting rising, the hackers are looking to piggyback off of your security risks and explorations. It’s nothing personal to them, they want what they want and could care less how much traffic or how big your site is.

3. Ransom and Viruses

Chalene Johnson’s Instagram site was taken over by website hackers a while ago. Why? The hackers wanted her to pay to obtain access back to her space. They can easily do the same to your website. Think of what you would lose if someone got access to your site and you couldn’t get it back. What would that be worth to you?

If you spent a good amount of time creating content and traffic and products for your website then you definitely know the investment you’ve made not just financially but in time. The hackers understand the importance of this as well so they’re willing to bet that you would pay, and pay well, to get this information back into your hands.

A hacked site can also serve viruses to unsuspecting visitors whose computer security is not up to date. One popular virus records keystrokes so that hackers get access to your personal information, passwords and bank accounts.

Keep Your Site Up To Date and Secure

Sadly, it’s simple to keep your site secure and up-to-date but many of us don’t make the small investment to do so. Outdated plugins, weak passwords, stagnant sites are easy prey for website hackers.

Most WordPress hacking occurs by an automated process, and everyone is at risk. Hackers watch for security vulnerabilities then use a program to try to exploit those weaknesses.

Don’t fall into the trap thinking my site is small potatoes so why would they bother.

By taking the small step of having a good backup and maintenance package, you can prevent most attempts and better yet, recover from any successful hacking attempt.

Are you making the investment in your business to keep your sacred space accessible to you alone?

Not sure what step to take next to stop website hackers from using you? Check out my WordPress maintenance services that keep your site safe and updated,

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14 Comments

  1. It is scary to think what they can do. Sometimes I just want to hide my head, but I am trying to learn and figure out what to do to be safe.

    1. As longs as you practice good maintenance and security measures, you should be fine. I’ve found that peole who invest in their websites usually have no issues.

  2. Lately I have been getting a lot of various IP addresses attempting to login to my site. After 20 tries they are blocked and shut out of course, however, they keep trying. I don’t have too much of value on my site, as I don’t sell anything or have lists of people they can hack. It is like the wild west in the online world and it’s becoming more and more important to be vigilant and make sure you have a seasoned web person who can keep current. Thanks for the informative post, Lee! You must see quite a wide range of hacks in the business you’re in.

    1. I do see my fair share and most are preventable. I’ve learned to take the failed logins with a grain of salt since I know that my site is locked down, maintained and my accounts have obscure names and strong passwords. It’s not the value on the site, it’s the resources they want.

  3. It is scary. The first time I started monitoring my website how many hackers are attaching my server, it freaked me out. I totally agree. Keeping your site updated is so important. I am consistently telling my clients that they need to keep their plugins up to date but they just don’t do it. If it is a good plugin, they are updating often to repair vulnerabilities. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It freaks everyone out because they are trying to figure out the why when, in essence, there isn’t one. I tell my clients to update and backup, and that’s why I have my maintenance and concierge packages.

  4. This is great advice going into the holiday season about making sure that as we do more things online personally and with our businesses to make sure we have everything secured.

    1. Thanks for that. My best piece of advice for online shoppers is to look for the https: before giving information. And trust your gut.

  5. Lee, this is a valuable article. Not enought people realize that there are very real threats to their sites. Thanks for explaining them.

    1. Anytime, many people think because they are still emerging or staying small that this does not affect them. That’s why it’s important to know that it’s not about your size or what you offer. They could care less.

  6. I am sending an email to my It/Seo/Webmaster/Coach person to inquire what maintenance do we have to prevent hacking. I am one who thought, Why would someone want to hack my small business. She also answers me as you have & says she has it covered. But Ill ask agin to learn how are we covered.

    1. Great to know you are staying on top of it. The q’s to ask are what backup schedule you have in place, how often is the site being looked at for updates and issues and where is the backup stored.

  7. Oh my! I never thought of all those things. I don’t have a WordPress site, but have built them. I know some of my clients have had issues with their websites because they didn’t update their plugins, but I don’t think any of them have been hacked. Thankfully!

    1. Glad you found this helpful. I see those who build their sites but don’t keep them updated not worry about it until that fateful day.

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