Malware: Safeguarding your WordPress Website

Sep 29, 2023 | Website Performance, Website Security, WordPress Website

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WordPress is a fantastic tool for building websites, but there’s a sneaky enemy out there: malware. But it is not as bad as you think. Let’s break it down.

So what is Malware?

Malware is a malicious software that can infiltrate your website. It can come in many forms, like viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, spyware, and adware.

When it comes to WordPress sites, we often see these three:

  1. Phishing Malware: This tries to steal your private info, like your login and credit card details, by tricking you into typing them on fake websites.
  2. SEO Spam: Hackers use this to mess with your website’s ranking on search engines, sending users to spammy places or showing them weird ads.
  3. Backdoors: Sneaky hidden entry points that let bad guys keep coming back to mess with your site even after you think you’ve kicked them out.

How Malware gets into WordPress Websites

Malware finds its way into your WordPress website through a few sneaky tricks:

  1. Outdated Software: When you don’t update WordPress, themes, or plugins, you’re basically leaving the front door open for hackers. They know the weaknesses in old stuff.
  2. Obvious User Names and Weak Passwords: If your password is easy to guess, hackers can waltz right in. Always use strong, unique passwords for your WordPress accounts. Use a mix of letters, caps, numbers and characters.
  3. Sketchy Themes and Plugins: these can open your website to malware. Stick with trustworthy sources for your add-ons.
  4. File Uploads: If you let people upload files on your site without checking them you’re asking for trouble. Hackers can sneak in malicious files.
  5. Crummy Hosting: If your website shares a server with others and one of them gets infected, it can spread like a virus to your site too. This is often the most common way your website will get attacked.

What Happens when Malware attacks your website?

Malware can cause all sorts of headaches for your WordPress site:

  1. Data Loss: Malware can delete or mess up your website’s data making it super hard to get back.
  2. Reputation Damage: People might lose trust in your site if they see security warnings or sketchy content.
  3. Search Engine Woes: SEO spam can tank your site’s search engine rankings.

How to Keep Your WordPress Site Safe

So how you can protect your WordPress website from malware? Below are som simple tips that will help keep your WordPress website safe.

  1. Keep your site up to date: Keep WordPress, themes, and plugins up to date to plug the holes that hackers use.
  2. Use Strong Passwords: Go for complex, hard-to-guess passwords, and think about using two-factor authentication for extra safety. Never use Admin as a user name and NEVER use 1234 as a password. I have seen people do this! Not good practice.
  3. Security Plugins: Install trusted security plugins like Wordfence to keep an eye on your website and login attemp activity.
  4. Backups: Make regular backups of your website, so you can fix it if it gets attacked.
  5. Good Hosting: Pick a hosting provider known for security, and consider managed WordPress hosting for extra protection.
  6. Scan and Check: Run security scans and checks on your site from time to time to find and kick out malware.
  7. Limit File Uploads: If your site doesn’t really need file uploads, turn them off. If you do need them, be super careful about what gets uploaded.
  8. Web Firewall: A web application firewall (WAF) can block bad stuff from getting to your site. This not the most common option but it is out there.

So if you want help to keep your website up to date and reduce the possibility attacks, contact us and we can do a website audit and fix any possible weakness. Email