How to Remove Malware From Your WordPress Website?
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a website owner or someone who works with websites on a regular basis.
You might have heard of WordPress; it’s one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) out there, and it powers more than 22% of all websites on the internet. This makes it a popular target for hackers and cybercriminals who want to either take over your site or corrupt your content to make money.
Often, when a site is infected with malware, it’s because the owner failed to implement basic security measures – such as upgrading WordPress versions and using strong passwords – or it’s because the site was compromised by a third party.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can prevent malware from infecting your WordPress website and what you should do once it’s been detected.
Updating WordPress And Patching Vulnerabilities
Updating your WordPress installation to the latest version is an essential and straightforward measure to take to ensure you have the most up-to-date version and to prevent any vulnerabilities which may exist in older versions.
WordPress versions beyond 3.5.4 are considered End of Life (EoL) versions and are no longer supported by the WordPress team. If you’re using an older version of WordPress, you’re highly likely to encounter issues that your visitors experience; as a result, your site might become problematic or even inaccessible. Additionally, some security experts consider running an outdated version of WordPress as a security risk because it contains known vulnerabilities which may be exploited by attackers. Finally, updating your WordPress version will ensure that you have the latest features and functionality when you develop or enhance your site’s content.
Even if you’re not experiencing any issues with your current version of WordPress, it’s still advisable to regularly update your installation to avoid vulnerabilities.
When you update your WordPress installation, you should ensure that all of its core files and settings are replaced with the latest versions; this also includes upgrading the WordPress media library which may contain vulnerabilities or cause errors if not updated frequently enough. Make sure that you replace all default passwords and encrypt (if enabled) all stored data.
Backups And Data Encryption
Taking regular backups of your WordPress site is another straightforward and effective way to ensure that you can always recover from data loss or corruption. Regular backups can prevent you from experiencing content corruption or downtime due to hardware or software failures caused by inadequate maintenance or lack of updating. They can also help you identify unknown threats which may exist on your site. Last but not least, encrypting your backups will ensure that your data is secure and inaccessible to anyone who might intercept them. You should be using a reputable service for data encryption, and you should be storing the keys to your encryption somewhere in a safe place – this is important to prevent any breaches and data corruption.
If you use multiple computers, it’s essential that you keep track of your backups; this can be easily achieved by using a central server (such as Crashplan, Nextcloud, or Dropbox) to store and sync your data across all of your devices.
Malware Scanning And Removal
Whether you realize it or not, your site may already be infected with malware; the good news is, you can easily discover this and remove it with few mouse clicks. There are various tools which can scan your site for malwares including Sucuri’s Anti-Phishing scanner and Malwarebytes’ Antimalware. When a malware is found, you’ll typically be presented with a few options for removing it; click “Remove Malware” to begin the process. If your site is infected with multiple threats, you may have to remove them one-by-one (or in some cases, they may conflict with each other and you’ll have to choose which one to remove).
Once infected with malware, your site will display additional items in your Appearance menu (under the Settings heading) in addition to the usual links to the dashboard and WordPress website.
If your site is still up and running, but it frequently returns errors when accessed or has other problems, it’s essential that you remove the malware and fix the underlying issues. Contact the service provider which you used to install WordPress (if you don’t remember, it will be listed in your Dashboard) to ask for assistance.
Apart from regular updates and backups, you should also be doing some basic maintenance on your WordPress website on a regular basis. Cleaning out spam and junk from your site will help improve your SEO, and keeping your site’s design and content up to date will make it more attractive to potential customers. Finally, checking for malware will also help to keep your site secure and free of errors. Regular maintenance will prevent you from having to deal with critical issues when you’re already under a lot of stress because of unexpected news or new responsibilities at work. It’s a simple step but one which can make a significant difference.
Hopefully, this article will help you understand how important it is to remove malware from your WordPress website. If you’re already using some kind of security software, please make sure that it’s up-to-date and that you’re not exposed to any known vulnerabilities. Last but not least, make sure to backup your data and install the latest versions of WordPress and any other necessary software packages.