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Keeping your WordPress Website Hack Free
Is your WordPress site hacked?
Worst case scenario when a WordPress site is hacked
A lot can go wrong when a WordPress site hack takes place. One comes across negative effects iteratively, or they show up all at once. There is further a risk of confidential information being leaked online. Most importantly, repairing a hacked website will be expensive and time-consuming.
The website may no longer be working
It may be possible that web hosts suspect spammy activity and suspend your account. The site may be defaced or a weird popup may appear over the website.
The website’s reputation over Google suffers
Following a WordPress hack, a website suffers from a bad reputation over Google. If Google blacklists your website, it may prevent people from logging on to the site. In case your site crashes, Google 404 error will be displayed.
URLs that redirect to other hacking sites affect brand reputation
A wp hack will result in uncalled for frustration for your customers. They may choose to go ahead with a competitor’s services in some cases. Sometimes a viewer may come across White Screen of Death (WSOD), wherein all that he sees over the website is the white screen. Even admins are unable to log on to the website. Similarly, a slow loading site and URLs redirecting to other pages, or WordPress redirect malware is detrimental for the reputation of the website.
The best way is to avoid hacking
All WordPress websites are vulnerable to hacking, not only the ones that store sensitive information. WordPress makes features such as 2 Factor Authentication available for stronger security of websites.
Precaution is better than cure
Precaution for WordPress website hack will be easier to implement, in terms of expenditure of man-hours, expenses, and effort. This is even while there are some ways of cleaning up a site after a WordPress site hack. But not going ahead with the preventive measures may not be worth the risk.
Even small websites may be vulnerable to a WordPress hack for malware distribution, DDoS attacks, and Black Hat SEO purposes.
Make sure that you update to the latest PHP version
Using the latest PHP version reduces the odds of your WordPress site getting hacked. They feature the latest and stronger security protocols that make your website less vulnerable to hackers.
Use the latest WordPress version
Running the latest version of the software is the foremost prevention measure against hacking and for the overall security of a website. But over 80% of WordPress installations still run an outdated version.
Running the latest version of WordPress is important because each update brings with it new security fixes, bug fixes, and features. The WordPress site hence stays safe against vulnerabilities that are easy to exploit and commonly found.
Keeping the plugins up to date
One also has to be on guard against the vulnerabilities in themes and plugins, which a hacker may use to hack WordPress website. By ensuring that your site uses only the updated version of themes and plugins, one ensures that the site is benefited from the latest security updates.
Remove the plugins which you don’t use
Thousands of plugins are made available by WordPress. But a site’s functionality should not be extended at the price of its security.
When the number of plugins being used is low, a site attack surface will also be low. Beyond using the latest version of a plugin, a WordPress website developer should also remove the plugins not in use.
When installing a plugin, one should see when it was last upgraded.
What needs to be done if a site is hacked?
Audit website using a malware scan plugin such as WordFence
Wordfence is the most popular WordPress malware removal service, firewall, and security scanner. It features the latest firewall rules, malicious IP addresses, and malware signatures needed to keep the website safe. It further features 2FA and a suite of additional features.
Web application Firewall identifies and blocks all malicious traffic. Your website is safeguarded at the endpoint, which enables deep integration with WordPress. It further safeguards against brute force attacks by limiting login attempts.
WordPress security scanner similarly checks core plugins, themes, and files for code injections, malicious redirects, SEO spam, backdoors, bad URLs, and malware WordPress. The integrity of the core files, themes, and plugins is hence maintained.
Wordfence Central similarly manages the security of multiple sites at one place.
One can take the following actions for WordPress website malware removal:
- Access the website’s files through the file manager or FTP
- Except for wp-content and wp-config.php, remove all files and folders in your site’s directory
- Open wp-config.php
- Compare its contents with a fresh installation, or wp-config-sample.php. This will be available at WordPress GitHub repository.
- Remove the suspicious or long strings of code
- Post inspection, change the database passwords
- Then in wp-content, delete all plugins and install them later
- Similarly, delete all themes except the current theme
- Try and find any uploads you haven’t made and delete them
- After deleting plugins, delete the index.php file
Change FTP and all passwords
Reset all user passwords. Log out of all accounts, and delete any accounts that seem suspicious. Using a password generator will help you come up with randomized, long string passwords that cannot be breached by a brute force attack.
Reinstall and upgrade plugins
Reinstall or upgrade the necessary plugins, and delete the ones that you don’t use. Fewer plugins reduce a website’s load over the server. This keeps a website fast performing and enhances customer experience. Fewer plugins further reduce the attack area for a hacker. Upgrading to the latest version of a plugin also makes a WordPress website more hack free, as the latest versions of plugins feature the latest security updates.
Make sure the developer’s computer is also virus free
Keeping the developer’s computer virus-free is important, and reduces the odds of the WordPress website getting the virus. The best way to go about the same is to make sure that the developer uses a computer that is maintained to be free from all viruses and malware. Similarly, a developer should run an antivirus scan right before he works on a WordPress website for making it hacker-proof.
Regularly check website health, WordPress version, and plugin
This helps one stay informed and make changes to upkeep the functioning of the website and safeguard against security threats.
Maintaining a WordPress website to be hack free is complicated, and malware removal WordPress is furthermore complicated. A professional such as Cyblance is best placed to deliver the finest results in this regard. We make our reliable and efficient services available at the best prices in the industry. Our services deliver rich outcomes in terms of security, integrity, and performance of your website. Contact us today.