WordPress is used to manage over 33% of websites worldwide, making it the most frequently used content management system (or CMS) in the world. In many ways, this is a great thing. It means that there are thousands of available plugins, themes and sources of support for users. However, the popularity of WordPress makes it a huge target for malware. When malware enters your website, it can execute malicious scripts, alter the appearance and functionality of your website, or gain access to sensitive customer information on your WooCommerce store. For this reason, it is important that you keep your site secure.
Identifying the potential vulnerabilities of your website can help you to stay safe from malware. Below are some of the most common security issues that can lead to your WordPress site being hacked:
Weak usernames and passwords:
Malicious scripts will often target the login page for your website and attempt to gain access using combinations of popular usernames and passwords. Usernames such as “admin”, “user1” or “test” might be easy to remember, but they are easy to guess and can leave your site vulnerable. Passwords like “password” or “12345” should also be avoided. WordPress generates a strong, secure password when a new user is added. We recommend that you use this password.
Insecure website hosting:
Using a secure, reliable host can save your WordPress website from being hacked. If the security of your host is compromised, people could gain access to your information. OPMC offers WordPress hosting that keeps your site running fast, safe and securely. Learn more >
Not updating plugins or WordPress version:
Older versions of WordPress are vulnerable to well-known exploits. Fortunately, WordPress regularly releases crucial updates that fix security vulnerabilities and keep your site running correctly. It is recommended that you always keep your WordPress site on the latest version.
Old versions of plugins can also affect the security of your site. For this reason, it is recommended that you use a minimal amount of plugins, deactivate the ones you don’t regularly use and keep the plugins you do use updated.
How do you know your WordPress site has been hacked?
Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with a hacked website:
Browser warning messages:
Browsers like Google Chrome will alert you if a site contains malware. These warnings will often give an explanation of what is wrong with the site.
A website with warnings from Google will receive a lot less traffic and may be penalised by Google, resulting in decreased search engine visibility. For this reason, it is important to have the site fixed as soon as possible.
If you are redirected to an unfamiliar page upon visiting your site, the security of your WordPress website is most likely compromised. A lot of people will use malicious code to direct users to untrustworthy, spam-filled websites so that they can gain more web traffic. Alternatively, these sites may attempt to replicate your website in order to trick users. Fortunately, we can easily remove redirects from your website.
No access to WordPress admin
A hacker may attempt to revoke access to your WordPress website by removing your user or administrative privileges. In this case, we can help by working with your hosting provider. We can attempt to access your files via FTP or restore your database. This will usually give you your administrative privileges back.
Not all WordPress hacks are obvious:
Malware may not always present itself on the front page of your website. Instead, it can remain hidden within your site’s code for a long period of time. Less obvious hacks can often be the most dangerous because they go longer without being noticed. Below are a few less subtle signs of a hacked WordPress website:
- Unknown WordPress users.
- Unknown files and scripts on your website’s server.
- Slower page loading times.
If you think you are being targeted by a less obvious hack, it is best that you get a specialist to scan your website for malicious content. This is because malicious code can often disguise itself as a critical WordPress file, or hide itself within other code.
We use Sucuri to protect and scan websites. It comes with 24/7 website monitoring and a powerful website application firewall, which prevents malware from reaching your website.
OPMC can remove malware from your site!
Has your WordPress website been targeted by malware? Have you been having trouble determining the source of this malware? If so, we can help! Our team consists of Web Security experts with 14+ years of experience in cyber attacks, network vulnerabilities and more. This means that we are able to quickly diagnose and fix problems with your WordPress site.
A large number of WordPress attacks happen due to insecure web hosting. Once the host’s security is compromised, dangerous malware can be added to all of the hosted websites. For this reason, we like to offer our customers secure web hosting Once your website is fixed, we can transfer you to a secure, reliable hosting platform that keeps you safe from malware, hackers and other forms of cyber attacks.
If you need our help with removing malware from your WordPress website, please feel free to contact us!