Malware and Your WordPress Web Site – Are You Prepared?

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We live in an age were top corporations and government agencies get their web sites hacked fairly regular…What makes you think your web site is safe? Any web site has the potential for being hacked. WordPress, as great as it is, is a popular content management for hackers to get into your site with the objective of distributing malware through it to your visitors.

Getting on your web site is not good. Quickly, Google is going to discover it and put a warning next to your site listing. Visitors to your site are going to get a nasty warning message from their virus software or browser warning the visitor that this site has malware.

Here are some ways to avoid having your WordPress web site get malware:

  • Keep WordPress plugins to a minimum. Each plugin is a potential week spot in your web site for hacker to introduce malware. Avoid obscure plugins with low star ratings.
  • Make sure that your software is up to latest releases. WordPress and plugins should be kept up to current versions.
  • Have your site scanned for malware on a regular basis.
  • Make sure you put on good passwords for the WordPress users…Word phrases are good like “walkthehorse17:”,”farminthehouse299″, etc. are good….Passwords like “password”. “admin”, etc are not.
  • Make sure that you are working with a hosting company that is keeping the server software up to date.

If you get malware on your web site, do the following:

  • Change you ftp and WordPress passwords in case they have been compromised.
  • Have your hosting roll your site back to a back up from before the malware was introduced.
  • Upgrade all WordPress software and plugins to latest releases.
  • Have your site scanned to make sure that the malware is removed at a site like Sucuri SiteCheck
  • Follow Google’s procedures for removing your site from their malware list. It may take a day or two for it to come off the list.
  • Do regular scans on your site for a while to make sure they do not come back. Once your site is identified as low hanging fruit to the hackers, they will come back.

Your web site is a homestead and the internet is the wild west. Keep your cabin door locked and your shot gun loaded.

Whitney Hill
Carolina Web Consultants, Inc

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