WordPress faces many hacking attempts. On average, 7 out of 10 bloggers experience malware infection or hacking. So, how to protect WordPress sites from spam, hacking and malware?
Max Bell, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, says that at the most basic level, there is little difference between malware infection and hacking.
Ordinarily, hackers will not target your site unless there are some personal differences between you and cyber criminals or you have a very popular website. After all, any hacker can engage DDOS and botnets to bring down your site within a minute.
How To Protect WordPress Site From Malware Attacks
Naturally, blogs hosted on shared hosting are especially vulnerable to hacking attacks, and few webmasters can do something against such attacks.
By now, you are probably sitting on the edge of your seat and checking your site every few minutes to ensure it is not hacked or infected with malware. Relax; your site will rarely get hacked or infected unless it has certain vulnerabilities.
Now that you know hackers target sites with certain vulnerabilities, what are these weaknesses? To begin with, many bloggers and webmasters use shared hosting as they start.
While shared hosting is less expensive, it can attract spammers and hackers.
Since many blog owners on shared hosting use the same server as your site, there is always a possibility that some of them are novices.
This means that some of these newbies might have a weak password, their computers may harbor a Trojan, or they have not protected their site against hacking.
In such circumstances, a hacker needs to access the server via the vulnerable site and install a virus that quickly spreads to all the sites and blogs hosted on the server.
On the other hand, if you are a marketer or blogger, there is a possibility that you hang out in some online forums. You may not know that some of these sites are infected, but you do not know they are spreading malware to their users or are built by ill-intentioned people.
Ordinarily, hackers do not target your site unless you have unfinished business with them. However, cybercriminals are always scanning for weak sites to compromise.
Once they identify vulnerable blogs, they infect their servers with malware, which spreads to other sites hosted on that server.
Unlike the .htaccess mod hack, which is easily eliminated by modifying specific codes and files, malware is harder to eliminate since it can corrupt your themes, scripts, and database.
#1. Change passwords
If your site is infected, there is a possibility that your password was compromised. To rectify the issue, go to your cPanel and change your password. This is a very important action to protect the WordPress site.
To ensure your password is hard to compromise, use numbers, special characters, and lowercase and uppercase letters.
Once you have modified your password, consider changing your login password too. Just like in cPanel, use characters that are hard to guess.
Backing up your site is a critical way of preventing content loss when a site gets compromised. For a full backup, consider Backup Buddy, a handy plugin for WordPress blogs.
#3. Install security plugins
Apart from backing up your blog, consider installing security plugins to protect your WordPress site. These include:
- WP Security Scanner
WP Security Scanner is a light security scanner designed by a Website Defender. The plugin allows you to change the database table to something hard to guess.
- Better WP Security
The plugin takes WordPress security features and techniques and presents them as a single plugin. Better WP has most of the features bloggers require and should be the first port of call for bloggers.