Therefore, protecting your website from malware is a must, especially considering that search engines blocklist almost 17% of all infected websites.
It goes without saying that if your website gets blocked, it will hurt your business and reputation. However, there are specific measures you can take to protect your website from malware, and we will list them in this article.
What is malware, and why should you be concerned about it?
Simply put, malware is malicious software designed to cause significant damage to various devices, such as cell phones and computers, without the owners’ consent. It is developed and used to infiltrate other systems. It is a collective term for all types of malware such as viruses, worms, and Trojans.
The intruders, commonly known as hackers, try to destroy the devices and access information on the devices.
Usually, malware is developed to make a financial gain or gain access to personal information. By gaining access to all personal information, cybercriminals can resell all data to other criminals for various “purposes.”
Since they can make a lot of money from this, they perform these criminal activities over and over again and can continuously make money through their malicious methods.
There are several ways in which a company can get affected by malware. These include opening attachments sent by an infected person and clicking on a link that seems tempting but loads a virus onto the system. It also includes clicking ads and banners on a website, poor security configurations, outdated software, or third-party libraries with known security vulnerabilities.
Different types of malware
The different types of malware can be categorized in different ways. One of the ways is how it spreads in the system. Different terms, such as virus, Trojan, and even worm, are categorized as malware.
There are only minor differences that separate them
A worm is a type of standalone malware that can spread from one computer to another after reproducing itself.
A virus put is a piece of computer code that intelligently inserts itself into the code of another standalone program. It then causes the program to perform malicious actions and spread itself.
A Trojan is different from a virus and a worm. It does not replicate itself but disguises itself as something a user needs. The user is then tricked into activating it, which harms the system and speed at the same time.
Spyware does not harm the computer but tracks all the user’s movements. Spyware usually inserts itself into executable files, so it takes complete control of your computer once downloaded and installed.
Spyware can track everything from passwords to any financial information on the system.
Adwares are very common. You’ve probably seen them in pop-up ads or windows that won’t close. The good thing about adware is that it does not steal users’ data but makes them click on fraudulent advertisements. It also tends to slow down computers by stealing all the bandwidth.
Scareware may look like adware but has a different goal than adware. Scareware tries to trick users into buying software that they do not need. Often, scareware ads indicate a virus on our computer, and we need to buy and download specific software to get rid of it.
As the name suggests, it works with ransomware. So, when it invades our computer, it encrypts all our files and then holds all the information hostage until the user is forced to pay to release it and decrypt all the files. We can understand ransomware by watching the movies we have seen related to hackers.
Apart from that, malware can be “manually” installed on systems by the attacker by physically gaining access to the computer or even gaining administrative privileges.
Seven ways to secure your website and protect it from malware
Follow these steps and know-how to protect your systems and data from malware.
1. Scan your website regularly
The first tip for you is to scan your website regularly for potential malware. Using a service like Security Check in your ManageWP dashboard, you can scan your entire website for potential vulnerabilities, malware, and modified files and check if your website is blocked. In addition, you can also see where potential vulnerabilities are located, as this feature alerts you to website bugs and outdated software so you can act in time to fix them before hackers exploit them.
In addition to scanning your website, you need also scan your computer regularly and have the latest antivirus software installed. Keeping your computer safe will ensure that you do not accidentally transfer the malware to your website if you accidentally download an infected file.
2. Make regular backups
Regular backups of your website are another way to protect it from malware because a backup ensures that you can quickly restore your website to how it was before the malware infection.
Keep in mind that your backups should be stored off-site so that you can access them anytime in case your hosting provider is compromised due to a security attack or power outage.
You can enable the backup feature in your ManageWP dashboard, similar to security scans.
3. Perform updates
Another way to protect your website is to regularly update your WordPress plugins, your theme, and your WordPress core. According to data, 39.3% of infected WordPress sites utilize an outdated WordPress version.
However, sometimes WordPress updates can go wrong so that you see the white WordPress screen of death or find that your favorite plugin stops working after the update. For this reason, you need to perform security updates. Our Secure Updates feature will create a restore point for you, perform the updates and then allow you to restore your website in case something goes wrong quickly.
4. Update your hosting plan
If you’re using a standard hosting plan, consider upgrading to a managed WordPress hosting plan or a hosting plan better suited for enterprise websites, such as VPS or dedicated server.
More advanced hosting strategies tend to be more expensive, but they also offer more security features that can help protect your website. These features usually include 24/7 security monitoring, firewall, SSL certificates, and more.
5. Use SSL and HTTPS
Switching your website to HTTPS used to be required only for e-commerce websites. Nowadays, HTTPS, which represents Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, is suggested for all websites unless you want search engines to show a security warning when someone tries to visit.
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP and ensures that all communication between a visitor’s browser and your website is encrypted. HTTPS is enabled when you install an SSL certificate on your website and is indicated by a green padlock or bar in your browser’s address bar.
6. Use and enforce strong passwords
Using strong and secure passwords for all your online accounts and profiles is necessary if you want to make life difficult for hackers. However, many of us are guilty of using the same password repeatedly or using a password that is all too easy to guess.
Ideally, your password should be longer than eight characters and contain a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols or special characters. But it’s not that easy to create a unique password and then remember it. That’s why you must use a password manager like LastPass.
Regarding your website, you must have a separate, secure password for your WordPress control panel, your hosting account, your domain provider account, and any other associated account. It also applies to every registered user on your website, regardless of their role. Also, update your passwords and the passwords of all other users on your website every six months to minimize the risk of a hacker attack.
7. Install a Web Application Firewall
Last but not least, consider installing a web application firewall or invest in a hosting plan with a web application firewall installed. The firewall serves as the first line of defense and monitors your website for known threats.
The firewall examines incoming traffic based on geographic location, requested information, and visitor behavior. It then allows legitimate visitors and search engines and blocks suspicious traffic such as spam bots and hackers.
Partnering with Fix Hacked Site is a sage decision you can make if you want to retain and even boost your website’s reputation. It is true because Fix Hacked Site is a comprehensive suite of solutions and managed services available with an online scanner feature.
This website security tool is available with vulnerability scanning, malware scanning, and automatic virtual patching and hardening engines. Websites are scanned daily to detect and eliminate malware that can infect the website quickly
How to get rid of malware from an infected device?
In such a situation, you need to act quickly. As soon as you discover that your website is infected with malware, it would be best if you quickly took the appropriate actions to remove it from the website. It is not easy, so you need to be very careful while doing so.
Moreover, it is essential to track down the source of the malware, but finding the cause of an infected website is no less than searching for a needle in a haystack. The situation becomes even more difficult if you do not have proper HTML and programming skills.
Make sure that you hire a professional to help you in such situations and reduce the chances that you will get infected again soon. It is essential to locate the malicious code, manage it, and even identify the vulnerability to protect yourself.
If your website or system is infected with malware, perform the following steps until the problem is resolved.
- The first step is to disable your website to limit the damage and prevent the malware from spreading further.
- Sit down with an expert and start shortlisting and identifying the malicious sources to verify the damage caused. Next, you should contact the web host as soon as possible and ask them what you should do next.
- Check all new accounts that have been created recently, especially the ones that you did not create yourself.
- Quickly change all passwords. That applies to all users and passwords used by administrators.
- Immediately use various practical malware tools to ensure your website is cleared of all malware and spam codes.
- To be on the safe side, it is better and recommended that you change passwords again. Use all the backups you have created in the cloud and on drives.
- Update all your servers, plugins, and third-party libraries.
Finally, the most important thing
Your system, be it a computer or another digital device, contains much private information that is of great value to you and needs to be protected. It would be best if you took all the necessary measures to protect your data and system.
The essential thing you need to learn here is that it doesn’t matter how well your system is protected; it is always possible to get infected by malware. So, it’s best to monitor your system 24/7, have a plan, and respond quickly to protect your systems and websites from cyber attacks and hacking and keep your business safe at all times.For even more protection, check out our Fix Hacked Site Online Website Malware Scanner
This website security checker scans your site for malware, removing it automatically and protecting your site from attack.