How dangerous is Malware infection for your Website? If you have a WordPress website, you must ensure that your website is protected. An unprotected and unsecured website is vulnerable to cybercriminals who want to harm and hack your website, through cyberattacks and malware infecting. In layperson’s language, it’s a significant threat to your website, and we can’t take it slightly because it continues to worsen each year. What you can do is take preventive remedies for this issue, like updating the website through this detailed guide on WordPress malware removal.
However, if you already have an infected WordPress website, do not panic. In this article, we will explain the tips on how to remove WordPress malware and to prevent future attacks. It will start from the basics to the crucial specifics: describing what malware is and how you can remove it, and protect your website from further attacks.
What Is Malware?
A malware is a malicious software that is specifically designed to damage your website system and get unauthorized access to it. Once your website is infected by malware, it could prove highly detrimental to your WordPress website. This is because a cyberattack such as this can result in the stealing of confidential information thus damage your website reputation to your customers, as well as your whole business.
There are some common hints for Malware attacks.
- Unwanted advertising material keeps showing up on your website without your knowledge.
- Some of your sensitive information is being stolen and leaked.
- Your site’s appearance, overall look and content is spontaneously changed.
- Your URL or domain becomes a paid website (to locking and disallowing you to access your own website unless you pay for a specific amount to get it back or worst others can buy it and make it their own).
What Can a Malware Attack Do?
If your site is suffering from any one of the problems discussed above, then it is highly likely that your website is under a malware attack. This must be taken seriously, for it might prove to be damaging and to prevent further lost. It can affect your Search Engine Optimization or SEO ranking negatively. That is why Google will always show an indication of warning notification on sites which are unsafe and contained by malware or considered harmful.
How to Remove Malware Infection from Your WordPress Website?
We highly recommend that you use a professional for the WordPress malware removal process, who has a vast knowledge base of research on website security, vulnerabilities and more. If you are going to clean your website yourself, here are some of the steps that you may want to follow.
- First of all, it is imperative that you have a backup copy of the entire site. This backup might be quite large, so be prepared for the backup to take time.
- Make a separate, additional backup of your database.
Now put your website in maintenance mode. Make sure that you are the only one accessing your site while doing the fixing process. The simplest way to do this is by plugin. SeedProd is one of the most popular plugin that you can use to configure your website under maintenance. It gives you several options like you can customize the page fonts, colors, style and layouts according to what you want your website’s theme to be. Moreover, it also provides you with thousands of background images and around 50 different themes.
Now, Start the Scanning.
Once you are done with backing up the data, start scanning your website. Use an anti-malware program to prevent and avoid the malware from extending to your computer.
Apart from scanning your system, you can use a security scanner like Quttera or Virus total to scan your website. These checkers will detect and show which security breach your website is experiencing. Furthermore, these checkers provide necessary recommendations on how to increase your website security.
The best thumb rule when it comes to internet safety: change your passwords. Changing the password of Hosting cPanel and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) account plays a vital role in WordPress removal malware. It prevents Malware from penetrating your database. Look for your FTP account from the files and reset or change the password and if you are using cPanel, you can simply change the account’s password on the Preference Section.
The updated new password should be more than 8 characters, combining numbers, special characters and lower and upper cases. This is just a small piece of advice that many tend to forget. Have your password in a notebook, so that you don’t have any chance of forgetting it.
Remove Malware Infected Files
This is the most important process in removing malware in a WordPress website. After scanning and detecting the malware, remove all the infected files completely. You have to search public_html in your windows search bar and click on the folder that comes up, which contains WP installation files and data.
You have to check many files and sort according to which files you feel are possibly harmful. If the files show some unwanted changes and suspicious logs, that means the files might be infected. You have to delete all the files within this folder. Take note that you must leave wp-config.php file because we will deal it with later. It consists of essential information like password and username to your WordPress database which we will use in the restore process.
In wp-content folder you see at least 3 folders which are: themes, uploads and plugins. If you see these 3 folders that indicates you probably have a full backup of your site.
Following this, you have to fix the files from wp-content folder by checking all the plugins that you have installed, after that delete the folder. Also do it with the themes folder.
Download and Reinstall The Updated Version Of WordPress, Themes and Plugins
After completing all the above methods, you can reinstall the infected and contained files through a new install WordPress from the cPanel. At the same time you can download it manually.
Do you remember that you have deleted plugins and themes? Now it’s time to re-install and get them working back. Reinstall all the plugins and themes to your latest WordPress.
After cleaning your website, you are finally ready to relaunch it to the public. However, first of all, you may have to request your hosting providers to re-scan and restore the access, for they tend to remove websites that are cybercrime affected.
Lastly, it is important to take out the warning label of your site on Google.
- Open Google search console.
- Then, submit your website.
- After this, open the SIR (Security Issue Report) and choose review.
- Submit the review and after submitting the review, mention the changes you have made to fix the policy violation on your website.
- Once your review is completed, you will get notified through email.
Ta-da! Your WordPress Malware Removal is finally done!
After completion of the above methods and success removal of malware you have ensured that your website is no longer a threat to Google users.
Related Post: 11 Best WordPress Malware Removal Plugins in 2019
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