7 effective tips to remove malware from a WordPress site
Title: 7 Effective Tips To Remove Malware From A WordPress Site
– 7 Methods To Easily Remove WordPress Malware
– WordPress site affected by malware? Here is what you can do
WordPress is a versatile content management system (CMS). With all the flexibility and features included, managing security can be overwhelming for newbies.
Unless you are proactively defending your site, there are several ways malware can sneak into your WordPress site.
Regardless of how the site got infected, there are different solutions you can try to get rid of the malware from your WordPress site. Here we list some of the best options out there.
How to detect malware in your WordPress site?
It is easy to detect malicious activity if you regularly monitor your site. However, if you don’t, there are some indicators that will help you pinpoint the presence of malware on your site:
High usage of your server resources
Adding a plugin without user intervention
Changes to any of your files on the server
Unauthorized login activity
Third-party scripts on the front-end
In addition to pointers, you can also use an external website malware scanner like Sucuri to detect anything unusual on your website.
And, if you’ve already followed some of the security best practices for your content management system, you need to thoroughly investigate the situation. It could be malware, a serious bug in a plugin, or a resource-intensive plugin causing problems on your WordPress website.
We recommend that you verify that any issue on your WordPress site is the result of malware and not just a conflict (or bug). Once you are sure that malware has infected your site in some way, you can follow the tips mentioned below.
Best Methods for WordPress Malware Removal
Note that if you are using a managed WordPress hosting solution, it is best to contact your hosting provider for assistance. Some of them offer free malware removal services, which might save you time.
1. Use security plugins
The easiest way to detect and remove malware from a WordPress site is to use a security plugin. You can refer to our list of WordPress security plugins to get a head start.
Security plugins provide plenty of options to scan for malicious files and WordPress core files on your server. Note that security plugins can require a decent amount of resources to function effectively.
So make sure you don’t have any other existing security plugins to avoid conflicts and enough free resources on your server to run the malware scanner.
2. Remove non-essential plugins
Although there are thousands of plugins available for WordPress, not everything justifies an installation. You can accomplish many tasks using a simple code snippet without dramatically affecting your site’s performance.
But, if you end up installing plugins for just about anything, some of them might introduce security issues to your website.
This is because not all plugin developers actively maintain and patch their plugins. Popular WordPress plugins might be the exception, but you increase the potential for threat by even adding unnecessary plugins then.
Hence, it is best to have only reliable and essential WordPress plugins installed.
3. Check for the last modified files and correct them
You can access the files on your server using FTP / SFTP. To achieve this, you can use tools like FileZilla and search for recently modified files.
If you are using a shared hosting solution with cPanel, you can use the File Manager app to find recently modified files.
There may also be other possibilities (web server management tools) to access the files.
It should be noted that some plugins may introduce changes to files (like backup plugins). So, you will have to go through the list of modified files carefully to see if a user or plugin modified it.
Once you identify the malicious file changes, you can focus on other files and the core WordPress files.
And, during your evaluation, if you notice a file changed without your permission, you may want to check the contents of the file and correct / delete it if necessary.
4. Restore from website backup
Since you have a WordPress site backup before you get infected with malware, you can always try to restore the website. This way, if the malware has modified any of your files, it should be resolved.
However, restoring your site to its unaffected state does not guarantee that the malware is gone. If you are using an outdated plugin / theme or don’t have proper security measures, the malware can affect your site again.
But you should have enough time to identify the security hole that introduced the malware. So, as soon as you restore the website, fix the problem or find the security hole.
5. Download your website backup and scan files
You can generate a website backup to download the latest archived copy of the files to your server.
Once done, you can extract the backup and scan the folder using the virus scanner on your computer. If it detects a malicious file, you can choose to delete it from your server to possibly resolve the issues.
6. Reinstall WordPress
If it’s a mess to know the number of files modified and affected by malware, you can reinstall WordPress.
It can be difficult to reinstall WordPress if you have a complex setup with many visitors coming to your website. Therefore, you need to put your website in maintenance mode and reinstall WordPress with no visible downtime on the front-end.
7. Delete suspicious file downloads on WordPress
Generally, WordPress does not allow uploading different file formats for security reasons. But, you should always check if someone has uploaded a suspicious file to your WordPress directory.
You need to check all WordPress folders to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary.
How to protect yourself from malware in WordPress?
The best way to minimize the risk of malware is to make sure that you are using the licensed and updated copies of themes, plugins, and other files.
In addition to this, you should follow standard security practices such as installing a security plug-in, web application firewall, and authentication methods for your administrator account.
Worried that security threats pose a risk to your website? This is when you need a Web Application Firewall (WAF) solution.
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