Internet users have a common misconception about what it means to hack a website. Many therefore believe that a certain page needs to be vandalized or taken down completely if and when it is compromised. However, this is not the way most hacking occurs. Indeed, most hackers would prefer to remain under the radar for their illegitimate activity. Their malicious software can fulfill its intended purpose in this way and continue to spread to other hosts.
Dressed plugins, phishing, malicious redirections, drive-by downloads (and installations), or manipulation of source code, are just one of the most prevalent techniques by which malware-infected templates can enter your website. Maybe the most disconcerting aspect is the fact that people interacting with your website will probably think you’re trying to hack them, rather than assuming that you’re a victim too. This can be irreparable damage to your image for companies and private individuals alike.
Step 1: Avoid malicious software
You are not alone. Millions of people either share their concern about malware or have had to deal with the templates infected with malware. As such, you can do a few things to ensure you do not become exposed to such contagions. All malware works on the weaknesses principle. Your aim is to prevent hackers from finding vulnerabilities on your website or using such vulnerabilities for personal purposes.
You are lucky to work with a CMS like WordPress. The most popular and effective means of ensuring your website is clean of malware-ridden templates are plugins, like WordFence, all-in-one WP Security, Sucuri, iThemes, and the latest malware plug-ins. In addition, you only have to download templates and software (not double but three-fold) from trusted sources and pay close attention to what’s installed on your PC.
A great way to avoid being exposed to potentially infected templates is by securing your Internet connection with a virtual private network (VPN). This security measure is popular with private as well as corporate users, so many options await you. Comprehensive product reviews can be found on VPNpro and help you select the service that suits your preferences best.
Step 2: Detection of potential infections
Infections can sometimes occur despite our best efforts, with over 300 million new malware variants created each year. In 2018, the total amount of malicious software is now estimated to be around 1.7 billion. Because of user negligence, software instability, or combination of them, a malware-infected template could be a target for you. However, do not despair, as there are still ways to cope with these contaminations.
However, the first thing you need to do is to see if you are targeted. Some of the best online tools for finding out whether you are a victim of malware include Quttera, Sucuri, Google Malware Checker, and Metascan.
In contrast to WordPress plugins, they work on any platform you use. The problem is that no malware checker is 100 percent correct, especially as these malicious programs are being developed. For this reason, a high degree of security also needs to be maintained on terminals you use to access the website itself as well as on the link between the former and the latter.
Step 3: Things to keep away
You have no doubt to stay away, regardless of what they are, from free applications and services. Don’t make these mistakes with open software because they will most likely be fake free. This means that a trade-off between you and them always takes place somewhere between you. Some people just want your data, and others are able to install malware on their devices and web pages.
A good rule of thumb is that if the product is free, you’re probably the product. Maintaining a proactive mindset will always help you in terms of your website’s security. As a result, always update the software you use, any plugins you have purchased for it and your personal anti-virus and firewall. Some of the security plugins allow a backup website to be saved in the event of a major infection.
If your business involves e-commerce or if your customers use your website for important business activities, this back-up saves you huge sums of money and effort. You won’t get too far to rely on your host to help you resolve security problems. However, you can protect your webpage from being targeted at malware-infected templates and identify existing contaminations if you follow the advice above. Nearly never is too late.
No service is 100% guaranteed to ensure the security of your website and so it is necessary for you to be aware of the security measures that you can take to prevent such infections. These steps include efficient and up-to-date safety plugins, protect your VPN traffic on the Internet and maintain risk-averse behavior during your web browsing.