How to Prevent Malware on Your WordPress Website
Cybersecurity is a massively important aspect of managing a website no matter how large your audience is. Web managers may think they’re safe from the threats that plague larger businesses. However, it’s crucial to take malware seriously regardless of the size of your platform.
Research shows that cyberattacks occur every 39 seconds and that around 30,000 new websites are hacked daily. Those numbers should concern anyone who runs their own website.
On top of that, there are so many different types of malware that can be difficult to keep up. Knowing what kind of malware can threaten your website is the first step toward stopping cyberattacks.
Of course, then you’ll need to take action to create a malware prevention plan as well. Some of the most common threats to watch out for are viruses, trojan horses, spyware, ransomware, adware, and cryptocurrency miners.
WordPress websites have a poor reputation when it comes to security, but the platform is actually fairly secure. Website owners just need to take the necessary steps to ensure it stays that way. Unfortunately, not every web manager knows what those steps are.
So how do you protect your website and its data against different types of malware? Luckily, you don’t need to be an expert in cybersecurity to do so. These are some actions web managers can take to implement malware prevention and lock down their sites.
1. Make Sure to Update!
Believe it or not, something as simple as keeping your website updated can play a role in protecting it. Web managers need to update their WordPress sites regularly. They also need to update themes, plugins, files, and anything else they’ve installed.
If you’re wondering why updates are important, it’s because older versions of your site have a higher chance of being vulnerable. They won’t have the most up-to-date security measures in place, putting the entire site at risk. Updating your website is the simplest form of malware prevention. It’s easy to do and shouldn’t take long.
In fact, WordPress streamlines the process by allowing users to check the Updates section in the admin area. Once you read through what’s there, all it takes is the click of a button to install the latest software.
2. Get Secure Hosting
If you can afford to get your website secure hosting, it’s well worth the investment. When choosing a host, it’s important to look into whether they offer features like SSL certificates and web application firewalls.
Ensuring they protect their sites against brute force and DDoS attacks is equally critical. Some of the popular hosts that offer such benefits are WPCloud.ca, flywheel.com, and GreenGeeks.com.
3. Backup Your Website
Malware prevention is a top priority, but so is being prepared for when cyberattacks do occur. Backing up your website won’t help fend off hackers. It will make your life easier, however, should you ever need to deal with the aftermath of a breach.
By backing up your site, you’re creating a copy of it that you can default back to at any time. This will help save some of your data if you’re ever the victim of a cyberattack. Without backing up your site, you risk losing your information forever.
To back up a WordPress site, there are several plugins that you can use. UpdraftPlus is one of the most well-known backup plugins, but you can also use others such as BlogVault, BackupBuddy, and VaultPress. It’s important to research any plugins you choose since some backup plugins can create other problems to contend with. Overall, the popular ones have gained a positive reputation for a reason, though.
Certain web-hosting platforms also offer backups, which will copy your site at given intervals specified by the company. It’s worth looking into whether or not your host offers such services. It’ll be one less thing for you to worry about if they do.
There are also WordPress maintenance plans from WP Expert, which include backups for your WordPress site (in addition to a myriad of other maintenance services). This takes a lot of the leg work off your plate when it comes to WordPress maintenance and allows you to focus more on other, more important aspects of your business.
4. Safeguard Your Login Page
One of the biggest problems WordPress has when it comes to security is its login page. Many security threats will put their energy toward breaking into your wp-admin page. That’s why increasing security there is a must.
To secure the login page itself, there are a couple of things you can do. Applying two-step authentication to your login page will ensure that your password isn’t your only line of defence. After all, passwords are often easy to guess or hack. If other information is needed when you’re logging in, however, it’s more difficult to gain access.
Biometric factors, like voice commands or fingerprints, can be used to verify your identity further. Answering questions only you know the answer to, or having the page recognize certain devices, are other effective methods.
To prevent hackers from breaking into your account, you can also update your passwords regularly. Making sure they’re difficult to crack will only go so far, but it’s certainly better than using easy ones that are frequent targets. In addition to safeguarding your password, you can install a plugin that limits the number of login attempts on your account. Limit Login Attempts Reloaded is one such tool you can add to your malware prevention toolbox.
5. Install Security Plugins
When it comes to WordPress sites, there’s a plugin for everything. Yes, that includes malware prevention — and actually, there are quite a few plugins that can protect your site against attacks. Plugins like Sucuri Security and Wordfence Security both scan your site for malware and offer a host of other services.
Meanwhile, WP fail2ban offers protection against brute attacks and Google Authenticator adds a layer of security to your login page. There are so many security plugins for WordPress that choosing one can be overwhelming. Fortunately, this list outlines the most common one's web managers turn to.
6. Where to Start
Now that you understand the importance of malware prevention (and how to implement it), it’s time to take action. Research the various types of protection we’ve outlined here and determined what would work best for your site.
Then start putting those protections in place. You might find the process to be time-consuming and overwhelming, though, which is why signing up for one of our WordPress Maintenance Plans might be ideal for you.
At WP Expert, we download the right security plugins to keep your WordPress site safe from hackers, malware, and other common threats. Sign up today or get in touch with us to learn more!