Hacking is much more common than you think it is. The Internet Security Threat Report published by Symantec in 2016 revealed that even a small business has a 1 in 40 chance of being hacked by cyber criminals. While this may not appear like it’s not much of a threat and the chances of it happening are obscure, once it does strike your small business website or blog, you can get hit with the kind of damage that could seriously undermine your business and traffic prospects for a very long time.
And contrary to popular belief, you will not have a threat message from a hacker displayed on your screen demanding ransom for unblocking your site and releasing your data. The hackers are not so obvious with their intent every single time, especially when they are inserting malware.
Malware is just short for “malicious software” which effectively means that anything that is placed on a site by someone else other than the site’s administrator without permission and is there to inflict some damage or do something illegal.
When inserting malware, hackers are often very surreptitious and insidious. That’s because they don’t want to arouse your suspicion as they want to use your site to either siphon off important data from you or your users. This data can be sensitive when it’s pertaining to persona, social or financial information.
Malware is also inserted into sites by hackers for achieving other nefarious means like trying to steal traffic, do fraud purchases, vandalism, using the site to boost another site’s SEO among other reasons.
The signs of a malware being present somewhere on your site can be evident if you look hard enough for it. And for that, you will need to look into the right places and be aware of all the right signs.
Here are 8 of the most common such signs that can tell you if your site has been hacked with malware #malware #hackers #hacking #wordpress https://www.techbooky.com/signs-your-wordpress-site-was-hacked/ Click To Tweet
Here are 8 of the most common such signs that can tell you if your site has been hacked with malware:
1. Warning Accompanying Your Site’s Information On A Browser:
If you try to access your site through a browser and if there is a warning accompanying your site’s URL on the SERPs like “this site may be hacked” then you have big reason to worry that your WordPress site has been compromised by malware.
Browsers nowadays are very smart and they can detect if something’s wrong with a certain site. If they detect that something’s not right, they will try to warn their users through all means possible. Sometimes, when you click on the site’s URL, the browser will show a warning that proceeding to this site is dangerous. This is a clear sign that your site might be hacked.
2. Your Site’s Content Doesn’t Seem Right:
If the hacker’s motive was to make sure that your users click on something, then one of the main things they will target is your site’s content.
This can include the presence of strange popups, strange links being redirected to sites that appear suspicious, strange ads that you don’t recognize or remember placing at all.
These content warps aren’t something that are difficult to detect if you have a keen eye on things. Go check them up and if you find them, then you can take them as sign that your WordPress site maybe compromised.
3. Data On Your Google Analytics Dashboard Is Out Of The Ordinary:
If you don’t regularly check your Google Analytics dashboard, then you might miss out on this quite obvious sign. But if you do, you will easily recognize that something’s not right straight away.
Any indicators related to spam being present, sudden changes in traffic or even a warning message on your dashboard are tell-tale signs that something isn’t right with your site.
Other, less obvious signs include a sudden increase in traffic from a geographical area which you don’t target or a sudden increase in the popularity of a post you thought was no redundant.
Malware is also inserted into sites by hackers for achieving other nefarious means like trying to steal traffic, do fraud purchases, vandalism, using the site to boost another site’s SEO among other reasons. #malware… Click To Tweet
4. Google Suddenly Put Your Site On Its Blacklist:
This is very easy to understand. Google prioritizes the protection of its users above all else and this includes protecting them from sites that have malware. Although Google doesn’t necessarily blacklist your site right away, but if the malware is persistent and you haven’t found it yet, then you might get hir very soon.
What are the consequences of getting blacklisted on Google? Well, firstly, you will see a big, red warning sign when you want to access your site from a browser mentioning that this site is entirely unsafe to visit for any user. Secondly, you can lose a major chunk of your traffic that’s coming in organically, hurting your sales and conversions in a big manner.
Don’t let things slide to this point because if they do, you will have a really hard time getting your site de-blacklisted from Google and securing your previous organic rankings on it.
5. Changes Or Tweaks In Source Code Files:
Your site’s source code files includes .htaacess, media files and even .php files and they can be attacked by hackers in order to find an easy backdoor to managing your site without you even knowing that something’s wrong.
You mostly access your site through the front end i.e. through an admin ID and password, but hackers often don’t know that, so they modify or tweak source code files so they bypass the process of accessing your site through the front end and enter in through the backend to instigate any changes they want.
Major signs that this has happened include, email bounce backs, customer complaints about receiving senseless emails from your end, ads appearing out of nowhere on your site etc.
If left unchecked, then this can seriously harm your site’s functionality for users. You can clean it through a malware cleaner for WordPress, but this can be a complex task if you are not well versed in WordPress’ technical aspects.
6. Your Hosting Provider Stopped Your Site From Accessing Its Services:
Hosting providers get directly affected if your site is affected by malware. That’s because they are the ones who are hosting a website’s files and if there is any sort of malware on these files, then the whole server stands the risk of being severely affected.
In the event that such a thing happens, the hosting provider can either take your site down or even delete all of your site’s files altogether if it doesn’t find any other option.
Both of these scenarios can be devastating for your website, especially if the hosting provider deletes your files and you don’t have backup.
7. The Webiste’s URL Doesn’t Direct You to the Right Page:
This one is the easiest giveaway and generally has two motives tied to it i.e. vandalism or demand for ransom.
In the case of Vandalism, you will be redirected to a new site where a message from by the cybercriminal will be displayed. You might have to retrieve the site yourself in such a case which can be a really difficult task if you don’t have much knowledge of WordPress sites.
When the reason for such a redirection is a ransom demand, you will see a notice mentioning that your site and all of its files are encrypted and you have to pay to get them back.
In such a case, you will have to rely on a site backup if you have one to get your site back but if it’s not there, then you will either have to pay the ransom or risk losing all of your files.
Most such ransomware based malware are sent in through by hackers by exploiting zero day vulnerabilities on a site, and in the case of WordPress, such vulnerabilities are easier to find if the admin doesn’t update the site or plugins consistently.
8. Your Site Is Behaving Erratically:
Anything that’s happening out of the ordinary on your site and doesn’t seem to have a logical explanation behind it is often the result of malware presence. This can include slow site speed, strange plugins on your site, the presence of any new users on the admin panel which you don’t recognize etc.
Why You Need WordPress Malware Removal?
While there are tools available through which you can do most of the WordPress malware removal tasks yourself, its not advisable to do so unless you are a whiz at WordPress based development.
A short term solve in this regard is to hire a WordPress maintenance service that can quickly remove malware and fix your site on an immediate basis, however, what we advise is to opt for long term partnership with such a maintenance provider as it will handle major tasks like creating backups, updating plugins and cores, running regular security scans among others to ensure that you firstly don’t get affected by malware and secondly, even if you do, the damage to your site is minimal at best.
A short term solve in this regard is to hire a WordPress maintenance service that can quickly remove malware and fix your site on an immediate basis #wordpress #malware https://www.techbooky.com/signs-your-wordpress-site-was-hacked/ Click To Tweet
Alan Mathew is a professional digital marketer with years of experience in leading brands, working with multiple industry verticals. Currently, he is a Managing Partner of WPPals, which is specialized in providing WordPress maintenance and support services. Being a powerful industry voice, Alan also offers his services as a consultant in building and implementing brand growth strategies.