WordPress websites are the greatest, mainly because they are both user-friendly and Google-friendly. Their popularity also makes them attractive targets for hackers, unfortunately. It helps to understand why websites get hacked, as well as what you can do to prevent it. Malicious people take advantage of the vulnerabilities in systems like these for many reasons. Most often, it’s not personal but rather to generate revenue. They do this by serving up malware to the visitors of the site; placing spam comments on your site and blog or putting ads on the site or in the text that will generate links back to their site. Sometimes, your website will get hacked in order to take it down or deface it, but that seems rare these days unless you are super famous.
If your WordPress website gets hacked
Malware can be installed on pages and links – This is malicious software that can make your computer stop working, or steal sensitive information from you such as passwords, email addresses, or other personal information.
The Malware may install a virus on your computer or website. This is software designed to cause damage to files on your computer, and replicate itself, also causing damage to the files on the computers of any visitors to your site. The virus can also infect any click-through links you have on your site as well.
Malware can also install password stealing programs on your computer – This is software designed to steal your log-in info, also known as “Key loggers,” and send them to the hacker, giving them access to some of your most valuable information. The program may also take over your address book, sending spam to family, friends, and business contacts. These programs are very subtle and you may never know they exist – until people begin complaining to you or you realize someone has been in one of your otherwise secure accounts.
Malware can also cause Sudden content changes or odd redirects on your website. Don’t remember linking to Viagra.com on your resources page? Chances are, your website is infected.
In some cases, you can experience a Complete shutdown of your website – with all of your files deleted, all images erased, all of your stuff gone.
How to find out if your website has been hacked.
Browser warnings are the first dead giveaway letting you know when a site is compromised. The search giant Google is heavily invested in trolling the net for safe sites and blacklisting dangerous hacked or compromised ones. You will occasionally see a warning that says “Warning: visiting this site may harm your computer” when you try to enter a site. Google claims that its false positive rate with these warnings is incredibly low, so this warning is a very strong indicator that there is something wrong with the site you are about to visit.
Your website is one of the most important investments you’ve ever made; taking time, effort, stress, and money to create and maintain. It is far too valuable to let something happen to it. There are a few very easy – and free – tools for checking the health of your website.