Recovering from a hack can sometimes be very hard and overwhelming. Besides the fact that you need to deal with restoring your site, checking your theme, plugins, and passwords, you also need to take steps that will help prevent another possible hack and attack on your site.
Even though WordPress is one of the most used CMS in the world, it’s also very popular with hackers. Most times, users are not ready and protected enough when it comes to these kinds of attacks.
Some of the most common issues that can lead to your site getting hacked are lack of security knowledge, plugins and themes that are not regularly updated, no additional security tools, etc. We will cover most of them in this article, so pay close attention.
Lack of WordPress security
Prevention is better than cure. Security is an extremely important issue for almost all website owners. Things like the usage of malicious software (which is usually installed on a website by hackers) can spread bugs and viruses on your site and make it more vulnerable and weak.
These things not only affect your site but can also cause untold damage to your computer and affect your business even more. Malware can easily steal user information, passwords, financial information, classified information, and on top of that, destroy your site.
Implementing security measures should be a top priority for all website administrators and owners. Another important thing you should do is regularly scan and test your site for vulnerabilities, along with doing hosting and web server checks. The scans and checks will definitely give you a clear insight into your site’s security.
Update plugins and themes
Always update your site. It sounds simple, and it is! It’s one of the easiest things you can do to improve your site’s security. Updated versions of WordPress, plugins, and themes will help you fix existing and remove potential breach points.
Every time you use a new version of WordPress, the security itself is improved, and all potential vulnerabilities are fixed. Also, by keeping your themes and plugins updated, your site becomes more secured. You’ll know when to update them because usually, an update notification will appear on your dashboard.
Furthermore, you should avoid using lots of different plugins on your site: the fewer plugins, the fewer potential problems. You should definitely be careful about unauthorized sources and never download premium plugins for free.
Another action you can do to improve the security of your site is to check WordPress users and passwords. It’s a common situation that hackers create user accounts to gain access to your WordPress dashboard. Having a strong password and changing it every month or two is key to keeping your site secured.
A good practice to protect your site is to go through the list of users and remove any users that you don’t recognize. An additional thing you can do is change passwords for all users and notify them about the change.
Malware & spam
If you see spam links or pop-up ads on your website, there is a good chance your site got infected with the spam link injection hack. A hacker can fill up your site with invisible spam links, and you can find these links in posts or hidden in the headers of a page.
Another, even more, serious attack that can happen is an attack on your database. A good practice to do if this happens is to scan your site right away and proceed to remove malware in just a few clicks.
How to fix hacks?
Use Emergency Recovery Script (ERS)
The Emergency Recovery Script (ERS) is a single-file, WP-independent PHP script used to recover broken WordPress sites in all kinds of challenging situations. This script runs completely separately from a WordPress installation and is easy to integrate into your site.
ERS is the right tool for you that will help you solve your problems and get your site back on track. If you’re not able to use your site properly, or if your core files are corrupted, this script will help you gain administrator access to your website within minutes.
In this situation (or any other that can be a problem), this script gives you over 12 tools to help you fix issues, enable successful login into the WP admin dashboard, and restore your whole site. Since this script can be used for almost all possible problems on your site, it consists of the following up-to-date tools:
- WordPress Information,
- Core Files,
- Server Information,
- Reset WordPress,
- Administrator Account,
- WordPress URLs, etc.
Even though this script is free to use, you get the full list of features and options only if you use it through the WP Reset plugin.
What is also highly recommended is to create a backup before making any changes. That way, you’ll still have access to all website content and your files in case something goes wrong. You can simply use the Backup & Restore option in the admin dashboard and restore your site with just one click.
You can also use some manual options to ensure you have a working backup of your site. On the other hand, if you already have a backup of your site, now it’s a good time to use it. But, you should keep in mind that your site may have been hacked before the backup was created. If that’s the case, you’ll most probably need to remove malicious content manually.
In order to check whether your site was hacked before creating a backup, you can just compare the date that your backup was created with the date the infected files were last edited. This method is most common and effective, but sometimes hackers will manipulate the date a file was changed.
Getting hacked can never be a pleasant experience, but you shouldn’t go into panic mode if anything similar happens to your site. With the right preparation and by taking the right steps, you can recover your site and restore your information within minutes.