Websites get viruses too

Right now, the media is hyperfixated on coronavirus matters. It’s almost a deluge of information

What does any of this have to do with websites? Well, with all the mask-wearing and ‘be wise, sanitise’ visual cues around me, I was reminded that tech can get infected also and websites get viruses too.

Recently, WordPress sites in particular have been hit by a barrage of attacks. WordFence (developers of security software for WordPress sites) recently reported they had been tracking an uptick in malicious targeting of WordPress sites since 28 April 2020, with around one million sites being threatened. That’s around 30 times the volume they normally see in their attack data.

Keeping your WordPress site safe is actually quite easy, and straight away, I can tell you – simply install WordFence on your site. It’s like a mask for websites, protecting you from a multitude of all online evils. But let me tell you, it’s not just WordPress – although as a highly popular content management system for websites, it gets targeted a fair amount. All websites on the internet are fair game.

I’m often asked, but why? Why do hackers try and exploit a website? Well, they have a variety of motives. Some are just starting out by learning how to ‘crack’ less secure sites. Others have darker intentions to inject malware (malicious software) into a website, to flood the internet with spam, or maybe steal sensitive data for resale elsewhere. Whatever the reason, your website is exposed to risk – daily.

Lets look at some of the ways WordPress sites catch a bug:

  • Insecure hosting
  • Weak passwords
  • Old WordPress core, themes & plugins
  • Nulled or unreliable themes & plugins
  • WordPress table prefixes
  • Incorrect file permissions
  • Non-secure WordPress configuration file

Just to mention a few. Over the next few posts I’ll be sharing a few user-friendly (low tech and easy) tips on keeping your website safe.

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