I posted an article about website security on another of my sites. Rather than repeat the article here, I’ll give you the link so you can read it in full –
This blog was the first site infected with malware that I found, and, because I didn’t know any better I attempted to clean it myself. Big mistake! I lost most of the content and corrupted the rest in my feeble attempts to get rid of the malware.
It has taken me about a week to get the site back up safely, and it is still blacklisted by Opera, as far as I can tell. So be warned: take good care of your website security so that this does not happen to you.
How to Secure Your Website
My article gives recommendations for website security to avoid these problems. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Use a strong secure password and change it frequently. Yes, I know it’s a pain, but it beats the alternative.
- Back up frequently, at least as often as you post. That way, if you do need to recover you will not lose content.
- Check your website regularly. I have found that using AVG Free Link Checker picks up any problems as soon as they occur. It will also warn you if any other sites you use are infected, saving you from computer infections caused by accessing infected websites.
How to Recover
If disaster strikes and your website is infected with malware there are some steps you can take to recover a clean website, even if you don’t have a recent backup. Here is the process I used successfully for my WordPress sites:
- Install and activate the free BulletProof Security plugin if you have not already done so. Run the free Sucuri scan to determine whether you are infected with malware. If so, check if any of your other sites are infected using the same procedure so that you can know what to tell Sucuri.
- Contact the Sucuri help and order the appropriate package for your needs. The more sites you have, the more it will cost you. Recognize that you will need to monitor all your websites, not just the infected ones.
- Let Sucuri handle the cleanup. Unlike you, they have the experience.
If You Mess Up
Maybe, like me, you tried to do it yourself and messed up. I found that my last backup was fairly old and I was unable to restore it. Sucuri had cleaned out all the infections, but I had destroyed a lot of my content in my own cleanup efforts.
At this point, go to your web host and ask if they can restore a backup for you. I host with GVO, and they were able to help me by restoring this website yesterday. If you ever think about changing web hosting companies, look into GVO – their Host Then Profit package is a bargain at under $10/month for 4 websites. You may never need their support, but it’s very reassuring to know that it’s there, it’s efficient and it works.
Bookmark this article in case you ever need it, and check out my other article now.