Last week hasn’t exactly been quiet on the virus/malware fighting front, to be honest. There were websites infected in such a way they would flood the world with over 8000 spam emails per hour (only handful of them gets to roam the Globe thanks to our powerful outgoing mail management system). But we managed to clean them in co-operation with their owners. How come they got infected, you ask? Well, they ran old versions of content management systems…

It is estimated that about 6000 WordPress websites are infected with malware every day. Those websites were infected through vulnerabilities in their code. This –most often– is the case when the content management system isn’t updated on a regular basis. There are also other options to infect a website, and that’s through improperly set access rights to the website’s folders, or simply by accessing your website’s admin area on an infected computer.

An infected website will most definitely have a detrimental effect on your business as most of these pages are used to present the attacker’s content (very often of illegal kind), or redirect your website to their own! So please do update when an update is available. It’s very easy to do just that!

The web control panel I use offers a great tool to keep your WordPress sites up to date, including any plugins or themes you use. It’s called WordPress Toolkit, and apart from the above mentioned updates, you can also scan for any security flaws in your installation.

NOTE: Always create a backup before you apply recommended security settings, or update your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes!

If you happen to find the ‘Automatic updates’ option and feel tempted to turn it on, please don’t. At this point, this feature doesn’t create a backup before it’s executed. This could potentially mean trouble for your website if anything goes wrong. A supervised backup is advisable. It takes time but it’s less time than having to deal with respective problems. And if you don’t have the time, and need someone else to do it for you, contact me to subscribe to a special WordPress maintenance add-on!