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Is MALWARE really malicious or just misunderstood?

The topic of malicious software is widely discussed on the internet.  Malicious software is usually known by the term MALWARE.  MALWARE is an umbrella term that covers several malicious software variations such as Spyware, Viruses and the ever-popular Ransomware.  This type of software is specifically designed to create havoc, damage an unauthorized access to computers and computer networks.  

malware codeThe bad news for business owners with WordPress (and other programmed) websites, if you download MALWARE you may be out of business, because, MALWARE can affect your websites performance.  It will degrade your visitor’s experience, seeping into other parts of your site, which can include the possible destruction of the overall SEO implementation that you may have worked so hard on to achieve a good search engine ranking.   

So, what is a website owner to do?  Monitor your website performance and look for unexpected website changes as they occur.   

The good news, in most cases, you’ll find that the effects of a MALWARE attack does not have to be permanent, you can get your website back to normal with some clean up – the best solution however is to avert an attack all together and stop it before it happens.   

Do you think it’s possible to prevent an attack, given the latest rise in MALWARE incidents against giant worldwide industries?

Obviously, if your website is a victim of the MALWARE DL it would be in your best interest to know this has happened as soon as possible.  The more time MALWARE has to run around on your website, the more damage it will do to it, and the longer clean-up will take.  

Therefore, it is recommended to scan your website on a regular basis for malicious software. Additionally, beware of:  

Opening attachments in email that you’re not expecting.

Be wary of installing programs that you’re unsure of.

Bad search results, introducing you to a pharm hack.

Creates shady pop-ups with unauthorized code. 

Malware can:

Add files to your website in the form of spyware. This type of intrusion may record all keystrokes on your website that collect your customer’s username, password and credit card information.  

Remove files and replace it with malicious code that will download to your unsuspecting visitors’ computer. 

Change files by modifying them for a nefarious purpose.  

Decrease the performance of your website as Malware uses your websites resources to attack other websites. 

Compromise your website IP address to send unsolicited emails (SPAM)  

Use your website as a file depository, storing hundreds of unknown files, taking up all that “free” disk space your host offers.    

Deteriorates website load time in the browser.

Having Malware will

Inadvertently get your website blacklisted on search engines like Google, who will make it unreachable, resulting in a negative hit to your SEO. 

How to guard against the Malware DL

Use a host that offers regular website backups. 

WordPress Security SettingsSelect a web host who offers protection and SSL installation  

Change your passwords every so often (30 days for example)  

Have your designer install a quality security plugin for your website.  

Trust (maybe) but verify the source when downloading program. 

Most MALWARE issues can be avoided with good security WordPress plugins.  These typically have a scanning mechanism and other security tools for the user, such as yourself or your web designer.   

Everything is fallible, even scanning.  Don’t rely on one method to keep your website fee of MALWARE.  Constant attention to your website, current backups, and current updates are necessary to keep things running smoothly.  If you have questions about MALWARE we’re always here to help.

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