Everybody knows that malware is malicious, but what harm does it cause? This is a big cyber threat to any website. Prevention is crucial for the visibility and reputation of your platform, be it a forum, blog, or e-commerce site. Here is what malicious software can do in 2021, and how to keep it at bay.
Most users are familiar with just one use of malware — infection of computers. It is also widely used to infect websites, exploit them for data and undermine their reputation. Fortunately, the problem has a simple solution — a website malware scanner will detect any nefarious code on your site. This is quick and convenient.
What Malware Can Do
Malware may cause different types of damage that will eventually affect your bottom line. Harvesting of users’ data is just one of the directions. Here are the issues you should be aware of. Malware can:
1. Change the Look of the Site
One day, you may discover that your content has been replaced with a political or religious message. This is an example of defacement. The attack may drive visitors away by insulting them or preventing access completely.
2. Redirect Users to Other Sites
Your visitors may be sent to a nefarious platform through an automatic redirect. This is one of the most common types of intrusion.
3. Provide Access to Cybercriminals
A special type of malware called back door creates a gateway for hackers, so they obtain and maintain access to your platform. This gives them the freedom to do anything — gain sensitive data, change the layout, etc. Backdoor files are difficult to spot.
4. Place Spam Content
Comments left by spambots are not just useless and annoying — they are potentially dangerous. In fact, traffic may drop significantly as a result of black hat SEO. SEO relies on the use of specific search terms and links from outside sources. Spammers help websites rise in search rankings at the expense of your own.
The comments may contain hundreds or thousands of files with malicious backlinks and irrelevant keywords. As your rankings drop, the website will be visible to fewer users. Traffic may plunge dramatically.
5. Trigger Flagging and Removal from Search Results
All popular search engines check websites for malicious codes. They remove infected platforms from their rankings to protect users. When visitors try to access a blacklisted site, a warning is displayed. It tells them that the page is infected and prevents excess. Aside from losing traffic, you may lose trust.
What to Do
A malware scanner is free and easy to use. It will identify different threats: malicious code and iFrame content, as well as hidden external links. Secondly, consider installing a cloud-based security system that will allow automated patching.
Websites built on CMS like WordPress need frequent updates to fix vulnerabilities. The more features your website has, the higher the risk of compromise. Do not overload it with unnecessary plugins and uninstall any redundant software.