How To Remove Malicious Redirects From Your Website
Visitors of your website may have interactions with malicious redirects if you do not have the proper security. Hackers can insert malicious code into your site’s content so that when site visitors click on a file, they undergo a redirect to malware sites. Of course, for the sake of your website, you must remove these as soon as possible.
WordPress is one of the most popular sites for content management. Therefore, it is a prime target for interference with bugs, attackers, and WordPress malware. If you have a WordPress website, then you should pay special attention to potential malicious redirects within your site. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms are targets, as well.
How to Identify Malicious Redirect Content
When websites do not have enough security, attackers can access and insert malicious code into core files. Even if you do not have any experience dealing with attackers and malicious scripts, it is crucial to make sure that site files and other content are secure as a site owner.
All website owners should be on the lookout for suspicious code that does not fit with any of the site’s files. Most of the time, they come in the form of a PHP file. For example, be aware of any files or links that look like the following:
A malicious redirect can come in the form of a spam email, as well. Messages like these can use the hosting account or user agent as bait for unsuspecting visitors to click on the malicious file. Typically, these also have the letters “php” at the end.
More to Look Out For
If your website has any of the following characteristics, then they probably exhibit some malicious redirect files:
- You can see a visible redirect within your content
- Search engines or web browsers flag your site as having spam material
- There is an unidentified code in a .htaccess file
- There are unnecessary files on the site with weird codes
What Can Malicious Redirects Do?
Redirects, with the right code, can insert malware and infections into critical components like themes, plugins, and third-party components. An infection can occur due to WordPress security issues or, most likely, issues with the level of website security.
When users click on a redirect, the malware starts to download on the victim’s device. This causes bugs, infections, and crashes to take over your device. Eventually, search engines identify the WordPress site containing the bug, cutting it off from natural site traffic generated by organic searches.
What Are the Effects of Malignant Redirects?
Considering the damaging effects, it is easier to delete a website altogether rather than go through removing the bugs. Web browsers and engines take a long time to allow a previously infected site to receive organic traffic again. It may be in the best interest of site owners to delete and restart in the long run.
Steps to Eliminate Malicious Redirects from Your Website Content
If you already see malicious redirects within your WordPress website, then you should begin the process of malware removal immediately. Eliminating any redirect as soon as you see it is crucial to uphold the WordPress security and keep your site reputable.
There are three ways to clean your website of any redirects that could harm your site and its visitors. You can use a malware scanner and security plugins, use an online security scanner, or clean the site yourself.
The first removal option is the best because it is more efficient than the other two. It can identify some of the more malicious redirects hiding within your site. Cleaning the site yourself is not as efficient but can still keep infecting files from spreading. Combining this method with the scanning method leads to better results. Using an online scanner is the least effective, as it is just as risky as having a site page with almost no security.
Malware Scanner and Plugins
Using a scanner is the best option to remove any redirects that infect WordPress sites. Scanners and plugins cost money and take a lot of time to go through all the materials on websites. However, it is the best way to rid a website of malignant files.
When using a scanner, you usually must follow specific steps to allow the software to enter and clean out the website. The following are some of the common steps:
- Install the scanner software
- Run the scanner
- Manage the issues found by the scanner
Some scanner software even allows you to take steps to prevent redirect hacking in the future.
If you do not use a scanner, then plugins do an equally efficient job. Here are some of the common plugins you may want to use:
Manually Cleaning the Site
You do not have to be an expert in web applications to eliminate malicious materials and update your website’s security. However, this is not the most effective way since there is no guarantee it removes all malignance. Still, it can do the job to prevent any more from finding its way into your website.
- Review your entire site to identify any type of redirect
- Update any applications that your website uses
- Update any .htaccess file, cross-site, and plugin
- Change any passwords you use relating to the site
- Update any anti-virus protection you may have and use it to scan the site
- Use a scanner or plugin, as described previously, to complete the clean-out
How to Prevent Malicious Redirects and Maintain Website Security
While you cannot protect your site with brute force, you can take preventative measures to ensure your security from malignant redirect materials.
Allow visitors to have the most limited access to anything you post or share. This prevents them from getting into deeper components that have power over your website. You
Vet any Third-Party Components
Anytime you insert third-party components, such as theme files or plugins, always vet the software before downloading. Be aware of when the components update and who updates them.
Regularly Check for Interferences
Finally, you should regularly scan any post, material, or component of your website to see any malignant interference. This allows you to target a potential hack before it spreads to other parts of your site.