How Can You Tell Your WordPress Site Has a Virus?

Have people been marking your emails as spam? Perhaps you’re seeing a huge increase in bounce rate from Google Analytics? Or you may have noticed some interestingly-placed text or links on your pages. You’re finally starting to get that sinking feeling that you might have a virus on your WordPress site.

But before you jump to conclusions and start digging through files and wiping everything clearn, be sure to check for any of these 5 signs you have a virus.

  1. Bounced Emails. This is an unfortunately common problem when it comes to viruses on a WordPress site — and it’s also one of the worst things that can happen. Once a hacker breaks in, they send thousands of emails that are linked back to your email address. People then mark your emails as spam, and you’re eventually blacklisted.
  2. Irrelevant/Inappropriate Content. WordPress theme files are very vulnerable to attacks (which is why you should always strengthen your site with plugins that are regularly updated). Hackers can quickly add invisible links, bad links, or bad or inappropriate content in paragraphs or even the footer of your pages
  3. Site Speed or Crashes. Don’t just blame your server for the slow service! Having unusually slow site speed times (when they were once fast) could be an indication of a virus. Sometimes a hacker could have added so many bad links or code that the whole site can crash.
  4. Unusual Traffic. Whether your traffic takes a massive nose dive or shoots up like a rocket, this probably isn’t you just doing great SEO work — you probably have a virus! If the site is slow, people will not want to visit the site anymore. There are also bots that will inflate your bounce rate and increase your sessions.
  5. Goodbye Website. This is the worst indication of all: Your site has been completely wiped off the search results list. This can happen for two reasons, the first being that the search engines have gotten whiff of a bad website and don’t want to give users a bad experience, so they plummet your rankings. The second instance is that a hacker has deleted all your files.

Be sure to always have a backup of your website, keep your plugins and WordPress versions up to date, as well as a reliable hosting company that provides complete 24/7 support and protection. Sometimes having a virus is not an issue, but there have been many instances where it’s difficult to rebuild after a major attack.

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