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How to protect your Joomla website from malware attacks?

malwareHas your joomla website been recently blacklisted as a malware distributing website by search engines and antivirus softwares? If you do not wish to be tagged as a malware website or some hackers have attacked malwares on your website then you must take actions before Google removes you from search engines.

What is Malware attack?
Malware attacks have become one of the major security threats these days. Besides, worms and phishing attacks also have become a subject of concern. Basically, malware attacks consist of worms, Trojans or some similar system viruses. These Malware enter into the system and spreads through different programs while reading mails or during file sharing through the internet.

How malware attacks a computer?
Usually, malware attacks a computer through three different means:

  1. Through emails via email attachments.
  2. Through Instant Messaging via IM attachments.
  3. Through file sharing via different file sharing programs.

After entering into the system, these malware start corrupting data files, the system’s boot, installed software and also the system BIOS, thereby damaging the system files. Sometimes, this may also lead to the system shut down. These malware are primarily developed with the aim of spreading throughout the system. Besides, malware attacks may also occur while surfing social networking sites through internet, through pirated software, through removable media such as USB keys or external hard disks or through various infected websites. So if you do not want your website to be called as a website which spreads malware, then you need to make your website free from malware. Before understanding how to remove malware let us first understand various tools and techniques to find out if a website or blog is infected with malware. After scanning and detecting the malware, we can then easily remove malware completely.

How to scan and detect malware joomla  websites online?
In general people would prefer to transfer the code from their websites locally on a computer and then run a tool such as Malwarebytes or Superantispyware in it to detect any malware. However, there are a number of better online tools available that can directly scan and detect malware from the URL you provide. Let us have a look at some of such tools:

Tool to detect malware in website or blog:
Sucuri is one of the best options to scan and detect malware on online websites. If a threat is found, the scanner lists the infected files and also points out the type of malware or infection. Besides, the tool also points out to the lines of suspicious code.

Tool to find out a website’s or blog’s reputation:
Site Advisor is another tool which can help understand current reputation of the website or blog. If your website or blog’s reputation is marked as suspicious, then there is every reason to worry about it. This usually happens due to the malware present in your website. In such cases, you need to perform a more thorough site scanning.

Tool for webmasters to get a health check on their websites or blogs:
Google provides its own version of scanning and malware detection tool called Google Safe browsing api. Every webmaster gets an alert via Google webmaster page when there is any suspicious or malicious code found on your website. In order to perform the test, you need to type http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=yoursite.com URL in your browser and replace the domain name from your site.com to your domain.

How to remove malware from your website or blog?
In order to remove malware you can adopt one of the following approaches:

  1. Use automated program to remove malware from your website or blog:
    This should be easy if you are technically sound enough to complete the setup. Use the software called iScanner. This is free software that can detect and remove malware automatically. This software needs to be installed directly on the server hosting your website or blog.
  2. Use last backup to remove malware from your website or blog:
    This is one of the easiest ways to remove malware. All you need to do here is replace the website with a copy of your back up. This would remove malware infections fastest. If you have a WordPress blog then this could just mean that you hit the update button in your WordPress dashboard. That should replace all your infected WordPress files with new ones from the WordPress repository. If you have any WordPress plugins and themes you can use the same mechanism of just replacing them. Since all the settings are in the database you should not lose them while removing malware by this mechanism.
  3. Perform manual cleanup to remove malware from your website or blog:
    Another option is to identify individual files that are causing the malware. Some of the tools like Sucuri mentioned above can point out the files and lines of code causing the malware. You can then remove the files or code causing the problem thereby removing the malware. This is definitely a time consuming option and should only be done if you do not have a non infected backup.

Hence, by following the above techniques you can protect your Joomla website from being a victim of malware attacks effectively.

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