How to Spot and Avoid Fake WordPress Security Alerts

Home Website security How to Spot and Avoid Fake WordPress Security Alerts

At Zonkey we always advise our clients to be cautious about incoming emails, especially if you are a website administrator. Phishing attacks are a common threat, and they can take various forms, including emails attempting to trick you into installing malicious plugins or disclosing sensitive information.

The WordPress Security Team recently issued an alert to say they are aware of ‘multiple ongoing phishing scams’. These scams take the form of emails impersonating the WordPress Team, or WordPress Security Team, and attempt to convince website administrators to install a plugin on their website which contains malware.

The WordPress Security Team have stated they will never email you requesting that you install a plugin or theme on your site, and will never ask for an administrator username and password.

If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from WordPress with instructions similar to those described above, they ask that you disregard the emails and indicate that the email is a scam to your email provider.

Here are some general tips to help you stay vigilant:

  1. Verify the Sender

    Check the sender’s email address carefully. Phishing emails often use email addresses that look similar to legitimate ones but may have subtle misspellings or variations.
  2. Avoid Clicking Suspicious Links

    Don’t click on links or download attachments from emails that seem suspicious. Instead, go directly to the official website or use known, trusted channels to access information.
  3. Check Email Content

    Be wary of emails that create a sense of urgency, ask for sensitive information, or have grammatical errors. Legitimate organisations typically communicate professionally and do not pressure you to take immediate action.
  4. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

    Implementing 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your WordPress admin account. Even if your login credentials are compromised, a second authentication step is required to gain access.
  5. Regularly Update WordPress and Plugins

    Keep your WordPress core, themes, and plugins up to date to patch any security vulnerabilities. Regular updates help protect your site from potential exploits.
  6. Backup Your Website

    Regularly backup your website so that, in the event of a security incident, you can restore your site to a previous, clean state. If your web hosting is with Zonkey, you can relax knowing that your website will be backed up daily.
  7. Educate Your Team

    If you have a team managing the website, make sure they are aware of security best practices and the risks associated with phishing attacks.

Being proactive about security is crucial to maintaining a safe online environment for your WordPress site and its users.

Photo by Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash