There are over 75,000,000 websites out there powered by WordPress, that’s about 30% of all the sites in the world. WordPress sites are often targeted by hackers which is why you’ll need a plugin that can offer all-around protection to your site. Although you can improve your website’s security with the general good practices and core tweaks, nothing beats the security offered by a dedicated security plugin as I found out personally.
While looking for plugins I’ve come across many that have something to offer for everyone’s needs and yet end up short in delivering overall protection. But soon I came across a WordPress security plugin that went above and beyond my expectations. Name of the security plugin is MalCare Security Service. Along with the simplicity of installation and operation, it also offers robust protection that I found very impressive.
What is MalCare?
Created by BlogVault which is a backup solution for WordPress, MalCare is a reliable WordPress security plugin. MalCare actively protects WordPress sites by periodic scans and cleaning up potential security concerns without overloading the servers or slowing your site down. It implements site hardening and maintenance features to offer the best protection. It blocks everything such as bots and untrusted IPs with a powerful Firewall and it’s also very user-friendly.
Why did I choose MalCare?
MalCare offers over-all protection. Three of its features that stand out are:
- Early malware detection. It even detects hard-to-find malware
- One-click, automatic removal of malware
- Further prevention of hack attempts
MalCare uses AI technology with over 100 signals that study the code and scan for malware across websites. Having scanned over 240,000 websites, the system is continuously learning and can even detect new malware. With just one-click, you can clean a hacked site and there are minimal false positives. This is good, as false alerts give me anxious times causing unnecessary panic.
What’s also cool is how simple MalCare is to use. You don’t need any technical knowledge to install or operate it and it is designed to suit everyone from the most experienced developer to the average person who runs his own WordPress site.
MalCare – The Complete WordPress Security Plugin
Installation and Setup of MalCare
Installing this plugin is an easy task. It only took about five minutes to install and set it up on my WordPress site.
STEP 1: To start off, add your website. Enter your site’s URL by clicking on the Add Site button that you see on the top left corner.
STEP 2: You can either install it manually or choose the Automatic Install option where you enter your website’s credentials and you’re good to go.
And that’s it.
You’ll find that MalCare’s dashboard is quite intuitive and you’ll have no difficulty in navigating through the features. There are different sections for each functionality. You’ll see Security, Backup, Management, Reporting and White-Labeling sections on the dashboard.
As soon as you install the plugin on your site, it runs and scans for malware automatically. Once the scan is complete it shows a score on my dashboard. It basically showed how secure my site is based on their algorithm which assesses the risks. The score range from A to D with A meaning secure and D meaning vulnerable. And that wasn’t all, along with showing me how secure my site is, it also offers solutions on how I can improve the score and make it more secure.
It’s impressive how MalCare can detect any complex malware, even those hidden in the config files.
This is how the scanner works:
MalCare’s scanner will scan your WordPress site automatically every day; you can also schedule scans. Then there’s the on-demand scan that you can start by clicking on “Scan Now” button on the dashboard. A scanning occurs on MalCare server hence the performance of your site is not affected. In the event of a malware infection, MalCare immediately detects it and notifies you via email. The report is displayed on your dashboard as well.
MalCare uses a state-of-the-art Ai based algorithm that actively learns and upgrades its database for new malware definitions. The scanner uses more than 100 signals to detect new and hard-to-find malware on all the WordPress websites. Your site is synced with MalCare’s servers for scans and daily updates to help detect new malware faster.
Intelligent Scans Beyond Signature Matching
MalCare not only looks for signatures of malware for their detections but also keeps track of your website’s activity. It records and understands the normal changes in your websites and searches actively for unusual behavior. If it finds anything abnormal, it immediately starts scanning for existing malware while also looking for newer more sophisticated ones.
Your Server is Safe from Overloading
Since MalCare runs on its own servers, it doesn’t affect yours or slows down your website. All its complex scanning functions are performed on its own servers without affecting your site.
Avoids False Positives
MalCare’s advanced algorithms accurately detect malware and avoid sending you false positives. It takes significant measures that ensure only actual malware are detected on the WordPress sites.
The feature I liked the most is the one-click automatic clean-up. It saves time by bypassing the wait for technical assistance and gets the work done automatically.
How it Works
When my site was hacked, MalCare sent me a mail that my site is hacked. Recovery was quite simple, I only had to click the Auto Clean button to clean my site. It cleaned my site in a few minutes. The scanner section also has a detailed report that allows me to learn about the various vulnerabilities on my WordPress site.
Total Malware Removal
Sometimes malware returns to websites through backdoors. MalCare protects your WordPress sites from this as it is specifically designed to prevent it from returning.
All you have to do is click a button and your site is clean. It is that simple. MalCare’s one-click automatic clean-up feature is so simple that anyone can use it without the need for technical knowledge. Therefore you don’t need any external specialist to perform this task for you and you won’t need to share your credentials with anyone.
Unmatched Precision in Malware Removal
MalCare is able to precisely locate even sophisticated malware that lurks into my site. Since it constantly keeps track of my activity, it knows how my site normally functions; anything too shady is immediately detected. Once the security plugin finds out the location of malware, it removes it without affecting the other files.
For security reasons, there are several practices WordPress recommends for hardening your website. MalCare offers the following security measures to keep your site secure:
- Blocks execution of PHP in untrusted folders
- Lets you change database prefix
- Files editor disabling
- Block installation of plugins or themes
- Resetting all passwords
- Changing security keys
Here’s how MalCare helps you with your site’s security:
Change Security Keys
MalCare will help you in keeping your security keys safe by storing them in the wpconfig.php file. This way you can prevent the keys from falling on the hands of hackers who may break into the site’s database.
Upload Folders Protection
MalCare blocks uploading on PHP files and other methods of hacking that hackers use.
Controls Plugin Installation
Hackers often use rogue plugins to enters your website. MalCare prevents automatic installation of plugins which safeguards your site from this threat.
Disable File Editor
Hackers use file editor to create backdoors to your website. MalCare curbs this by disabling access to backend files. It is easy to secure your website by using this feature. And what’s wonderful is that you don’t need any technical expertise to perform these functions. It’s all done in a few simple clicks.
MalCare Firewall secures your website by creating a virtual barrier to prevent hackers from gaining access. It offers two vital features:
MalCare’s intelligent system blocks troublesome IP addresses that are known to cause harm to the sites they visit. Those IPs are blocked when they try to access your site.
MalCare deploys a CAPTCHA-based authentication system when login attempts fail. It prevents brute force attacks because bots can’t read or solve a CAPTCHA.
MalCare also makes website management easy by letting me perform tasks from my dashboard. I can delete or update plugins or themes on my WordPress sites straight from my MalCare dashboard.
I can also manage users from the comfort of my MalCare dashboard. I could add or remove users on my website in no-time.
Integrated Website Backup
MalCare offers backups powered by BlogVault. MalCare working in conjunction with BlogVault offers me periodic backups of my site. In case my site ever goes down, I can have my site up and running in just a click of a button.
Price and Support
MalCare comes in both free and paid version. The free version has the scanner with the firewall while the paid version with more features starts from $8.25 a month.
Their support is highly responsive and round-the-clock. They offer excellent technical assistance and education anytime you need information on the tool or security.
MalCare has made my site maintenance routine hassle-free. I now save plenty of time and worry less about the security of my site. It offers premium security while being light on my servers and I see it has no effect on my website’s performance. Along with backing up my site, it offers While Labeling so I can rebrand it and sell it under my brand. It also helps in managing my client’s websites and allows me to keep them updated with periodic Client Reports. Over-all it’s a great product and I highly recommend it to all WordPress users.