How To Fix The Site Ahead Contains Malware In WordPress (Deceptive Site Ahead)

If you’ve ever encountered a “deceptive site ahead” warning while browsing the web on Google Chrome, you know how jarring and potentially concerning it can be. This warning message is intended to alert users that the website they are trying to access may not be safe and could potentially harm their device or steal their personal information.

It’s a crucial feature for protecting users from cyber threats and maintaining website safety on the internet. In this article, we will delve into the causes of this warning message. We will explain how it can affect your website’s traffic volume and SEO, and most importantly, how to fix and prevent the “deceptive site ahead” warning from appearing on your website, especially if you are using WordPress.

In This Article:

  • Understanding the Meaning of the “Deceptive Site Ahead” Warning?
  • How to Fix “Site Ahead Contains Malware”
    1. Scan Your Site With A WordPress Malware Removal Plugin
    2. Scan Your Database For Malware
    3. Submit Your Website to Google for Reconsideration

Understanding the Meaning of the “Deceptive Site Ahead” Warning

The “deceptive site ahead” warning is a message that appears on Google Chrome when the browser detects potentially harmful or deceptive content on a website. This warning is intended to protect users from cyber attacks, such as URL injection or content injection, which can compromise the security of their device and personal information.

Google uses various methods to detect and flag websites with deceptive content, including analyzing the website’s content, links, and downloads for signs of malware, phishing pages, and other malicious activity. Google may also check for the presence of an SSL certificate, which is a security feature that encrypts the data transmitted between a website and its users to prevent interception by hackers.

One of the main causes of the “deceptive site ahead” warning is WordPress themes and plugins with security vulnerabilities. WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, and its popularity has made it a target for cybercriminals. Outdated themes and plugins can have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

Other causes of the “deceptive site ahead” warning include questionable links or suspicious downloads on a website, which can redirect users to potentially harmful websites or install malware on their device. It’s essential to be cautious when clicking on links or downloading files from unfamiliar websites to avoid encountering this warning message.

How to Fix “This Site Ahead Contains Malware” Red Screen

To remove deceptive site ahead error, you need to get rid your site of malware and fix your site security.

Gladly, WordPress has plugins that you can use to do this without too much difficulty.

Warning! Before you implement any of the steps below, ensure you have a very recent backup of your site. Read our guide to learn How to Create WordPress Backups.

1. Scan Your Site with a WordPress Malware Removal Plugin (WordFence)

Malware removal plugins enable you to scan your website, identify unwanted programs, and remove them.

WordFence is one good malware scanner WordPress plugin for this purpose. Using this security plugin, you can scan your site, remove malware, and ensure ongoing website security.

First, you would need to install WordFence. To do this, login to your Dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New.

In the search box, type “WordFence”. When the plugin appears in the search results, click Install, wait a while for the installation to complete, and click Activate.

How to remove Google malware warning: Wordfence security

Removing The Malware

After installing and activating WordFence, go to WordFence > Scan.

Wordfence malware scan

In the scan page, click on Scan Options and Scheduling.

How to remove "the site ahead contains malware": Wordfence

Since it is suspected that your site might be hacked, set the scan type to “High Sensitivity”. Next, click Save Changes, and when the changes are saved, click Back to Scan.

set scan type to high sensitivity

In the scan page, click Start New Scan. Depending on the size of your site, the scan might take a while, so go ahead and grab a cup of coffee.

Remove Google malware warning: Click start new scan

When the scan completes, WordFence gives a scan report like this one:

malware scan report - repair all files

To proceed, click Repair All Repairable Files.

You will be greeted with a warning message. As long as you have a recent backup, continue with the repair.

If the repair completes successfully, you will be greeted with a success message.

However, your site may contain unwanted software that cannot be repaired. In this case, you can use Delete All Deletable Files to get rid of them.

ENSURE you have a backup before clicking this option as it might break your site. Then go on to click Delete All Deletable Files to clean your site.

When this completes, your site should be free of malware.

2. Scan Your Database For Malware

After scanning and cleaning your site with WordFence, you can be quite sure that your site was thoroughly cleaned.

However, to be extra sure, you may decide to scan your database to see if there’s any residual malware and clean it all at once.

You can use the Exploit Scanner plugin to scan your DB.

First, install and activate this plugin (installation steps are similar to those for WordFence explained above).

After activation, go to Tools > Exploit Scanner.

Remove Google malware warning: exploit scanner

In Exploit Scanner, click Run the Scan.

Remove Google malware warning - run the scan in WordPress database

When the scan completes, hit Control F in your keyboard to open Find in Page, and input “database”.

Next, check through all the database related errors to locate those that indicate suspicious extensions and activity. You can trace the file manipulating the database in a suspicious way and edit or delete it.

Remove Google malware warning: find all database files

As you must have noticed, exploit scanner does not give you an option or button to fix vulnerabilities. It only helps you identify site malware.

You have to be a pretty advanced user to follow these instructions and remove the vulnerabilities or hacks.

If you are unsure about this, you may decide to request our WordPress Malware Removal Service so we help you secure your database.

Alternatively, we have an extensive guide on ridding your WordPress database of malware that can help you.

3. Get Google To Remove The Malware Warning

After fully cleaning up your site, you want to inform Google of this using Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools). This way, the Google malware warning can quickly be removed.

To add your site, go to Google Search Console and login with your Google account.

In Search Console, Click Add Property.

Remove Gogle malware warning: google search console - webmaster tools

Next, type in your site url and click Continue.

You will be asked to verify ownership of the site. The easier way to do this is with the HTML Tag option.

Scroll down and click on HTML Tag to expand it. Next, go to your WordPress site and install Insert Headers and Footers.

headers plugin - the site ahead contains malware

Next, go to Settings > Insert Headers and Footers.

insert headers and footers - the site ahead contains malware

Go back to the Search Console and copy the Html tag verification code. Next, return to your WordPress tab, paste the verification code in the scripts in headers section, and click Save.

paste webmaster tools verification code - the site ahead contains malware

Next, go back to Search Console and click Verify.

After verification, go to Security Issues page, address any malware issues found, and then click the checkbox to request a review.

If no issue is found and Google still shows the Malware warning, it could be your site is affected by Cross-Site Malware Warnings. Learn more about this and how to address it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “The site ahead contains malware” mean?

If you see this message when trying to access a website, it means that Google has detected malware on the site and is warning you about potential risks. Malware can include viruses, trojans, spyware, and other types of malicious software that can harm your device or steal your personal information.

How does malware get on a WordPress site?

Malware can infect a WordPress site in several ways, including through vulnerable plugins or themes, outdated WordPress installations, weak passwords, and malicious scripts injected by hackers. It’s important to regularly update your WordPress site, plugins, and themes and use strong passwords to minimize the risk of malware infections.

What should I do if I see “The site ahead contains malware” warning on my WordPress site?

If you see this warning, it’s important to take immediate action to remove the malware from your WordPress site. You can start by scanning your site with a reliable malware scanner or security plugin to identify and remove any malicious code or files. You should also update your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes to their latest versions and change your passwords.

How can I prevent malware infections on my WordPress site?

You can take several steps to prevent malware infections on your WordPress site, including:

  1. Keep your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes up-to-date
  2. Use strong passwords and avoid using the default “admin” username
  3. Install a reliable security plugin or firewall to monitor and block suspicious traffic
  4. Regularly backup your site to quickly restore it in case of a malware infection
  5. Use a reputable web hosting provider that offers malware scanning and removal services.

Can I remove malware from my WordPress site myself?

If you have technical knowledge and experience with WordPress, you may be able to remove malware from your site yourself. However, it’s important to proceed with caution and follow best practices to avoid accidentally damaging your site or leaving any malicious code behind. It’s usually recommended to hire a professional WordPress security expert to remove malware from your site and ensure it’s fully secured against future attacks.

What should I do if my WordPress site is hacked?

If your WordPress site has been hacked, you should take immediate action to remove the malware and secure your site. You can start by changing your passwords, scanning your site for malware, and updating your WordPress installation, plugins, and themes. If you’re not sure how to proceed, it’s recommended to hire a professional WordPress security expert to help you restore your site and prevent future attacks.

The Site Ahead Contains Malware – Conclusion

Keeping your site malware-free is absolutely important to a good online presence.

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After reading our deceptive site ahead removal guide,  hopefully, you have been able to clean your site from the malware infection and regained your site’s good standing.

Next, it is very necessary to avoid getting into this situation in the future and you can do this by securing your site using our WordPress Security Guide.

If you have any other steps you used to remove the ” the site ahead contains malware” warning, please share them in the comments below. For more WordPress tutorials and guides follow our WordPress blog.

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