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WordPress Hacked: How To Fix Sending Spam Email

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Spam emails are one of the biggest problems on the internet but you know what’s bigger than that? When spam emails are being sent from your WordPress website. It becomes a serious issue when you see spam emails are being sent from your website or your server. Therefore, you will have to take the steps to fix the issue. It might be a serious problem as your WordPress might be hacked or it might simply due to the wrong plugin. There could be many reasons for the same. The bottom line is that you will have to take some actions to solve the entire issue as soon as possible.

If you are facing something similar, you are in the right place. We will see why this happens and later on, we will also see how you can fix the issue.

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How to detect the issue?

Well, the first thing is how you can detect this issue. If you already know that your WordPress is sending spam emails, you can skip this section. However, if you have no idea about it. We will first see how you can find out and what are the consequences.

  • Your followers or your subscribers might have notified you.
  • The email quota gets exhausted in no time.
  • You get an error when loading the website. Sometimes, you also get an error saying “MTA Queue is too large”. MTA stands for Mail Transfer Agent. When there are so many emails sent from your server, you might see this error.
  • The hosting provider sends you a warning about the suspicious email.
  • You get deliver fail emails.
  • You got an error from the search console saying your website was blacklisted or even worse, it was penalized.

These are some of the common ways to detect the issue.

The consequences of spam emails

We don’t need to tell it. However, if you are new to WordPress, these are the consequences of your website is sending spam emails.

  • Google might blacklist your website.
  • The spam emails will keep your domain in danger. You will lose your reputation and brand awareness.
  • Your hosting provider might ban you from using their server. Not to mention, you will lose all the files and websites.
  • Depending on the spam, you might get into legal trouble.
  • If you have a “pay as you go” pricing model, you will have to pay more.
  • Your original emails that are genuine will also lead to the spam box. (If this is already happening, we will also see how to fix this)
  • It will also affect the other websites that are hosted on the same server.

The better option would be to fix the spam emails and get your website to normal as soon as you can. We will be seeing the method to do.

Why WordPress is sending spam emails?

You probably might be thinking why your WordPress website keeps getting hacked. We will see the reason for the two perceptive. At first, we will see why the attacker is doing it, and then we will see the reason this is happening on your website.

  • The attacker will probably add the ads to your website.
  • They might be promoting their products or affiliate links with the help of the spam emails.
  • This could be to promote someone’s service
  • They might be doing fraud with the help of your emails
  • It could be simply the spam to block your website.

There might be many other reasons too. We never know what’s in the attacker’s mind.

Now, we will see the reasons why your WordPress website is sending spam messages. It could be one of the following reasons why your WordPress got hacked and it is sending automatic spam emails.

  • You are using an outdated version of WordPress.
  • There is a pirated or nulled plugin on your website. This also includes plugins to themes from unknown sources.
  • You are using insecure web hosting.
  • One of your webmails is compromised and the emails are sent from that email.
  • Server misconfigurations.

So, these are the most common reasons why your WordPress is sending spam emails. We will now see how you can fix this. So, the below steps will be all about how you fix the issue.

Finding the software issue

One of the common reasons why your email is sending spam email might be because of one of the plugins or server misconfiguration. Let’s say, you installed and activated a plugin. You did a small mistake by allowing the plugin to send the email fo every activity to the user and you didn’t set the template. In this way, the plugin will send raw emails which might look a  lot like spam. Therefore, you need to troubleshoot the plugin or the software first.

You can either remove the plugin. You can use plugins like Advanced Database Cleaner to remove the leftover data of the plugin. After running it, you can install the plugin again. Alternatively, you can suspend the email used by the plugin. For instance, if the plugin is using [email protected] to send the emails, you can just pause all the emails from this particular email. This is the best possible solution that you can take.

However, if the configuration is right and you are facing the issue, maybe updating the plugin might help.

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The last option you can do here is to contact the support. They might help you out with the entire issue.

See if the account is breached

The next goal is to check if one of your email accounts is breached. You need to check all the accounts to make sure which one is hacked or breached. If you know about the email that is used, you can simply block the email by going to your hosting panel.

If this doesn’t work, you can take help from your hosting provider. Just contact them and address the entire issue to them. They will help you out in the entire process. They can see which email is used to send emails. Further, upon request, they will also cancel or suspend the account. In this way, your account can be safe and secure.

Finding the malicious code

The next reason why you are seeing something like this might be due to the malicious code on your website. Don’t worry, it will take a few minutes to fix the issue. Here are the exact steps that you can follow to find the malicious code and also remove it with ease.

  • First of all, you can open your WordPress panel.
  • Now, you need to install and activate a security plugin. You can use plugins such as Sucuri, WordFence, or you can also use the iTheme security plugin. All you have to do is head over to Plugins > Add new and search the plugin.
  • Upon activating the plugin, you will see the option to scan the website. You will have to scan the website and wait till it detects the infected files.
  • It will then show you the complete list of the files that are infected.
  • Right near it, there will be another option to fix all the issues. You can fix them directly through the plugin.
  • That’s it!

Now, your website is pretty much cleaned. You can rescan your website again to be sure that there are no more infected files on the server.

You can also use the virus scanner provided by your hosting provider. You can log in to your hosting panel and you will find the virus scanner option right there. You can click on it and continue with the scanning.

In the same way, there are some of the popular online scanners also that you can use. The online scanners won’t detect all the issues but it is always a better option to recheck your website and be sure that there are no more infected files in the server. Therefore, you can scan the website again.

The aftermath of spam emails

Now, let’s do the aftermath of the spam emails. These are the damages caused by spam emails.

If your website is used to send a dozen spam emails, your recipients might have faced a lot of problems. As all the emails were sent from your email, it becomes your duty to fix the problems and the misunderstanding caused by the recipients.

The best way here will be to send a sorry email stating the entire issue. You need to clarify it to your subscribers. Therefore, start preparing your email that you want to send to your subscribers.

Changing the email password is the next thing you should do. You can so contact your email provider to see if there is anything more needed from your side.

You should always take the precaution. If the spam emails are being sent for a long time, you will need to manage your reputation again. As many spam emails might have destroyed your reputation. Therefore, you need to regain it by doing all the necessary things.

Now, we will talk about how you can prevent your emails from being sent in the spam box instead of the main mail. So, we will have to solve the issue of your emails landing in the spam box. If you are facing a similar issue, the next section is for you.

Emails landing in the spam box?

Many times, the email just land in the spam box instead of the primary mailbox. So, you will have to take some steps to solve this error.

The easiest thing you can do here is to change the email. If your email address is marked as spam, there are lesser chances that it will land back in the primary box. Therefore, you can simply change the email address. It will be automatically land all your email address to the primary box.

You need to understand one thing, the email is checked for the spam by the email provider. They have their spam filters that you should check. It will automatically check all the spam filters. Here are some of the tips you can follow to land the email back in the primary box.

  • Don’t use the spammy keywords.
  • Make sure the email is original and not just copy-pasted every single time.
  • Use fewer links in your email address. If you use links, make sure they are secure.
  • Don’t give any huge offer. Make it direct and as transparent as possible. If you send an email about winning iPhone X, it will probably be marked as spam.
  • Make sure you are using a trusted and reliable email provider to send emails.
  • Ask your subscribers to save your email address. If the email is saved, they won’t land on the spam box.
  • It is always a good thing to ask your subscribers to check the spam box. You can simply add a line about it saying the same thing.

These are the tips you should follow if you don’t want your emails to land in the spam box.

Final words

To conclude, this was all about how you can fix WordPress sending spam emails automatically. If your WordPress is still sending spam emails, they may have the login details. You can simply change the passwords and then you can disable the account easily. The best way here would be to contact your email provider about the same issue. They will help you in solving the entire issue.

The next thing you need to do is to make sure you are using a security plugin that will monitor your website. Never use a theme or plugin from an unreliable source. This also includes not using nulled software or tools. You can use the lite version instead of the premium one. The other option here would be to make your passwords strong. Further, you can turn on automatic updates if you want better security. If you enable it, WordPress will automatically update the theme, plugin, and the software to the latest version. This is the best way to keep your WordPress website updated.

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Alexey Seryapin
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