Hacking innocent websites is what hackers do in order to spread malware among website visitor, attract them to visit dodgy sites, as well as hack databases for getting confidential information of customers. However, it is easy to avoid such trouble and even eliminate it completely with a few simple and easy steps.
Every day, around 9500 sites are identified by Google, which have been infected by malware. Among these around 4000 websites are legitimate which hackers have compromised. Most of the victims only come to know that they have been hacked as they notice same danger warnings on search engine and browser that their customers are getting, which is a sign that they have been blacklisted. This finding has come to light by a survey conducted by StopBadware, which is a nonprofit organization in California and propagating any malware practices. Around 45 perfect of the victims are informed about the problem by their services or technology provider.
It is the small businesses which are more susceptible to hacking as they do not have technology expertise or site security measures which are accessible to bigger companies. As their expertise to ensure quick repairs, it restricts them from getting back to their work. This can further lead to a significant loss of sales and online traffic in case their site is blacklisted by Google or any other search engine.
MetroSeeker.com is one such company based in Texas that provides online guides. This site was attached by hackers and its links were pointed to another site that sells Viagra. However, it could not be specified how hackers were able to get in. along with cleaning every link, the site had to erase and rebuild its server, upgrade content management system and revamp employee log in, as well as process of changing site content.
It involved three people working full time for site’s recovery, along with the support of hosting service of the company. This incident left the site with a warning mentioned that it was compromised, thus affecting its new business. This warning appeared because of the spammy content that was still left in search engine results, but it could be removed as the spam is not present anymore.
Many people have to face this issue at one point or another. The only remedy is to secure everything and here are some tips how that can be done.
Regularly update software
Hackers target web software with security flaws, like blogging programs and content management software in order to attack multiple websites. This can be avoided by using latest software versions and ensuring proper security measures. Sites often clean up after being infected but do not fix the issues in software, which causes them to get infected again. So rectify the underlying problem and remove malicious code of the hackers.
Keep your passwords safe
It is highly recommended to use strong passwords as hackers try to steal or crack web software’s passwords, as well as FTP or File Transfer Protocol used for moving web pages from one computer to another. It is easy for hackers to break predicable, default or common passwords. Protecting your PC from virus infection is also important as it can make it easier to steal passwords.
Subscribe for Webmaster Tools by Google
Once blacklisted by Google, which is also used by Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers can reduce the amount of traffic your site gets. If you have registered with Webmaster Tool, then you can get immediate notifications about any malware infection, at times even before blacklisting has occurred, allowing you to avoid it faster. You can get details about the exact problem as noticed by Google, thus speeding up the clean up process.
Get professional help
Companies which depend on their sites heavily should hire a company that provides immediate alerts in case of getting blacklisted, scanning for vulnerabilities, monitoring any malicious activity or helping with repairs in case of a hack. Companies with databases of sensitive client information connected with their websites should get security features in-built in their sites.