Google And Hacked Websites
Google blacklists around 10,000 websites every day for being hacked, removing these sites from their search results. But WHY? Because these websites have been invaded by nefarious software, possibly aiming to download malware to visitor computers and Google is trying to protect people on the web.
Website Management (And WordPress)
Website security boils down to how it is managed! If you let a website sit without a) proper security support and b) management of updates then its odds for being hacked are multiplied. In fact, security & management is necessary with any good software online. What follows will serve as useful information, plus some opinion for why WordPress is the best solution for business!
When it comes to security with WordPress website software the issue is going to be LESS vulnerability and MORE management. Any rumors to the contrary are more due to ‘upstart website solution companies’ attempting to discredit WP as a competitive tactic than they are factual. WordPress is, after all, the dominant market share solution for business websites – making it a target. And by the way, we fix WordPress website issues.
Website Hack Examples
The result of a website hack can be:
- the site is taken over and used to promote drugs, porn, or any other thing the hacker desires ;
- the site is set up for and used to generate email SPAM, which also typically gets the website URL /domain blacklisted;
- a page that has subtle, maybe hidden, links (that no one would knowingly add to their own pages) that take visitors elsewhere AND
- worst case – the website is used to load malware on to all visitor computers.
Hacked Website Warnings By Google
A troubling situation for business owners is when Google (because it crawls all websites) identifies a website that is hacked and its Chrome browser discourages visitors with big red warning signs to avoid the website. Even more distressing to a website owner is the fact Google shares its’ ‘hacked website list’ with the other browsers. When hacked no one should expect to slide by with the folks coming in from IE, Safari, or Firefox because eventually, those will be warning people to avoid the website.
In fact, thank goodness for Google’s efforts or we > as information consumers ourselves < would all be in a lot of danger.
How To Avoid Being Hacked
At least for WordPress users, which is the lion’s share of business websites on the World Wide Web today, management should understand the ever-emerging threat of being hacked by having:
- responsible local computer use, so the PC itself doesn’t become the vulnerability;
- sincere respect for protecting usernames & passwords, encrypt them with non-dictionary-based words and include a combination of lowercase & capital letters, numbers, and/or symbols;
- knowledge for what different host & service packages do and do NOT offer; cheap shared plans won’t support much; whereas, a well managed host plan may;
- prioritized attention for WordPress upgrade(s) execution;
- (equally) prioritized attention for plugin application and theme upgrades;
- a VERY conservative approach for what 3rd party applications are allowed into the website, DO NOT just load up every cool thing that comes down the pike;
- protective software that in real-time by blocks an identified attackers’ IP addresses from visiting WP websites all over the world;
- protective software that perpetually scans for Malware, Viruses, and security vulnerabilities; that also helps to remove it and a reliable firewall AND THEN FINALLY
- HT Access protection to lock out any outside access to particular files in the website’s database.
Website Fix & Troubleshooting and ‘Hacked Business Website’ Cleaning Services
While we see it quite often nowadays, more recently a company approached us about their (GoDaddy hosted) WordPress website. They were in a state of emergency because their site had been hacked! To add insult to injury, Chrome (Google’s browser) was warning all visitors to avoid their website … OR risk personal harm. A quick review showed the website was a year plus behind on its core WordPress updates, including updates to a plugin known to have a vulnerability. The site’s management had been poor and, as a result, it had been hacked & loaded up with malware!
The addition of malware detection software, a series of WordPress & WordPress plugin upgrades, the removal & replacement of the before- mentioned application and then a series of scan projects allowed for this website to be rid of its’ malware. The site was then submitted to and accepted by Google in good standing. For this company, it was a temporary traffic & sales death penalty not to mention a complete nerve-racking experience.
Believe it or not, it happens every single day. Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, Drupal, NBC … the list goes on … have all been hacked! Unfortunately, it may be happening to you right now and you just don’t know it yet. These hackers deploy bots to crawl the web and look for vulnerabilities in the website, database, or application(s) code tha