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How to tell when your website is hacked (and what to do about it!)

23 June, 2022

Once upon a time, it seemed like it was only big corporations who were vulnerable to hacking attacks. 

Unfortunately, most businesses find out they’ve been breached when the harm has already been done, losing them valuable data and money. 

But how do you know whether your website had been hacked, and how do you prevent further intrusions? Join us as we share everything you need to know.

What are the most common causes of a website breach?

A website can be compromised in a variety of ways, but while a breach may be difficult to detect, at times it may be obvious to others.

These are the most common causes of website breaches:

How to check if your website has been hacked

Worried your website has been hacked following a security alert? Or are you just worried because something doesn't seem right? In either case, keep your cool. By attempting to solve the problem you are already ahead of the game.

It is in a hacker’s best interests to minimise the symptoms of their attack. A major issue with website breaches is that they can be very common or very strange symptoms, which are tough to spot. Checking your website using a Google search to see what users see on it is the first step in determining whether it has been hacked.

If there is anything unusual occurring, it is a good indication that your website has been hacked. Google will usually detect malware and publish a warning notice on your website, to warn visitors not to use the site. Every week, Google blacklists over 20,000 websites and flags 50,000 websites for malware. Have the meta descriptions on your website changed? This is another indication that it has been hacked. Pages offering a contest or prize, that then encourage the visitor to click a link and provide information, are one of the main tactics used by hackers. Hacks like making spam popups, spam pages, and link redirects are also popular.

How to prevent a breach

Now that we have established the first steps for determining if your site has been hacked, let's talk about what to do if it has been breached. The best way to prevent a website breach is to install the highest level of security solutions.

Here are some of the most effective website security options:

  • SSL certificate

As a minimum, all business websites should have an SSL certificate in order to protect the website. These can be purchased through your web host.

  • Regular website updates

When a software update for your website is available you should install it as quickly as possible, because these frequently include bug fixes and other critical security improvements.

  • Install anti-malware software

Your website should have anti-malware software that scans your website to check for any malicious attacks. 

  • Use difficult passwords

Using passwords that are easy to guess will make your website very vulnerable to attacks, so make sure that you use a password that is difficult to guess, using a mix of character types. Take a look at one of our past blogs to learn how you can create strong passwords hackers won’t be able to cut through.

  • Backup regularly

Having regular backups for your website will not prevent an attack, but it will make it much easier to recover your website if you do get hacked.

What else can I do to improve the cybersecurity of my organisation?

Digital security solutions are critical for securing your website, but your employees must also be cyber-aware in order to detect hacking, phishing scams, and other digital dangers.

At Bob’s Business, we offer effective and comprehensive cybersecurity training programmes for your business, helping to reduce the risk of security breaches.   

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