At a network meeting a few days ago, I said that I’d only fixed one hacked website this year. By 5pm that day I’d fixed two. Websites get hacked for various reasons; the big sites get hacked to access personal data, other sites get hacked with malicious code that redirects the website visitor to either spammy websites, phishing pages or hacker-controlled domains. Web servers get hacked so that spammers can use the email server to spam the globe with their spammy messages.
Why Does This Matter?
- It could darken your brand image and reputation as a company.
- It can mean a major loss to your traffic, as your hard-earned visitors are redirected.
- Lesser traffic may result in a decreased sale. Thus, affecting your top line.
- The websites your visitors are being redirected to could be pitching an illegal commodity, which could land your website and you into the legal drama.
- Your visitor could get infected with a virus from the website that they have been redirected to and then blame you, either directly or publicly via social media.
- Your website’s IP address can get blacklisted and excluded from search engine results or at a minimum an alert is shown when your website comes up in the search results.
How can I prevent my website from being hacked?
I don’t think it’s fully 100% possible to prevent this from happening, as with any security once it’s in place somebody will attempt to find a way around the precautions. Think along the lines of, if you put a wire fence around your home to block access, a determined trespasser will next visit with wire cutters in hand; build a brick wall and they’ll come equipped with a ladder.
What can be done though is to reduce the chances of being hacked, is to make it harder for the hacker to gain access and get them to move on to try their luck elsewhere.
For Content Managed Systems such as WordPress & Joomla! keep the core code, plugins and modules current. Out-of-date code in plugins can leave a wide-open back door to your website for hackers to exploit. Plugins that haven’t been maintained by their developers to fix know issues are a security issue. So, if your favourite plugin hasn’t been maintained for a good while and appears abandoned, it may be time to look for a replacement.
Our WordPress Priority Maintenance packages have options to have security software installed that monitors the plugins and warning if there are any known vulnerabilities or if the plugin hasn’t been abandoned.
If your website is hacked, what can you do?
Give us a shout, call us on 01733 270872. We have cleaned many websites.