Website Health: What to Look For
Like infectious germs to humans, malicious viruses are a threat to all websites. Whether they are hit on Day 1 or 1000, even the most sophisticated sites are susceptible to hacking, and viral infection. Once infected, all of your creative, intellectual, and financial assets are at risk of being compromised.
Infection is insidious. In most cases, a hacked website will be visually unaffected. Here’s how the basic mechanism works:
Malicious Code will be inserted into your website code, causing issues for the visitors. Determining the exact point of infection is essential, because potentially all of your files (and many of your visitors’) can be infected. Without your site experiencing obvious symptoms, it is possible for your site to be a carrier, infecting any visitor who connects with you online.
This is a pandemic concern, and creates vital costs for your business. It is important to know exactly what to look for as you manage your site.
Here are come common symptoms of infection:
- Search engines like Google have Blacklisted your website
- Visitors are complaining that your website is being flagged by their AntiVirus software
- Your host has disabled your website because of a Security issue
- Your site on search engines is showing altered data in the search results (e.g. pharmaceutical ads)
- Your site is constantly being reinfected
- You see “This site is Hacked” or “This site may be compromised” on search engines
- People are complaining that your website is redirecting on their mobile devices, notebooks, desktops
If you have noticed any of the following symptoms on your website, you have more than likely been hacked. Potentially thousands of files can be infected, and the code must be removed for the site to be free and clear. As you purify your site and files, all passwords must be changed. If you are using a CMS system such as WordPress, all software and plugins must be updated as well.
Looking at the bigger picture, many of these viruses have no clear root. It’s a common misconception, but there’s rarely anybody (e.g. a competitor) maliciously “out to get you,” as far as we know.
Like facing one’s physical health, digital website health can be a daunting thing to fully consider. The good news is that there are many products and services out there to help you keep healthy, and prevent infection from occurring.
Keep your website happy and healthy; your business depends on it. BMG Media offers a monthly service to keep your website up to date and clean. If your site happens to get hacked, we clean it for you and make sure you are up and running.
Contact us for details.