Is Your Website HACKED?

Virtually any website can be targeted by a hacker and become compromised for weeks, even months (sometimes years) without the website owner knowing. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. At eSpire Marketing, we’ve run into this problem with a few of our new clients, coming to us saying: “My site hasn’t been updated in awhile, we think it’s been hacked,” or, “Our Google listing is telling us our site may be hacked, what do we do?”

Well if this or anything similar has ever happened to you, you’re in luck. We’ve encountered this numerous times, in many different ways, and have come up with the 3 most common ways to find out if you’re website has been hacked!

  1. The Search Engine Will Tell You – whether it’s Google, Yahoo, or Bing, these search engines are constantly crawling the web for updates on websites and new data to promote and demote sites out there, giving the end-user the most updated and relevant content.
  2. Hosting Service Will Shutdown Your Site – usually when a website is infected with malware or a virus, there will be unusual activity generated on the site. This could be anything from random spikes in web traffic, high bounce back rates from contact forms, misleading back links and corrupt files.
  3. Your Visitors Will Let You Know – if you’re not going onto your site on a regular basis to ensure functionality is at 100% then something could go wrong, and the first people to realize it would be your visitors. Hopefully they can reach out to you to let you know that something’s not right with your site or that your site isn’t even up!

These are just a few ways you can tell if your website has been hacked. There are many more but these are what we’ve seen to be most common with what we’ve encountered. So let’s back up for a moment and look at how we can avoid these things from happening in the first place. Our eSpire team has come up with 3 ways you can avoid your website from getting hacked.

  1. Setup On A Secure Server With Security – when setting up your new website, be sure the foundation you’re building it on is scalable to your goals. As your website grows, traffic will increase, making your site more vulnerable, so it’s important to have a secure server with added security and regular back ups that can handle any cyber attacks and bounce back if one were to happen.
  2. Setup A Monitoring Service – any type of malware detector, virus scanner, IP blocker, or all-in-one security will benefit your website. For example, if you’re building your site on WordPress, we recommend getting WordFence Security, which will actively monitor your website and offers website scans to show you any vulnerabilities you may have in your site.
  3. Keep Everything Up-To-Date – this is one of the most underrated ways to protect yourself and most common ways that a hacker will infiltrate your site. If you have outdated plugins or themes on your site, there could be a gap that a hacker will use to break into your site and once they’re in, it could be hard to get them out.

Hopefully your website never gets hacked and your website lives a long and healthy life without any complications, but again as your site grows it will be subject to more vulnerabilities. Be sure to make the necessary moves in the beginning and engage in regular maintenance to ensure the health and longevity of your site. If you need any assistance or have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact us at eSpire Marketing and we’ll make sure to set you in the right track.