How do I know if My Website Has Been Hacked?
A hacked website is one of the most daunting problems for many website owners to have to deal with. There are several indicators that your website may have been compromised that you should be on alert for. If you believe your website has been hacked or infected with malicious software/code you may be struggling to decide on your next move for tackling this tricky problem.
My Website Has Been Hacked – Proper Identification
The unfortunate reality is that this pesky nuance infects a tremendous number of business sites. Hackers seek out vulnerabilities in hundreds of sites and target the ones they believe would be the easiest to break authentication methods. In this article we’ll cover a series of steps you should take if any of the following describes your current situation:
- Google has alerted you that your website’s been hacked
- You’ve noticed a warning in SERP results that you’re site is possibly compromised
- You suspect, but can’t confirm whether or not your website has been hacked
Help! I Don’t Know if My Website Has Been Hacked??
If you don’t see any issues with your site, but it’s been flagged as hacked or compromised you believe that this has been done in error. In order to identify if your website is indeed being accessed without your authorization, you should begin by registering with Google’s Search Console. Google has recommended that you use their Manual Actions or Security Issues of the search console tool once you’ve properly registered. Using these tools will allow you to review example URLs which will point you to exactly where Google has detected your site to be compromised.
Once you’ve completed the instructions listed above you should be able to see the hacked content on the listed URLs. However, if you are still not seeing any suspicious content on the URLs that Google has referred you to it’s possible that whoever programmed the hacked content is using a technique known as “cloaking” which makes the task of site clean up much more difficult to manage. The way cloaking complicates cleaning a site is by showing unique content to categorized groups of people visiting the site. Google is great at detecting “spammy” words and links and does a solid job of notifying site owners even when they haven’t noticed the compromised content as site admins. Review the video below to learn more about cloaking.
My Website Has Been Hacked – Check for Cloaking
If you believe your website has been compromised, but are having a hard time identifying exactly where content is changing then simply use the Hacked Sites Troubleshooting tool to help you dissect and analyze the problem.
We hope this article taught you a bit more abou what steps to take when trying to assess if your website has been hacked. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding website development, inbound marketing, or any other one of our services.