Imagine sending an email to your customer that says it is unsafe, or maybe you type in your website and your browser pops up a red warning advising the sight is not safe. Now your mind is racing, and you are trying to figure out what went wrong. You start asking that question no wants to, could my website be hacked? Following are some signs signally your site has been hacked and what you should do when this occurs.
Signs Your Website Has Been Hacked
Having your website hacked is becoming more and more common. It is now a question of when it will occur, not if. For this reason, it is essential to know what to look for to keep your site safe. Some of the most common signs that you have a hacker are:
- Browser warning of an unsafe site when viewing your website
- Your website has been disabled by your hosting company
- Your emails to others are sent to the spam folder
- Unusual traffic logs (either excessive traffic or visiting a page you did not post
- You have new admin users that you did not assign
- You notice unfamiliar posts on your website
- Your customers complain that they are receiving warnings
If you have seen any of these warning signs your website has probably been hacked, and it is time to secure it again. First, let’s cover some of the questions that arise when your site has fallen victim to hackers.
How Did I Get Hacked?
The first question in these types of situations is how did I get hacked? There are many methods hackers use to gain access to a website and its content. One of the top ways for hackers to get into your site is through weaknesses in your hosting company’s server. Would be hackers will look for the slightest flaw and go to work finding a way to access it. Other common entry points for hackers is weak passwords, outdated software, and lack of security features. Each of these holds their own risk level with regards to hacking. However, outdated software is one of the top way’s hackers will find their way into a website. Though the threat of hackers cannot be eliminated, you can take measures to safeguard your website, making it harder for these attacks to succeed.
What to do When Your Website is Hacked?
With hacking being a part of any connection through the internet, you will probably fall victim to it sooner or later. When you find that this has happened, there is no need to panic; you should take measures to rectify the situation and get your site secure again. Before anything else, you need to change your passwords. When doing so, you want to make sure that you push the button to sign out of all open sessions. Not only will you want to change the password for your website login but all of your passwords, though your other accounts may not be directly connected with your site. By infiltrating your website, the predators will have access to any accounts linked to your website, and then to anything related to those sites and so on. Changing the passwords will allow you to start cleaning up any mess the hackers have made. If you find that the issue is bigger than you can handle you may want to seek the help of a professional to get all of your accounts secure and find out what steps will ensure your website’s safety in the future.
How to Prevent Hacking
While hackers are relentless, you can be too. There are preventative actions you can take beforehand to help avoid the clean up after a hacker attack. First, you should make sure you are using a secure hosting provider. This will give you an extra layer of protection starting out. Next, ensure that you have the latest updates for all of your software. This is easy even for the WordPress beginner. To ensure you have the newest software updates go to your admin page and look for updates. If there are any new versions, there will be a number next to the word. You want to make sure that your plugins and any connected add ons are up to date as well. Another safeguard is to use two-step authentication which is where you sign in to your account, and a code is sent to another device or account. You must then enter this code into your account to finish logging in. One final step to take to protect your website is to have your WordPress managing team install security software to protect against these threats. While these steps will not eliminate the risk of hackers, they will help prevent them.
Hackers are a part of life when it comes to working on the internet. They do not have to be a constant worry though with proper preventative measures. When you do find that your site has been hacked it is important to remember that you can get back in control.