By the time you have finished reading the 1300 words in this blog post , another Small Business Owners website has been targeted by hackers with automated robots , scraping websites for vulnerabilities.
Why hack small business sites ? Short answer .... It's EASY to do !
You may think that your website isn't a target for a hacker as you’re classed as a small business owner who doesn’t have an online store or handle online transactions through your website.
Unfortunately, it can still happen, we see it all the time.
It doesn’t matter if you are a contractor, dentist , accountant or a blogger you are still at risk of being attacked by a hacker.
Here are the 3 basic steps a Hacker will use on your website
Unfortunately your small business owner website is more likely to be targeted than a highly secure organization as they are generally investing thousands of dollars per month managing their online security.
TEST YOUR OWN SITES SECURITY PROFILE ONLINE - Click Here
Hackers will use your websites for all sorts of malicious reasons, everything from ‘SEO Spam’ which is used to drive your site down search engine rankings while boosting their ‘clients’ search engine rankings. ( potentially your opposition or someone )
Hacking your site to host their own spam pages and content. This loads up your hosting account with extra bandwidth that they are not paying for and it is outright theft.
Hosting their Spam Pages for Pharma products or Porn, will create a bad reputation for your business through your viewer’s eyes and also in the eyes of Googles robots that constantly monitor the health of your website.
There is a fair chance you have spent thousands of dollars and years of time and effort to get you there, and all to be undone from one dodgy hacker.
Google doesn’t want any bad tenants in their neighbourhood and will block or even deindex sites first and ask questions later.
It’s a bit like if you have ever had your credit card blocked by a bank for unusual activity. Just because you flew to another city or interstate doesn’t mean someone stole your card, but your bank doesn't call you first these days, they block your card and wait for you to call, prove who you are and having you begging for access again!
"Google are only protecting their own assets , and they will do it without hesitation, you can't blame them" - Paul Davies
What would happen to your business if your website was bumped from the first page of Google ?
In March 2015, Google reported that over 17 million website users had been notified that the site they were accessing was trying to steal their information or install some form of code that had malicious intent. As of March 2016 that number had blown out to 50 million. Google is constantly blacklisting and deindexing sites that are found with malicious code and last reports stated that they were blacklisting and deindexing approximately 70,000 sites a week for phishing and malware alone.
Website owners generally only find out there is something wrong when a loyal customer lets them know or a new customer is complaining about your site and wondering if they have been hacked as well.
There is nothing worse than being told by an existing client or a customer that your site is blocked or worse ….not there at all !
It’ not only the fact that they have seen the blocked site warning, there is a high chance that if they have used your site recently , they have become victims of an attack through accessing your own website.
It’s a great way to lose credibility and trust with your customers !
So what do you do to stop these hacking attempts ?
Regardless of what you have seen at the movies or on TV , you can rest assured that if you put the right steps in place you can be protected 99 % of the time from the run of the mill amateur hackers.
You see if a Pro Hacker wants to get in they will, there’s no stopping them, but the Pros are busy ‘working’ elsewhere on more valuable assets and not on your site. They are the 1% ers.
If your site is protected the other 99 % of guys hacking your site will give up after the first few attempts and try the next site in their automated que. This all happens at lightning speed with their powerful servers , exploit codes and hacking tools of trade.
So the trick is to make it hard enough for them not to get a look at what kind of site you are running in the first place. Eliminate any signs of which CMS platform you are running and which plugins you have installed. Update themes and plugins weekly or set them to auto update. Ensure you have adequate backups , just in case you are compromised in any way.
If you have some basic knowledge of WordPress you can get started today making small changes here and there that will definitely help reduce the risk of being hacked.
We have a DIY checklist of what you should do to protect your site – of course we have protected this information 🙂 , so if you would like access please click on the link below and download your free copy today.
PS : Please ensure you have scheduled backups in place !