Has your site ever been compromised? Getting hacked is commonplace for websites these days, even the ones with all the security measures in place. Often times, you will know when your site is hacked. But not always. Hackers might try to exploit your users by not letting their presence being felt by you immediately. They might silently add spammy pages, and then use these for malicious purposes, such as redirecting users to other undesired destinations. It's important to find out about hacked content on your site, and fix it as soon as possible. This post can help.
How to check for hacked content?
Sometimes, Google will indicate a hacked site in search result pages. If you see such an indication for your own website, that should be your first and most obvious clue that something is seriously wrong.
Hacked site indication
Also keep a vigilante eye out for any other suspicious activity on your site. This might include new pages appearing on your site. Performing a site search of your website will help. Sometimes, you might see new directories springing up inside your website's directories. So regularly keep checking the files and directories of your site for any suspicious activity.
You can also set up Google Alert for any malicious activity on your site. For example, setting up a Google Alert for [site:yoursite.com (gambling|viagra|porn|poker|casino)] etc will let you know by email when any of the given keywords are detected on your website.
Click here to learn more about setting up Google Alerts.
Unnatural queries on in Webmaster Tools
The Search Queries page in Google Webmaster Tools shows the queries that have returned URLs from your site in search results. If your site is hacked, you might see some unexpected queries for the past few days.
Email forwarding in Webmaster Tools
If Google detects that your website might be hacked, you might get a message in your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard regarding the issue. But who has the time to check the GWT inbox everyday? For that, you have a solution, and can set up email forwarding to your personal email address. Google doesn't detect all kinds of hacked content, but it at least gives you a fighting chance with the most common ones.
How to fix hacked content?
The Security Issues section in Webmaster Tools will show you hacked pages that Google has detected on your site. It also provides detailed information to help you fix your hacked site. Make sure to read through this documentation so you can quickly and effectively fix your site.
Protection from potential attacks
It's better to prevent sites from being hacked than to clean up hacked content. Hackers will often take advantage of security vulnerabilities on commonly used website management software. Here are some tips to keep your site safe from hackers:
Always keep the software that runs your website up-to-date.
If your website management software tools offer security announcements, sign up to get the latest updates. If the software for your website is managed by your hosting provider, try to choose a provider that you can trust to maintain the security of your site.Explore More
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