Hacked Off: The Hacked Content Threat Remains

You may have become so resigned to the threat of being hacked that you see it as inevitable.

Breaches of high-profile websites such as Dropbox and LastPass could also have left you with the sense that your website is an unlikely target.

You may be hacked off, but the threat of hacked content remains, and in 2016 there have been more and more reports of hacked and spam content showing up in Google search engine results.

Rise in Hacked Content

According to some web experts, hackers are even more aggressive than in previous years. Sites hacked using older tactics like “bait and switch”, where new content is injected into existing sites to piggy-back on Google rankings, can show up in Google top results.

Other techniques include hiding links and text that are difficult for web managers to detect and using malicious code to redirect web visitors to harmful or spammy pages.
Hacked Off
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The Impact of Being Hacked

Preventing your site from being hacked is about vigilance and constantly improving site security. Weak passwords and unmoderated websites increase the risk that potential clients could visit your site and leave with malicious content on their computers.

Hacking can have even more disastrous effects if you collect personal data. Your existing clients could lose trust in your brand if their information ends up in the wrong hands, prompting them to delete their accounts with you altogether.

Not dealing with a hacked site immediately can affect your Google rank, and hacked sites that come to Google’s attention are flagged in the results as harmful.

What You Can Do

There are a few more things that you can do apart from ensuring the strength of your passwords and keeping an eye on your site. Aardvark Creative, who offer website design in Bristol, advise that it useful to maintain an ongoing relationship with your web builder, who can manage your website and keep a back-up of its content.

If you manage your site in-house, ensure software is up to date and that you use webmaster tools such as the Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to run daily security scans.

Your choice of hosting provider also makes a difference, and the best ones offer a range of security and support services to prevent hacking.

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