How To Know If Your Website Is Hacked or Not
Has this ever happened to you that you opened your blog and found that it’s content is either completely removed or replaced? Well, it is the sign that your website is hacked. Sometimes, you can easily tell whether your website is hacked or not but unfortunately, most of the times, it is very difficult to notice.
There are many hidden purposes of hackers which involve collecting your personal information, installing viruses and malware and spreading the infection to the users who visit your website. Therefore, hackers these days make it very difficult to notice hacking so that they can easily pursue their purposes.
If your website is hacked and you could not notice it, then accounts of people who will visit your website are also likely to be hacked. Their personal information and data are also at risk. In this way, the infection can infect millions of users. Just imagine that your website is hacked but you do not know about this. If someone else finds this, then this can seriously damage your reputation and credibility.
However, don’t be scared. With the right tools, you can easily identify a hacked website. We know that this is a very serious issue. Therefore, we have made this simple checklist so that you can identify if your website is hacked. Once you know it is hacked, you can get it back. We will also tell you how you can prevent future hacking so continue reading.
Checking Your Website For Hacks
1. Have a look at the files of your website
There are many ways of creating a website. Some people prefer hiring a web designer while others prefer coding their own website. If you are familiar with coding and managing your own website, then the first thing that you should check is the files of your website and its code. Hackers attack most websites at the following points:
- .htaccess files
- .PHP files
- media files
Above three types of files are most likely to be hacked by hackers. First, let’s understand how these types of files are prone to hacking. If you have lots of files that are piled up in the folders of your website but they are of no use, then the hackers can put the links to a malicious site. Examples of such files are media files that are stored in the non-secure location or extra PHP files.
Another way that hackers use is that they embed a code at the end of these PHP files. This is a little hard to notice because these files are already unnecessary files and you do not pay attention to them. Hackers can easily hide the malware under the code. The most common type of this code is “base64”. To locate this malware, you should search for “base64” throughout your website.
2. Use The Security Tools
To check whether your website is hacked or not, a smart idea is to take advantage of the security tools that are available. If you do not want to check the code of your own website, then these security tools can really help you but, even if you check the code of your website, you should still use the security tools.
A good example of such security tool is Google’s safe browsing checker.
This is an amazing tool that is free of cost. It will scan your website and if there is any suspicious activity associated with your website such as attack by a malware or distribution of malware; it will report it within seconds. Checking your website with the help of Google’s safe browsing checker is very easy. All you have to do is to type the following in the address bar of your browser and replace mydomain.com with your original domain name.
Another important security tool is Google Webmaster Tool. It is a useful tool that can help you to check the overall health of your website. Setting up a Google Webmaster tool on your website is very easy. Once you set it up, google will analyze your website and you can find out whether your website is affected by malware or not.
Another such tool is Security SiteCheck. It is an online tool that scans your website and if there is any problem that is suspicious then it will inform you about that. There are many factors and issues that secure SiteCheck looks for. Some of these issues are any type of viruses, SQL injections, malicious redirects, redirects, malware, Spam, anomalies, drive-by-downloads, defacement etc.
Its manual scan is free but the company charges some money for a yearly plan that helps you to keep your website clean and it is also very affordable.
Another important security tools are Platform-specific-scan. If you have created your website with the help of a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla. Then, different types of plugins and tools will be available for you that will scan your website and inform you about the suspicious activities.
How to Clean a Hacked Website
Now that you know how to check a website if it is hacked or not. It is important that you learn how to clean it if it is hacked. Always remember to keep a backup of your data so that if anything bad happens, you do not have to lose your data.
Once you locate your affected data or files, the best way to clean your website is to download those files, clean those files by deleting or modifying them and then upload those files again. Once you have re-uploaded your files on your website, make sure to scan everything again just as to make sure that there is nothing suspicious left.
Once you are sure that your website is clean, the next step is to change your passwords. You should change all of your passwords. This step will not only make your website more secure but will also prevent hackers to hack your data by using your passwords.
How to Prevent Future Hacks
Once you are sure that your website is free from malware and your data is secure, you should still take steps so that you can prevent future hacks. You can keep your website safe by monitoring it regularly and be proactive with your security.
Monitoring your website regularly.
Monitoring your website regularly is an effective way by which you can identify a hacked website and prevent future hacks. Many web hosting companies also provide the services of site monitoring.
If your web hosting service provider is providing this service, then you should definitely take advantage of this. Even if your hosting plan does not include this service, you can still monitor your website with the help of Google Analytics. You can look for unusual traffic patterns by using this tool.
Be proactive with your security.
To prevent future hacks, you should be proactive with your security. Some of the ways by which you can do this are to regularly change your password, use a strong password for all your accounts, and removing unnecessary files and data such as old media files and PHP files from your website.
If you are using themes and plugins for your website, make sure that these services are provided by reputed platforms. You should also use up to date software and keep the security settings of your website high. By following these steps, you can keep your website safe from hackers. Being proactive can also help you identify any suspicious activity quickly and you can nip the evil in the bud easily.