People understand that their laptops and email accounts can be hacked, but even experienced business owners aren’t always aware that their websites can also be hacked. It’s clearly an undesirable situation, so make sure you learn the key signs that indicate your site has been infiltrated and then protect your website from potential attacks.
- Drop in Traffic
Sometimes traffic to your website drops, but this generally happens quite steadily. If you’re looking through your analytics report and see a very sudden drop in traffic, it could be that your site has been hacked. A hacked site won’t always show reduced traffic, but hackers will often hijack your own traffic and then redirect it to their own spam-filled websites.
- Links Have Been Added
Another way that hackers can direct your traffic towards their sites is by inserting hyperlinks into your current text. This can be particularly hard to notice if you have many webpages. For example, your business blog may contain hundreds of separate posts; you won’t be checking them too often, so a hyperlink can be added in to attract your readers without attracting your own attention. Luckily enough, most dashboards let you see all the websites your own site has linked to. If you think you’ve been hacked, it pays to look through them to check that every link is legitimate.
- Your Website is Gone
This is a reasonably obvious sign that something has gone wrong, but it’s also one that people often fail to recognise. The fact is that your site may sometimes go down simply due to problems with your webhost. People assume this is the case and don’t check for signs of hacking once the site is back up. If your site has gone down for even a short period, check with the webhost that this was due to something on their end.
- Slow Load Times
People hate slow websites, and Google now drops your ranking if your site isn’t responsive enough. Unfortunately, a hacked site is often surprisingly slow. Again, it’s not a hard and fast rule, but hackers can sometimes use their access to your site to send lots of spam emails or other requests from your server. Such activity is going to slow things down significantly.