Is My Website Hacked? 7 Telltale Signs | WP Support Specialists 

It’s every business owner and blogger’s nightmare – is my website hacked?  You may have noticed that your site isn’t operating as smoothly as normal, or, if you rarely use your own website (as you’re busy running your business), regular clients call to say the website isn’t working properly.

Nowadays, hackers are sophisticated and the signs that your site has been hacked range from “obviously something’s gone wrong” to “I have a sense all is not right”.  It’s important to identify if your website has been hacked as soon as possible – so you can take steps to get it fixed.  Here are 6 telltale signs to look out for.

Is My Website Hacked?  The “Obviously Something’s Gone Wrong” Signs 

1. Different Website Entirely

If you type your website url into your browser, or click a link for your site but find yourself on a completely different site (often one of a risqué nature), it’s highly likely you’ve been hacked.

Some hackers think it’s a jolly jape to hijack a website and redirect all traffic elsewhere but it won’t please your clients!

Take action immediately!

Would you like a free website hacking check? Contact us today!        Is my website hacked?

2. Website disappears

When your browser tells you that your website doesn’t exist, don’t panic right away – check for simple solutions first: has the domain name expired?  Is the website down for maintenance? Is there an issue with your web hosting company? Once you’ve ruled out obvious alternatives, it’s time to consider that your website has been hacked

3. Browser alert

When trying to access your site, if you see the red malware screen, you have a definite problem that needs checking out.  Get on the case quickly – nothing so likely as to put the frighteners on clients as seeing this screen when they try to click to your site.

A big concern here is how long this has been an issue and how many visitors you’ve lost because of this. The nature of people is they are unlikely to reach out and tell you unless they are already a good customer.

 

has my website been hacked

4. Multiple Windows

If you click through to your website and multiple windows pop up, or when you click on various links on your site you find you are redirected to other sites.

If this is the case, all is not well, and it’s very likely devious hackers are behind the scenes.  Time to get your site checked out.

 

Would you like a free website hacking check? Contact us today!        Is my website hacked?

5. Words That Don’t Belong

If odd words are popping up on your site, or strange links to other sites that you know nothing about, it’s probable you have been hacked.

6. No Access

If your normal log in to the admin area of your website is not working, a hacker may have got into the site via the Admin account or cPanel and changed the passwords.

Is My Website Hacked?  The “I Have A Sense All Is Not Right” Sign

7. Exceedingly Slow To Load

If your website is suddenly much, much slower than normal, and you get a timed out message before the connection can be made,  there may be hackers using your site to send out spam emails.

There are several problems with this

a) your clients won’t bother to wait to see if the site loads

b) if a connection can’t be made, then your clients will remember you as the company with the dodgy site

c) if hackers are sending out 1000’s of spam emails from your domain, your website is in danger of being blacklisted. You Internet provider may also cut-off your internet connection and your ability to send and receive email.

 

Would you like a free website hacking check? Contact us today!        Is my website hacked?

 

If you’re thinking then it’s best to seek professional advice as soon as possible.  Hacked websites not only prevent potential clients navigating their way around them without problem, but they can also offend your clients with inappropriate material and get your domain blacklisted in the eyes of the search engines – meaning you have no possibility to rank in search results.

 

We offer a range of WordPress support services if you require help. Just contact us for a no obligation chat!

SSL Certificates And How to Switch from HTTP to HTTPS

You may have heard of SSL Certificates and be aware that Google is keen to see webmasters migrate their HTTP websites to HTTPS, all in the name of website security.  But if you’ve unclear what the fuss is all about, why you should make the move, and indeed how to do it, Matt Banner at On Blast Blog has all the answers.

This infographic is a checklist covering everything you need to know and how to migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS.

Enjoy the read – and remember, if you experts to migrate your WordPress website to HTTPS, we’re here to help!

 

how to switch from http to https Credit: On Blast Blog

Is Your UK Website One of the Half a Million at Risk?

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, there were over 5 million small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK at the end of 2014.  Since nearly 25% of websites globally use WordPress, we can estimate that there are 1.25 million UK WordPress websites supporting UK SMEs.

No surprise there.  But the shocking fact is that a high proportion of these websites are not being updated regularly. w3techs.com reported that 23% of WordPress websites they surveyed had not been updated to the current version, and our own small survey of 250 UK websites showed that 75% weren’t using the current version!

It’s possible to crunch the numbers and conclude that between 290,000 and 937,500 UK WordPress websites are probably out of date – let’s just call it half a million.

So does this indicate that half a million business owners don’t care about their website?  Are they not bothered about malware, hackers and how they might consequently lose clients? Are they indifferent to the improvements that each new version of WordPress offers its users?

Surely not.  It’s far more likely that most SME owners have simply no idea about the importance of regularly updating their WordPress website.

So let’s reiterate the importance of updating your WordPress website.

Firstly you need to understand that WordPress issues Major and Minor releases.  Major updates (two digit releases eg. 3.9 and 4.2) include code changes and new features. Webmasters need to upgrade their own website manually with these. The Minor updates (three digit releases eg. 4.1.4 and 4.2.1) are intended to fix bugs and patch security issues.  These are automatically installed on the website.

By keeping your WordPress website up to date, you’ll reap the following benefits:

  1. Improved Security

Hackers are unfortunately a way of life nowadays and they are always trying to infiltrate WordPress websites to cause mischief and havoc – ranging from loss of data, sending inappropriate communications to your customers and trying to spread their evil far and wide.

Fortunately because WordPress is an open source platform, the massive community of developers and users will quickly spread the word if a security vulnerability is found in the current version.

For people with an updated website, minor releases to fix the vulnerability will be installed automatically.  But if a business owner has let the website version control lapse, the website will have to be updated manually to take advantage of these critical security improvements.  If they don’t, their website is at significant risk from hackers.

The problem is that manual updates are quite complicated for people who aren’t experts in WordPress.  There are a number of hints and tips found on the WordPress.org website such as never upgrade across more than 2 major releases at one time.  The manual process also requires that you back up your database and files, check the backup has worked and deactivate plugins before you can start to update your WordPress version.

If you care about the security of your website and don’t want to lose clients and income due to a hacked website, then you must keep your WordPress version regularly updated.  If your website is powered by a very old version (3 or before) you will probably need expert help to get you up and running on the current version.

  1. Better Website Performance

Major WordPress updates come out 3 or 4 times a year and are destined to improve your website performance, often by offering more functionalities.  For example, new features in version 4.2 included better updates from the AddPlugins screen, Emoji Support and an improved ‘Press This’ feature.

After a Major update, many plugins will also get updated to maintain their compatibility with the core WordPress site and to take advantage of the new features.

If you want a website that performs well and offers all the most recent features of WordPress and associated plugins, you need to update your WordPress version regularly.

Summary – Considering the statistics about WordPress updates, it seems clear that SME owners really don’t understand the importance of keeping their WordPress website updated. But perhaps after reading this article, they will check the WordPress version powering their website, and update it without delay!