As part of its #NoHacked campaign, Google released a report about website security trends, including hacking.
Unfortunately, one of the major statistics within the report indicates there’s a lot of progress yet to be made in reducing successful hacks. That’s because, in 2016, the number of hacked sites went up by about 32 percent.
Google’s representatives don’t expect that statistic to decrease over time. Hackers are notoriously aggressive and they often target outdated sites. Both characteristics set the stage for successful hacks.
There was another disturbing piece of data within the report, that 61 percent of webmasters didn’t receive notifications from Google that hackers infected their sites because they weren’t properly set up in Search Console.
What Is Search Console?
Once known as Google Webmaster Tools, Search Console tells a wealth of information about your site. Want to know which pages on the site are most popular, how many visitors you’re getting and whether they’re viewing the content on mobile devices? All of those things are revealed through Search Console.
Even more importantly in the context of hacking, Search Console is the primary way Google communicates with webmasters about problems with site health, including indicators of hacking. If you’re part of the statistic about people who did not receive site notifications, it’s easy to make a positive change by getting your website added and verified through Search Console.
Information Aids Proactive Behavior
Besides getting your site set up in Search Console, stay abreast of hacking trends and do what you can to be proactive by preventing them. To aid in hacking prevention, Google released new resources for webmasters.
One discusses the top ways spammers hack sites and another gives advice about how a webmaster can know if a site is hacked. There are also specific help documents about common hacks, such as the Gibberish Hack.
Adherence to Best Practices Is Also Crucial
Researchers found only six percent of hacked businesses recover when they experience a major data loss. You can put yourself in the minority and triumph over hackers, and the likelihood of that happening is higher after recruiting assistance from experts who know best practices in data security and will teach your organization how to apply them.
If you haven’t had problems with hackers attacking your site yet, that’s not a good reason to breathe easily and assume they aren’t interested. Some hackers monitor vulnerable networks for a while before actually infiltrating them.
That’s why it’s essential to get up to speed in terms of data security best practices. Then, if problems are discovered either immediately or after a while, make sure to strengthen the weak areas to prevent hackers from sniffing around your site.
Don’t Assume Immunity
Some site owners or managers fall into the trap of thinking their website is either so small that hackers won’t waste their time tampering with it or believe the site is so massive, it’ll be intimidating to hackers. It’s not a good idea to think either of those cases are true and assume you’re immune to hackers.
Recently, hackers took over a bank’s entire online presence for several hours. If your site is on the other end of the spectrum in terms of size and scope, hackers might think it’s an easy target, precisely because they think you have a low-key attitude about site security.
Protecting your site from hackers requires a multi-prong approach but getting it linked up with Google Search Console is your first order of business. After that, follow the other suggested courses of action you’ve just learned to send a clear message to hackers that your site’s well protected.