Is My Site Hacked? 6 Ways to Find If Your Site’s Been Hacked
Sarah is a Web Marketing Specialist at WebFX. Certified in Google Analytics and Google Ads, Sarah also specializes in content marketing, as well as marketing and advertising on eCommerce platforms like Amazon. In 2006, she was awarded Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” award. When she isn’t polishing her award, she’s spending time with her flock of ducks. Follow her on Twitter @the berry bot.
The nail-biting. The endless coffee. The sleepless nights.
You can’t keep it up, but you need to know: Is my site hacked?
The good news, you don’t have to stay up all night, grind down your nails, or consume all the coffee in the building to find out if your website has been hacked. You have plenty of free (and trusted) tools that you can use to check your site.
Keep reading to see if your website is still secure! Plus, learn about the six different ways you can check for a hacked site. If you’d like to stay in the loop on how to create a secure website and build a site that gets traffic, sign up for our weekly newsletter: Revenue Weekly.
1. View “Security Issues” in Google Search Console
The most common response is, “Is my website hacked?” “is, “Did you search for Google Search Console? ”
The Google Search Console in your security toolkit is a must-have tool. Every guide will tell you to log in to Google Search Console (or create an account) to view the ‘Security Issues’ report, regardless of how you find out you have a hacked website.
Go ahead with these steps and view your report:
- Log-in to the Google Search Console: https://search.google.com/welcome/search-console
- Go through the left-hand sidebar to the “Security & Manual Actions” tab.
- Choose “Security Issues”
- View the Report
Google will summarize several safety problems here, including:
- Phishing and sites that are deceptive
- Malware cross-site warnings
- Injections of code, content, and URL
- Host setup, SQL injection, code injection, and malware infections with the error template
You must start working with your team to fix the problem if you have any security problems identified in your “Security Issues” report. Your site has been compromised, and in order to restore your website and protect any visitors to the site, you need to act quickly.
2. Use Google’s Safe Browsing tool
One of the quickest and most reliable ways to see if your site has been compromised is provided by Google.
You can check your website’s status instantly with its Safe Browsing tool. Simply follow these steps:
- Go to a Transparency Report from Google
- Specify the URL of your site
- Display your findings
Google Secure Browsing provides the most up-to-date data on a domain and its status for many webmasters. Google regularly checks the site index, searching for malware. In order to spot phishing websites, it also utilizes advanced statistical models.
If your site appears in Google Safe Browsing as hacked or corrupted, get started to fix the problem.
You can ask Google to re-check your site through the Google Search Console once you have solved the problem. Google, as an alternative, suggests visiting StopBadware and making a request for website analysis. Google should assess and clear your site as secure within 24 hours.
3. Watch for notifications from hosting providers, browsers, and more
You may also be alerted to a compromised site through alerts.
Examples of sources of notification include a few:
In most situations, if your website gets hacked, your hosting company, like GoDaddy or HostGator, will alert you. Hosting companies usually take the website offline when pages are compromised and then give the owner an email. For updates from your hosting company, search your inbox.
You may also be alerted to a compromised site by your web browser, including Google Chrome. For example, with Google Chrome, a red screen will warn you of visiting an unsafe website and give you the option of returning to the previous page. Use your browser to visit your site and look for a warning.
Console for Google Search
You may also receive security warnings about your website if you have a Google Search Console account. Google Search Console can automatically send emails about security issues and manual actions to you, depending on your settings. Check your inbox periodically to easily receive security warnings.
Consumer of the Internet
Users on your website can, in rare cases, alert your team to security problems. For example, to share weird actions, requests, or content on your site, someone might email or call your business. Don’t ignore these people. To verify their claims and address any problems, check your website
Malware scanner websites can also catch cyberattacks. IsItWP Security Scanner, for example, for WordPress sites, is a common malware scanner. Although it does not require a malware scanner, it is a helpful tool to keep your website safe and secure. To keep your site safe, research and download one.
You can easily detect a compromised website by taking a proactive approach to tracking alerts, such as from your hosting company, Google Search Console, and a malware scanner. The faster you discover that you are hacking your website, the quicker you can respond.
4. Check search results on Google
Search results from Google are another popular way for corporations to discover that their website has been hacked.
Via Google search results, look for a compromised site by following these steps:
The results of the search should all come from your domain. If not, make sure that you have used the search operator (site:) and pronounced your domain name correctly, as this restricts the search of Google to your website’s specified domain name.
Look for the declaration, “This site may be hacked,” under the first few search results.
If you see this message, Google has detected malware on your website or phishing activity.
Alert your team again and get started on solving the problem. Sign in to the Google Search Console to view your “Security Issues” report for more information about what Google found on your site. You can ask Google to re-check your site once you have solved the problem.
5. Investigate website files
You may also be alerted to a hacked website by critical site files, like your .htaccess and .php files.
If you have no background as a developer, don’t worry about this tactic. To detect and uncover hacking, you can use Google Search Console, as well as Google Safe Browsing. If you understand what you’re looking at, only use this strategy, otherwise, it won’t help you.
You or your developer can look for malicious code and unsafe links within these files.
By looking for new pages on your site, developers can find unsafe links. These pages are created by hackers to store spammy links, and then other pages on your website are redirected to these link-filled pages. While developers can quickly uncover unsafe links, it will take longer for malicious code to look like regular code.
6. Use the Hacked Sites Troubleshooter
A final way to check for a hacked site is the Hacked Sites Troubleshooter, from Google.
Google proposes that you use this tool when you are:
Trying to find all of your website’s hacked content
Looking for any remaining problems that follow a hack
However, when you’re investigating whether you have a hacked site, you can use the Hacked Sites Troubleshooter. The free tool will walk you through the different steps and techniques to find hacked content.
How to fix a hacked website
If your response is, “Has my site been hacked?” Yes, it’s time to get to work then.
You have two alternatives when it comes to repairing a hacked website:
In-house: You can restore your site in-house if your company has the team and expertise. In most cases, before determining if you can fix the issue in-house or require the expertise of a specialized third party, your team will need to analyze the situation.
Outsourced: Don’t hesitate to outsource the problem if your company doesn’t have the team size or ability to fix your website. To uninstall the malicious code and fix your site, work with your hosting provider or another experienced company.
Each website hack is different, which is why repairing a site is not a straightforward or easy approach.
Your approach, like the hack itself, will depend on many factors. What counts is that your team reacts to the problem immediately and begins to fix the website as quickly as possible. You can also inform, without delay, any affected parties, such as clients.
Protecting your website from WebFX hacking
your website has been hacked
A hacker can quickly take advantage of your site and the security of its users, whether because of easy-to-break passwords, malware software, or unsecured websites. That’s why, as much as possible, your company must secure and protect its website.
We offer website maintenance services at WebFX to keep the security of your site up to date. We provide a complete package for protecting your website throughout the year, from monthly to hourly to after-hours.