What should I do about Malware?

As a business I suspect everyone has heard of malware and are constantly warned about it. However, to many businesses it still feels like something that happens to others and they don’t consider the very real business risks.

A businesses website is targeted by hackers hourly, looking for out of date software or easily guessed and compromised admin passwords. Once they find a crack, they will make themselves at home.

Our experience is Malware goes one of three ways, they install some pages that look like PayPal, Amazon or Ebay which they will later link people too to capture their passwords, they redirect your website to a another website either a shop they run or one they are getting paid to get traffic too OR they install a piece of software that installs on visitors PCs infecting them. Hackers aim to leave the primary website intact so their malware remains undetected so you might not even know you are infected.

Once your website is infected it can be extremely damaging for your business and brand. If your business relies upon an e-commerce website it can put visitor off buying, if the malware is flagged by google your website will be blocked with a red screen by google stopping visitors browsing the website and dropping your website out of google listings. Visitors PCs maybe infected and later your website could be identified as the cause further damaging your brand.

Once your website has been flagged for malware your company emails will be blacklisted also so important communications to clients are likely to be bounced by their spam filters.

Finally, if your website was designed and built by a developer that’s no longer around and you haven’t secured regular backups you might end up losing the entire site, data and your investment in it.

What can I do?

Firstly, and most importantly keep your website up to date and admin passwords are secure. Rather than changing passwords frequently it might be better to use one unique password per site.

Secondly, Malware is detectable and using a product such as SiteLock to monitor your website daily can ensure you are notified first of any malware and can proactively resolve.

Thirdly, ensure your website is listed with google webmaster tools, so you are notified by google of any issues with your website and have access to resolve them should they occur.

Finally, maintaining regular backups is essential. Understanding how mission critical databases and files are and maintaining a clean backup of core website files is hugely important. Our web hosting packages include a free daily backup, and more frequent backups for mission critical data is available via JetBackups

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