6 Ways to Tell if Your Website Was Hacked


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If you have the slightest suspicion that your website is hacked or has been hacked for some time, then that’s probably the case. At that point, you should act as soon as possible. Most of the times, people will complain that their browser is alerting them of the hack when they visit their site. It’s either that or the hosting provider took the site offline. This could reveal one scary truth – the hackers have invaded the site for quite some time now, and they might have done considerable damage. Ideally, you should invest in some security products to safely encrypt your website. You should do anything to avoid hackers and invasive attacks. But first, let’s take a look at how you should check whether your website’s health bar. We’ll talk about outside sources here, taking into consideration that even the most vigilant system administrator could overlook certain aspects.

  • Your browser gives you a warning

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If you or any other visitor stumbled upon this when accessing the website on Chrome, then your site is most probably infected with a healthy dose of malware. For example, this warning tells you that your website has been used as a den for phishing attempts. Links to your website are being sent to other people, tricking them into doing what the hacker wants once they visit the website. How does the hacker achieve this? Malware.

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The same goes for this warning. It’s self-explanatory, I think. Someone has access to your website’s internal structure, and they installed specific malware programs which infect the devices of your visitors.

  • The hosting provider takes your website offline

Your hosting provider might receive complaints from other users that your site is hacked, or their own autonomous screening programs have detected something wrong. Either way, they’ll immediately cut off your website from the internet. Keep in mind that some hosting providers might also format your server to prevent the infection from spreading to other users. It would be good to have a back-up close-by, just in case this happens. After they’ve closed down your website, you’ll usually receive a notification on your email.

  • Google search results show your website as potentially harmful

If you see this message right next to your website on the Google searches, then you’re probably dealing with hackers.

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Sometimes, Google will remove your website from the search results altogether, if they have strong reasons to believe the malware is very risky. At times, they’ll still show it, but accompanied by a warning notification. They’ll either say that “This site may be hacked”, when they’ve noticed strange changes made to the website, or that “This site may harm your computer”, which means they’ve successfully detected the malware and they’re reminding you of this. It’s also possible for your website to display different content in different countries as part of a hack. The only way you can detect this is if you use a VPN to check your website from different countries.

  • Your Malware Scanner warns you of an infection

If you’ve been listening to me and decided to employ a malware scanner, then most likely, this is where you’ll first find out that your site is being hacked. With a malware scanner, the time between the infection and its discovery is kept to a minimum, hence its efficiency and my advice. Check your email daily, so you don’t miss any warnings when they do come.

  • Customer complaints

The truth is, your customers get to use your website way more than you do, and if you have thousands of visitors per day, this could be a very handy warning system. Quite cynical, I know, but it gets the job done. If someone informs you of fishy things related to your website, don’t wait and allow things to get out-of-hand! Take it offline if need be!

  • Google’s Search Console warns you of any infections

This console is the former “Google Webmaster Tools”. The name says enough, I think. Use it to check for any inconsistencies Google may have found when it’s indexing your website. It will even provide you with a few statistics with customer visits. As usual, you’ll receive the notifications by mail. So, if you see something like this, then your website is probably hacked.

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How you can detect a hack before anyone notices

Visiting your website regularly should be your first and foremost prevention solution against malware and hacks. Just make sure to check the code and the databases regularly, and perform a couple of security checks as well. By using a Source Code Scanner, you can inspect all the PHP code and all the other source code to check for any known malware patterns. These programs will either check for any malware signatures that match their database of known infections or compare the suspicious code with a good version of it.

In this way, both old and newer types of malware can be safely detected before the infection gets to spread forth. You can also monitor the site traffic and check for any spikes. These appear when hackers use your website for a spamvertizing campaign. In plain language, they’ll include your link in spam emails which they send to people. Then, they get redirected to the true serpent hiding in the bushes. However, your website will still record a spike in traffic when the users first access the initial link. Searching for these traffic spikes with tools like Google Analytics will cut your time in half, and get you to the bottom of the issue. You’ll quickly have a general idea of whether your website has been hacked or not. Most hacked sites have these traffic spikes, so it’s quite a good hint in that direction.

Conclusion

Keeping your website malware-free is not that hard to accomplish, especially if you proactively search for any issues beforehand. Be vigilant, and you won’t be taken by surprise, that’s the golden rule. Build a routine of constant security check-ups, use Google’s Search Console, and remember to check your email daily for any warning notifications.

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Brought to you by Bogdan Patru – is a cybersecurity news analyst at VPNTeacher. He has a passion for international data policy and how it affects citizens’ privacy.

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

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How Artificial Intelligence Is Reshaping Email Marketing (Infographic)


Artificial Intelligence, technology

Email is one of the highest-performing marketing channels around, but it doesn’t mean that developments are no longer possible. Email marketing is proving to be more efficient with the introduction of the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI). Practically all aspects of email marketing are compatible with how AI is supposed to work.

Since AI programs have machine learning features built into them, you can direct your email campaigns to the right audience based on your customers’ past behaviour, activities, and interaction with your brand. As a tool that’s capable of collating data about your email marketing performance, AI helps ensure that you’re able to optimise various elements in your email, from subject line to copy and CTA – so recipients will be compelled to find out what’s in it for them.

The following infographic also examines the role of AI in streamlining your email marketing through automation as well as setting business goals and making projections through data analytics.

How-Artificial-Intelligence-is-Reshaping-Email-Marketing

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Brought to you by Connextdigital

Post submitted by Jess Andriani

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

26 must-know ecommerce stats for 2019


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How often do you shop online? Whether it’s a late-night clothing haul or a much-needed replacement part for your vacuum, customers are making more frequent and significant online purchases. As of today, two-thirds of Americans have made at least one online purchase in the past month. But as of 2040, 95% of all purchases are expected to be made online.

With the boom in e-commerce comes a rise in customer expectations. If you’re a retailer, you now need to focus more effort into shipping times, technology, and customer service. Perfecting the online shopping experience for your customers will be crucial if you want to survive and thrive in this changing landscape.

This infographic below covers 26 must-know online shopping statistics for 2019.

ecommerce-statistics

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Post submitted by Karli K.

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Billionaires could solve your money problems.


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With financial woes in the US piling up there is an extreme wealth disparity that keeps growing. According to a Washington Post article, the top 1% of Americans own more than the lowest 90% combined.

At this point, minimum wage jobs do not cover basic needs and $7.25 an hour keeps many working families in poverty while the debt keeps growing. The average American has over $6300 in credit card debt alone. That’s $12.6k for the over 40% of two-parent families in the US that are holding this kind of debt.

Students have been stricken with $1.5 Trillion in student loan debt, a number that has grown markedly over the last few years. The class of 2017 graduated with close to $40k in debt on average!

What could possibly help? Maybe billionaires are the answer. Though most would consider a cadre of billionaires getting together to be the start of a massive global conspiracy if the around 2200 billionaires on the planet decided to use their money for good collectively, what could they accomplish?

Luckily, you don’t have to search too far to find the answer. Below, our friends at Self Lender researched to see what financial good the richest of the rich could do if they just put their pocketbooks to it.

The results are astonishing! With likely less than most of these .00003 per cent of the population spend on a fancy vacation, the group of super-rich could quickly bring the minimum wage up to $15 an hour. Also, a slightly larger investment could eradicate all credit card debt in the US.

The infographic below shows what might happen if you could get every billionaire to give a little bit. In the meantime though, keep paying your premiums.

Billionaires

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Brought to you by our friend at the Self Lender

Post submitted by Emily Campbell

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Tips to Boost Wifi Signal [Infographic]


How-to-Boost-WiFi-router

Whether you use the internet for work or play, it’s more or less like a culture in our world today. We expect nothing less than fast, reliable internet service but unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Most of us have experienced dead zones, slow internet speeds and long chats with tech support help. Don’t worry; you are not in this situation alone hahaha. That’s why our friends at Panda Security has put together a visual on ten ways to improve your WiFi signal. Whether physical obstacles block your WiFi router, or it needs an extender to provide internet in spotty places, this infographic has tips and tricks to boost your WiFi.

Below is an infographic which outlines how you can boost your wifi signal:

How-to-boost-wifi-signal

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Brought to you by our friend at the Panda Security

Post submitted by Katie Santos

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Four Pillars of Brainstorming


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Whether you love brainstorming or feel intimidated by the process, it’s always great to brush up on your idea generation skills. Coming up with creative ideas on demand is no easy feat, but implementing tried and true brainstorming best practices can help make the process easier. If you’re feeling stuck during a brainstorm, consider implementing the four pillars of brainstorming, a framework created by advertiser Alex F. Osborn in the 1940s. Alex F. Osborn created the term “brainstorm” and developed four pillars that you can use when coming up with new ideas.

By going for quality, withholding criticism, welcoming wild ideas, and combining and improving ideas, you can radically transform the success of your brainstorming sessions. Check out the infographic below from our friends at Fundera that outlines the four pillars and provides actionable tips to improve idea generation. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comment box below.

Brainstorming-ideas-infographic

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Brought to you by Fundera

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

24 Google Doc Hacks & Add-ons to Make Your Life Easier


Google-Hacks

Twenty years ago, collaborating with people in real-time over the internet seemed difficult to understand. Now we do it every day with the click of a button. Google Docs is a powerful tool that makes working with people both near and far a breeze, but do you know how to use it to its full capacity? Go beyond just sharing docs and leaving comments with these 24 Google Doc hacks and add-ons.

Google Hacks Infograph

Excited to save some time? With these hacks you no longer have to manually go through a document and look for duplicates or change the capitalization structure letter by letter. Though these may just seem like minor details, they will make a major difference in productivity!

To keep your files neat and organized on your computer, you can go the extra step and download Google Drive for Mac. This will save and sync your files on both your hard drive and in the cloud, so you have a backup.

You can also download the Google Doc phone application to easily view documents when you’re on the go. If you’re worried about losing internet connection and have to do a last minute edit, you can set particular documents to be available offline. Just click the three dots next to the document’s title and choose “Available offline”. These documents are automatically put in an “Offline” folder.

Staying organized is the key to managing your workload and optimizing your time, and these easy, actionable tips are sure to help you do just that.

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Brought to you by GetVoip

Edited by Temitope Adelekan