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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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.

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Should You Always Listen to the Customer? [Infographic]


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How your business interacts with customers is essential to its success. While hearing out customer complaints or feedback is helpful to determine what’s working or what’s not, there are times when it’s equally as important to move forward.

It’s easy to spend all of your time fixing what’s broken, but you may want to take a step back to evaluate if this is helping your business grow. If care is not taken, you may miss out on valuable opportunities to innovate, shock and surprise your customers, or challenge people’s thinking particularly if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner looking for ways to move the needle.

While listening to your customer is important, check out this infographic below by Valpak for a different perspective on the topic. They list company scenarios, marketing tips, and common customers you’ll face along the way.

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Post submitted by Megan Darmody

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Time Management Best Practices for the Busy Entrepreneur


Time Management Tips

Time management is an essential skill to master – whether at home or work. People always want to get things done so they can rest more comfortable when everything is over.

Questions such as where to start from, when to start, or how to start are some of the issues people face on a daily basis in the quest of finding/learning how to manage time effectively.

That said, there are some smart insights you can follow to solve the highlighted questions.

Learning this skill takes time, but following the necessary steps would ensure you acquire them. Some of the steps you should consider is learning to say ‘no’ when you have a lot on your plate already instead of jumping at every opportunity that is knocking at you. You have to be smart when it comes to what you accept and decline. Another point worth mentioning that is relating to the topic under discussion is delegation. It is imperative that a person knows how to delegate when the situation is overwhelming, this way, a person can keep tasks going without any hiccups.

These are some of the things you can take to heart and start mulling over. To know more about the best practices on time management, check out this infographic below:

Time Management Best Practices

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Post submitted by Tanya Alvarez

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Tips to Boost Wifi Signal [Infographic]


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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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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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10 Ways HR Managers Can Boost Workplace Productivity [Infographic]


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Workplace productivity is a business goal that may require two things to become attainable. The first is the investment from the company and secondly, the implementation of friendly human resources (HR) policies such as incentive programs for employees.

Research backs the idea that a top precursor to workplace productivity is to have a reward system in your organisation. While the company will need to allocate financial resources toward employee incentives, the rewards are all encompassing across crucial areas in the business.

One study done among UK companies says explicitly that 85 percent of workers felt highly motivated when there were incentives at stake. And not only that, 73 percent of the employees observed a “good” or “very good” office atmosphere during incentive season. For the company, the benefits of an incentive programme are quite pronounced as the study also found that employee productivity is tied to as much as £80,000 ($106,00) increase in weekly profit on average.

Below is an infographic that shows the different ways HR managers can further boost productivity in the workplace. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comment box below.

HR

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16 Gmail Tips & Tricks To Streamline Your Inbox


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Are you suffering from email overload?

The average person spends 28% of the work week reading and responding to emails. This equates to 13 hours a week, and 650 hours a year. Consider how productive you could be if you had a few extra hours every week to focus on the projects that really matter.

It’s not just your professional life that suffers due to information overload. 59% of Americans say that they check their emails outside of office hours.

So what’s wrong with that?

Constant connection comes with a price. Even if you stay on top of your inbox, studies have found that constantly checking your email can lead to burnout, health issues, and personal problems. A work/life balance is essential to staying healthy — both physically and mentally. It’s a no-brainer that burnt-out, sick, and unhappy employees aren’t going to be at their best when it really matters.

While you might not be able to cut down the volume of emails that you receive from colleagues and clients, you can use a variety of tools, tips, and tricks to help you make your inbox more manageable.

One of the reasons why Gmail is preferred by individuals and corporations alike is due to Google’s attention to detail when it comes to features and functionalities. Many of these tips and techniques will require you to spend some time tinkering around with your settings. But once you’ve mastered some of these shortcuts and helpful hacks, you’ll save yourself from hours of wasted time.

Below is the visual to learn the tricks.

Gmail Hack

By optimising your email account to work for you instead of against you, you can boost your productivity levels, get more work done, and reduce the risk of allowing an important email to slip through the cracks.

Do you have any preferred methods for keeping your inbox manageable and tidy? Share them in the comment section below!

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Brought to you by GetVoip

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Productivity On The Road: Work Full-Time, Travel Solo, Have Fun


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I’ve traveled solo while working full-time for ten-plus months, across more than 15 countries. It’s one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve ever done. My work breaks over the past year have included things like scuba diving in Belize, polo lessons in Buenos Aires, music festivals in Hungary, and more.

Working full-time while on the road is not easy, but it’s definitely a skill that can be mastered over time.

For those interested in the nuts and bolts of how to travel while working, there are already several great articles out there explaining how it’s done. If you’re not familiar, I recommend starting with Toptal COO Breanden Beneschott’s guide.

In terms of logistics and planning, pulling off a full-time work schedule while on the road is much easier and cheaper than you probably think (at least in my experience), and the infrastructure for doing so continues to grow rapidly.

However, the following problem is far more difficult to solve, especially when traveling solo: Can you fully enjoy your travels while not sacrificing the quality of your work?

Striking The Right Balance

Can you navigate travel logistics, work full-time, and take care of yourself physically and mentally, all while setting aside enough time to explore the places you’re visiting, find fun things to do, and meet new people?

Since you won’t have much of a support system when you’re alone in a foreign country and (usually) don’t speak the language, finding the right balance is critical. Your routine has to be sustainable in the long run, and if you aren’t careful, things can go downhill in a hurry.

As I’ve been traveling, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from friends and colleagues about the psychology of this lifestyle, including everything from how to avoid loneliness to how to maximize productivity.

It’s not for everyone, but this lifestyle can be both incredibly fun and extremely productive, provided you figure out how to do it in a way that works for you. As I’ve traveled, I’ve noticed some key habits, mindsets, and tricks that are important for anyone who is considering working and traveling to keep in mind, regardless of their occupation or interests.

This post covers some of the most important strategies I’ve picked up while on the road.

Go To X To Do Y

When you have the option of living anywhere, it can be difficult to choose a destination, and going to places to see/do touristy things can get old fast. I’m a big fan of going to places to do specific (non-touristy) activities, as opposed to just going to places that sound interesting on paper.

In the past months, I’ve gone to:

  • Portugal to learn how to surf.
  • Berlin and Zurich for conferences.
  • The UK to take a trip through Wales.
  • Santorini to join friends who were on vacation.
  • Israel to visit family and work on my Hebrew.
  • Belize to learn how to scuba dive.

Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina for the Toptal Roadtrip.

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Working full-time and traveling the world might be easier than you think, especially when you’re traveling for a purpose.

I’ve found that having a purpose to your travels leads to a few great outcomes:

  • It’s a lot easier to structure your time and priorities.
  • It’s easier to meet fascinating people with shared interests.
  • You learn amazing new skills that you’ve always wanted to learn.

When you’re traveling solo and devoting a lot of time to work, it’s important to limit the extent to which you’re “re-solving” the same problems on a daily basis. What I mean by that is, you don’t want to find yourself waking up every morning without any plans for where you’re going to work, what you’re going to work on, where you’re going to eat, who you’re going to meet, what non-work things you’re going to do, and so on.

Not only is it easy to waste a lot of time and energy answering the same questions over and over again, but it will also quickly make you feel like you’re swimming in circles without accomplishing much.

To be clear, I am just as strongly against doing anything that’s “too organized” while traveling. I’m pretty averse to resorts, guided tours, and so on.

As a good friend of mine likes to say:

“I always love seeing big cruise ships. The more I see of them, the fewer people there will be wherever I am.”

The adventure and uncertainty of traveling is half the fun, and it’s important not to lose sight of that by planning too much.

In short, don’t just go to Thailand. Go to Thailand to motorbike from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Go to Brazil because you’ve always wanted to experience Carnival. Go to Nepal because you dream of hiking the Annapurna trail.

The possibilities are endless, and it’s when you go somewhere with a goal in mind that things begin to take off.

Set Aside Time Every Day For Learning

When you’re working at a startup, there are always a million different tasks that need to be accomplished, and you’re constantly in a race against time. You can easily spend all of your waking hours knocking things off of your to-do list, and with so much that needs to get done, it can be hard to justify investing time in anything that’s not the task at hand, or at least directly related to the task.

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Being on the road is no excuse for complacency. You can work, play, and master new skills, just as you would from home.

However, taking time each day for the explicit purpose of improving your skills and learning new things has a profound and positive impact in several important ways: Continue reading “Productivity On The Road: Work Full-Time, Travel Solo, Have Fun”

9 Ultimate Tips To Increase Productivity At Work – INFOGRAPHIC


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In your workplace, there is always someone you are influencing indirectly either in a way that is good or the other way. So therefore, leaders of organisations pay attention to their employees more than ever before. Leaders mentor their followers passionately and constantly, work towards creating a happier workplace for employees to carry out their duties every single day. This act can be seen as one of the ways to boost the morale of employees’ positively in order to affect the ROI aside other organisational goals.

As leaders of organisations, our focus should be about how to empower, how to maximise employee’s potentials and also, to make their lives easier by equipping them with the right information needed day in day out. If and when we can practise these little things religiously, then we can be rest assured of achieving our desired organisational mission, vision and growth. Below are 9 ultimate tips to help employees’ increase their productivity at work.

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Infographic Source:CASEMORE & CO