The Google ‘Blacklist’

Hackers have been around since the beginning of the internet and aren’t going anywhere fast. When hackers get into a business website, they will normally attach malware to as many pages as they can. Google will then see this malware, and identify the site as infected. When users click on the site from Google, a message like in the picture will pop up and show users they could be at risk.

Now what does this mean for small businesses? Small businesses are usually prime targets for hackers because the security of their sites is much easier to crack than that of large corporations. When a business gets hacked, customers see this message when they click on their website from Google. If they are new customers, they may not even want to trust the company. Users that already visit the business regularly may lose trust in the business as well. Imagine if your site was malicious for an entire month. There is an incredible amount of sales lost in that time frame, and small businesses need to keep constant cash flow to stay afloat.

Let’s say a hacker gets into your website and causes some problems. According to Google, users need to remove the malware from the hacker, identify the cause of the attack, reset passwords, and then relaunch the website. Once they have fixed the issues, the site should be taken off the ‘Blacklist’ within one day. Many companies say that it actually takes longer than this, and many customers think they have cleaned up their websites, but there often remains problems they didn’t see and have to start all over. So how does my company stay off the ‘Blacklist’?

The first thing that companies can do is hire a company such as DreamHost. They monitor the sites of over 350,000 customers. and 40% are small businesses according to CNN. If your company is hacked, and you aren’t technical enough to fix it on your own, you can also hire them to get the bugs out and get the site back up and running. The real key for staying off of the ‘Blacklist’ is to pay a little extra for your web security. If your business is predominately online, this is the equivalent to insuring your building. Don’t be cheap with your security because it will eventually come back to bite.

People need to realize the dangers that hackers can bring and ensure that they keep their businesses running smoothly by staying off the ‘Blacklist’ forever.

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