Malware – How Does It Affect Me?

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Every site is vulnerable to malware

Every site, once it goes online, is vulnerable to malware attack. First, what is a malware? Malware is software created for malicious purposes. While it is commonly associated with computers, malware can also be used to attack and infect websites.

What happened if there’s a malware attack?
1. It can deface and change the appearance of your site.

Have you seen a website that should display corporate information, but suddenly display something not relevant to that corporation? An example is shown as below:

Defacements allow cybercriminals to replace your website’s content with their own message, which often promotes a political or religious agenda. This attack could turn visitors away by offending them with the shocking message and/or preventing them from accessing your website entirely.

2. Hide in advertisements.

Malvertising spreads malware by prompting users to click on an ad, or through a “drive-by” download, which automatically infects a visitor when they visit the site. Cybercriminals can either inject malicious code into an advertisement or upload their own malicious ad to an ad network that distributes the ad across millions of websites at a time.

3. Send your visitors to other (usually malicious) sites.

If visitors to your site are redirected to another site – especially one that looks suspicious – you have been affected by a malicious redirect.

4. Grant cybercriminals access to your site.

True to their name, backdoors are a type of malware that acts as an entry point for cybercriminals, allowing them to gain and maintain persistent access to your site. With access to your website, cybercriminals can expose sensitive customer data, alter your site’s appearance, and more.

5. Place spam content on your site.

Unusual links or comments suddenly appearing on your site or a significant and sudden loss in traffic are all signs of SEO (search engine optimization) spam.

SEO spam takes advantage of two techniques used to help websites rank well in search results: the use of relevant search terms on a web page and acquiring links from outside sources. By inserting hundreds or thousands of files containing malicious backlinks and unrelated keywords into your site, cybercriminals can cause a drop in your site’s search rankings, resulting in a dramatic drop in website visits.

6. Flag your site with a warning and remove it from search results.

Google and other popular search engines review websites for malware and may remove infected sites from search results in an effort to keep users from visiting them. This practice is known as blacklisting. Search engines may also place a warning on blacklisted sites in order to protect visitors from malicious content. The warning lets visitors know that the site is infected, and prevents them from entering. Not only will this cause your traffic to drop, but those visitors may distrust your site and never return.

Consequences of website malware

Your reputation, website traffic, and/or revenue will likely take a hit if your website is infected with malware. Suspicious activity or signs of malware on your site could make your site appear untrustworthy, damaging your reputation and preventing visitors from returning. In fact, 65 percent of online shoppers who have had their personal info stolen refuse to return to the site where their information was compromised – a loss that many websites and businesses could not afford.

Fortunately, preventing malware infections is affordable, easy, and a good investment in the success of your website. For more information on how TheGigabit can protect your site from malware, please kindly contact our sales consultants – [email protected]

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