Nowadays many brands suffer from low or bad reputation due to hacking, where their sites are down or load other brands, or used for ranking bots and up to the extent of spam emails using DNS level domain hack. So, it is essential to protect your digital assets and don’t get hacked.
Hackers deface or take over your site for snatching your traffic and exhaust your brand’s online reputation until its gone. And many small and local brands can’t do anything but just change their domain and will have to start all over again and beat their former site for the same keyword and branded keywords which will take them roughly 6 months to a year or 2.
One of the most common hacks is the Japanese keyword hack, where the hacker injects Japanese Keywords to your site and when you are searched it is included on your title or content. This hack tarnishes your online reputation and you will greatly be penalized by Google for having irrelevant keywords on your site. The purpose of this hack is to send unsolicited organic search relations of your site to the attacker’s site. And to solve this is you need to check clean each infected file in your site or if you are using WordPress you can clean this using Wordfence.
Another common hack is site defacement, where a hacker completely rewrites your homepage or any page of your site making it virtually inaccessible. If this is kept unfixed you will be losing a great amount of traffic and conversion on your site and if your site is kept uncheck defacement can go beyond killing traffic to your product but can be a potential data leak risk. To prevent this make sure that your site is updated with the latest platform fixes and if you have plugins on your site make sure it is clean and legit, and always keep it updated as well.
Beside from the usual defacement, there is what we call as phishing defacement or phishing page insertions. Hackers upload a phishing page on your site and share this via email or in any platform that they can fool users and signup on fake page to harvest user information such as password and credit card information, and this is hosted on your site. Once you fall victim to this and Google or Bing detects it, you will be blocked not just on their search results but also on browsers with safe browsing enabled. And to get your site reinstated and be marked safe will take 2 weeks or more after you clean it up. The solution to prevent this is to make your site’s platform regularly updated.
Every brand loves email marketing and run communication everything in emails until a hacker use your domain for spoofing email, use it for spamming and phishing in the end you will be flagged in MX monitoring servers for spam. And once your flagged it will be hard for you to send emails on your customers’ inbox and worst you just can’t send at all with your domain getting blocked automatically. To solve this always check on your email reputation using MX Tool Box, and talk with your hosting company or email provider to check on email spoofing and also ask help to setup DMARC, SPDIF and DKM to your mail server to help preserve your email header identity, and if everything still fails with your emails get a more secured email provider.
Protecting your brand online is very crucial as this can break you specially if your business is built around online presence such as in ecommerce. So keep your platforms updated and secured, always monitor your online reputation and manage it.