You conduct your routine website speed analysis as scheduled, but you realize that the results aren’t as routine. The results show that your page loading speeds are almost a second slower. Such an anomaly will not be enough for some IT techs to panic as they will likely chalk this up to a momentarily cramped server or to any other cause.
However, a slow loading page is one of the more subtle signs that a website may have been compromised or even breached. Of course, a slow loading page is a common bane for websites even at an age where internet speeds and computing power are at an all-time high.
However, if slow loading pages occur in conjunction with some of the other website performance anomalies mentioned here, then your site just may be under attack. In fact, one or more of the signs mentioned below should be enough for you or your IT tech team to conduct security checks.
So how can you tell if your website may have been hacked?
1: Painfully Slow Website Loading Speeds
A second or even two-second delay in page loading speeds, as mentioned earlier, should not cause you any alarm, especially if it does not occur too often. However, while carrying out website speed analysis if it takes forever for your website to load, then you should not discount the possibility that something may be afoot. Check with your web designer if he has taken down the website temporarily to make quick changes. If there is no scheduled downtime for maintenance, then you definitely should conduct a security check.
2: Seeing All Red
The so-called “the red screen of death” is one of the more overt signs that your website has been compromised. You type in your website and voila! You get a warning message from your browser. Google Chrome warns you that the site ahead, your website, has malware. Obviously, a hacker gained access to your website and installed malware to infect your website visitors.
3: Vanishing Act
You don’t have to see a red screen to tell you that your website may have been hacked. Another sign of a breach could be a plain white screen with a message that tells you that the browser can’t find your website. Check the address you typed and once you verify that you have typed in the correct website, call your IT team immediately.
Your website will not learn and pick-up magic tricks on its own. If you type in your website and another one appears, the hacker has compromised your website and programmed it to redirect your visitors to a malicious site of his choosing. Websites that have a consistently steady stream of visitors are the most prone to this type of hacking.
5: Your Website Gets Shut Down
If you’re not vigilant enough, your hosting company may notice these and other signs that your website has been hacked. To protect their own servers, your host will take down your site and will alert you to any of the signs that made them suspect that you may be hacked.
6: Spams and Unrelated Emails
Some of your visitors, if they are loyal enough, may do you the favor of alerting you that they have been receiving spam messages from your site. Even if the messages did come from your site and are part of a marketing campaign, they could be sent to your clients’ spam folder if it is infected by malware.
7: Data Breach
One of the worse things that can happen if your website has been compromised is your clients’ data being stolen. When you receive complaints that your clients’ credit cards are hacked and that your website may have something to do with it, take immediate action.
These are just a few of the many signs that your website may be compromised. Experts predict that the aggressiveness and sophistication of hacking attacks will increase even more in the years to come. It is vital, therefore, especially for online businesses to have iron-clad and up-to-date security measures to protect their websites and their clients. Talk to IT experts and cybersecurity pros for tips on how to beef up the security of your website.
You can also scan for malicious URLs and files on Google’s VirusTotal. Stay safe online!