As if running your business wasn’t hard enough, now here is something else that can keep you up at night. The name is malware and it can hurt your business and your reputation in several ways. Malware infects millions of websites around the world. Malware is malicious software installed on your website, often invisible. There are billions of malware attacks throughout the world. According to some estimates, malware used to steal credit information and other personal data costs the global economy $1 trillion dollars per year.
There are many ways malware can hurt your business and your reputation. Here are three:
Shady links – Some forms of malware will install links on your site to shady or illegal websites. Criminals that create and spread this kind of malware want to drive traffic from your site to theirs. You don’t want your customers to click on a link on your site to end up on an illegal website. If you have malware, your website could infect your visitors’ computers or steal their credit card or personal data.
Blacklisted – Search engines monitor your website for malware. Once they detected malware, search engines such as Google will drop you from their index. Google maintains information on websites and web pages infected with malware. You don’t want your website on the list of suspicious or infected sites. If your site is on the list, and users try to click through your site from the Google results page, a warning page will state that your site is unsafe to visit. If your customers see warnings about your site, they will stop using it. Once you have been blacklisted, it can take several days to be removed. Some websites are never removed from the blacklist.
Loss of Search Engine Rankings – When search engines detect malware on your website they will drop you from their index. The result is that your website will lose its rankings. The next time someone searches for your business, it will not show up among the results.
3 simple steps to fight malware:
- Have your web designer or web developer frequently check your website for malware. Have them frequently update your WordPress, Drupal, or whatever website platform you are using. Updated websites are better equipped to fight malware.
- You can check your website for malware any time by copying and pasting the following link. Of course, you need to replace yourdomain.com with your own domain:
- Use Chrome to browse your website to be notified of malware.