Website defacement monitoring

Have you ever faced website defacement? If so, probably next thing on your mind was website defacement monitoring.

If not, then you are very fortunate because website defacement is a great threat to any business that is running online. Running an online business is a huge responsibility and requires a well-built and robust security system. No matter whether you are a big or small business owner, hacking is a live threat to everyone functioning online. Website defacement is a change in the appearance of a webpage of a website or the complete transformation of a website. These are unauthorized changes made through targeting a website. This form of vandalism is often performed by using SQL injections and through FTP. Website defacement is often carried out by system crackers or hackers for various known and unknown reasons. Sometimes website defacement is done just to show professional skills or for fun whereas other times sometime it results in crimes. Many online hacking competitions are also organized for these hackers to show their talents and skills. Website defacements are generally performed on popular and trending websites resulting in a loss of time and money to the owner.

Why website defacement? Website defacement is carried out by hackers for numerous certified reasons. Some carry out it for fun, some for an ideal or goal.

  • Some hackers or system crackers deface a website just for fun. They just want to penetrate into administration and prove their skills, mocking all IT and technical support professionals.
  • Website defacement is also done to access personal information, files and data.
  • Some hackers wish to have free traffic by placing their links on popular websites
  • Religious and governments sites are also targeted very often. The non-religious and anti-government hackers popularly known as “hacktivists” target such websites.
  • Some website defacements are done just to eliminate you.

In all the above-mentioned website defacement scenarios, the content of the website is changed with certain pictures and messages or various links. All of this ends up resulting in serious losses to the owners; whether it is of money, time or reputation.

How is a website defaced? A website is hacked or defaced through various tools and methods.

  • SQL injections are the most common and widely used method to gain admin access. In this malicious process, SQL statements are placed on a webpage or website.
  • Never ever share your username and password to anyone. Once the username and password are known, it becomes easier for hackers to deface through FTP.
  • By the use of poor hosting companies or infected PCs.
  • Use of weak and predictable usernames and passwords.

 website defacement

After effects of website defacement. Defacing a website may be fun for the hacker, but it is always a nightmare for the website owner.

  • Loss of money: The various costs of repairing and repaying customer losses and other such technical support processes can cost millions.
  • Loss of time: A normal defaced website takes around 1 to 3 days to be made to work and function efficiently again.
  • Reduced privacy and loss of information: Website defacement is sometimes done to access private information, data, and files. From manipulating and accessing customer details to changing your privacy settings, each and everything is in the hacker’s hand. Everything is at stake after website defacement.
  • Reputation damage: Money and time loss are almost bearable but the reduced SEO rankings and loss of reputation are the biggest impacts of website defacement for any business. It often leads to the reduction of the number of loyal and trusted customers

website defacement

What to do in case of website defacement?

The technical and IT support team along with website owners should always be ready to face such attacks and problems. There are a number of steps and precautions to prevent and reduce the impacts of website defacement.

  • Have a backup. Having a backup of every database along with each and every file and piece of information makes it easier for recovery. Backup your data regularly to reduce the loss.
  • Avoid themes and plug-ins and other changes from unknown and unreliable sources.
  • Use strong passwords, usernames, and account management settings to prevent vandalism.
  • Consider and monitor unexpected sudden increases in traffic to the web server.
  • Install firewalls and always use virus free and non-infected PCs.

Now, don’t let hackers easily deface your website and create problems for you. Simple and regular monitoring steps can shield you from becoming a victim of online vandalism and other such troubles. However, if you experience website defacement, contact your hosting provider and get your website offline temporarily till you get the problem fixed. Have a talk with your technical support team and look for complete recovery. Once your website is ready, restore your online presence.

So, now start following these simple but very crucial steps and create a fence for your online security and continue functioning smartly and efficiently with the above-mentioned tips. They are really helpful.

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Founder and CEO of WhoAPI Inc. Goran Duskic is an internet entrepreneur since 2006. He co-founded and sold several online ventures, including a web hosting company.

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