Website disaster: The Business Impacts of a Hacked Website

Feb 29, 2016 | Website Design, Website Security

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Kevin Fouche

Website disaster: The Business Impacts of a Hacked Website

Posted by Kevin Fouche, Pixel Fish Director

Kevin handles the planning, design, launch and training of every website that Pixel Fish creates. He ensures that every website is highly engaging and aligned with our client’s goals. With over 20 years of design and web industry experience to draw upon, Kevin aims to pass on his knowledge to our clients and like-minded businesses wanting to grow their online presence.

As a business owner, you know the importance of securing your office and/or store from any potential damage.

You recognise the devastating effects a burglary, fire, or flood will have on your business and the costs and lost revenue it will cause you.

What you may not know, however, is that if you own a website, even if it’s just a small operation, you are just as susceptible to devastating damage. How? By your website being hacked.

But Why Would Anyone Hack My Website?

“After all,” you reason, “it’s not like I’m storing valuable merchandise online!” Well, that is true, but there are plenty of reasons why someone in a cellar would want to hack your website. They mustn’t even be targeting your business specifically, though it is always possible that is the case. Hackers can deploy online robots that mass-target many websites at once and attack when they sense vulnerabilities.

The incentives to hack a website are many. One reason may be to steal personal information stored on your website. If you sell items online or store email addresses of those on your mailing list, you have plenty to offer these hackers.

That’s not all. Hackers may not be in the business just to steal private information stored on websites. More nefarious thoughts may be flitting across their minds. By hacking a website, they can inject into it malicious malware that will infect the computer of every unknowing and unfortunate visitor to that website. This malware can track their internet activity and steal their financial information. And hackers can be in it just for fun.

The Business Impacts of a Hacked Website

Whatever the motive that a hacker may have, one thing is certain: While they stand to gain, you only stand to lose. Consider the pain of waking up one morning only to find your that your website isn’t functioning properly or that it is full of characters in some strange language. And that is on the lower spectrum of what can happen. Imagine if you find out that your loyal customers have had their bank accounts drained after being infected with malware from your website. Imagine if Google blacklists your website because of this malware and your website is pushed into the oblivion of the search engine land.

Imagine if your website’s SEO value disappears after an anonymous hacker caused your site to redirect or to link to theirs. Imagine if hackers use your server to operate their email spam lists. All these situations will undoubtedly cause you to lose precious time and energy. That time and energy will be put into a frantic sprint between your computer specialist and your hosting provider who may or may not be able to help you (and who may be the one responsible for the damage by not securing its hosting servers).

Your reputation may go down the drain as well. And once it does, there may be no return. This especially holds true if your customers get infected with malware from your website. Revenue may be lost and you will rue the day you failed to take precautions.

Why must you know about all this? So that you know the risks involved, do what you can to prevent the scenarios mentioned above.

What You Can Do

By keeping your website safe and secure and having a backup plan in case of emergency, you will immensely reduce the chances of having to go through all that pain. Always keep your software updated. There is a reason WordPress constantly updated their versions, and that is to fix important security bugs. Always keep your passwords as complex as possible and change them regularly. And above all, make sure that your hosting provider is doing all that they can at their end to prevent such occurrences.

If your website is hacked, you will need a website designer to guide you through the rebuilding process, much like a professional to help you after a house fire. At Pixel Fish, we recognise the frustration involved with a hacked website, and that is why you can always contact us whenever you may need some extra help.

Contact us today to start helping your business succeed in the digital realm.

Further Reading
How to Successfully Use Content Marketing for Ecommerce
10 Top Social Media Marketing Tips for Ecommerce
Top 10 Benefits of Content Marketing for Australian Businesses
6 Key Problems an Inbound Agency Can Solve For Your Business
5 Signs Your Business Needs a Content Marketing Agency
8 Signs of a Great Content Marketing Agency
Why Small Business SEO and Content Marketing Are Made for Each Other
10 Best Practices for a Successful WordPress Website Design Project

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Kevin Fouché, Pixel Fish Director