The first clue that your site has been hacked is usually the knee jerk,“that’s not right” moment.  If you need more than just a gut feeling to turn “that’s not right” to “something’s wrong” here are 8 telltale signs your site has been hacked:

1. The Red Screen of Death…Compliments of Your Browser

Browsers can often be the first to alert website owners that their site has been compromised.  If malware has been detected the nefarious red screen is a telltale sign that your website needs some deep cleaning.

Your website has been hacked if you get the red screen of death.

2. Your Site Disappears

If your site is gone, with a lovely white screen in it’s place it may have been hacked.  Or perhaps your web designer is in the process of modifying the site and it’s not completed yet. Definitely check with your designer if the site disappears and always double check to make sure your domain name hasn’t expired.

If your site disappears unexpectedly it may have been hacked.

3. Your Site Loads Super Slow or Crashes

If hackers are using your site as a way to send spam emails it may slow down the entire server and the other sites hosted on it.  Slow load time is often an indication of this type of hacking.

Your site might be hacked if it's loading slow or crashing.

4. Your Site Displays Another Website

Some hackers will re-direct your site to another site. Most often a not so family friendly site. If this is the case they may have placed a redirect code in your files.  Look for a new file or existing file with code that looks something like this:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; url=http://example.com/” />

 5. You Find Viagra References All Over the Site

You may find words that you didn’t type in weird places in your site or added links for unrelated products. These links are sometimes given stealth placement nested in technological or scientific words. Sometimes the links are even in another language.

Viagra references are a sure sign of a hacked site, unless you sell Viagra.

 6. The Admin Section of Your Site and the Public Section of Your Site Look the Same

Sometimes the hackers method of choice may be skinning your admin section to look like your public facing site. This hacking often comes complete with a few clever additions promoting the hackers prescription drug of choice.

If the admin section of your site no longer looks like an admin section your site has been hacked.

 7. Weird Code Fragments Live at the Top of Bottom of Your Website

The hacker may not have been successful in their job, leaving code unfinished. This results in a bunch of what looks like gibberish to the non-web guru, often displayed at the top or bottom of the site.

 8. Your Emails are Sent to Spam

Internet providers use spam lists to help blacklist domains that are sending out 1,000’s of emails and those emails marked as SPAM by recipients. If your website is being used to send out emails by a hacker your domain may be blacklisted resulting in the emails you send to be marked as SPAM.

Emails going to spam is an indicator your site may be hacked, however eating SPAM from a can is not.

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