One of the biggest threats faced by webmasters is that of their sites getting hacked causing loss of valuable data as well as business. A website getting hacked puts a question mark on the security it offers to users. In many cases, the webmasters are not even of their site having been hacked until it had caused irreparable damage. Contrary to the popular belief, these activities are not only carried out to beat competition but also for fun and thrill. Now, thanks to the #NoHacked initiative by Google, webmasters have been able to prevent and even reduce hacking attacks by a significant margin.
What Is #NoHacked Initiative?
In an attempt to help webmasters minimize the threat of hacking, Google started the #NoHacked social campaign in August 2014, which was supposed to last for one week. The campaign aimed to not only make the webmasters aware about the hacking attacks but also offer them tips about safeguarding their sites verified by Google Search Console. The campaign was organized in 11 languages across different online channels including Google+, twitter and Weibo.
The campaign not only helped millions of users to gain information about the tips for safety against hacking but also enabled them to share their own views about the issue using the hashtag #NoHacked. The campaign became so successful that Google revived it during summer of 2015 and again repeated it for the entire duration of winter holiday season of 2016. More recently, Google also came published a year in review for #NoHacked for 2016, on its Webmaster Central Blog on March 20th 2017.
Impact Of #NoHacked Campaign
According to the review published on Webmaster Central Blog, The information and tips offered as a part of #NoHacked campaign has proved extremely helpful in preventing hacking attacks. In fact, it has been reported that while the number of websites being hacked between 2014 and 2015 saw a whopping 180% increase, the rise was restricted to only 32% from 2015 to 2016. This is a phenomenal improvement and even though Google expects the hackers to continue their nefarious activities with enhanced vigor, the combined efforts of the masses will surely help in thwarting their attempts to a great extent.
The report also stated that 84% of webmasters, who submit a request for reconsideration after learning about their website having been hacked, are able to neutralize the threat completely. Sadly, for these 84% there are another 61% webmasters never even know about their website being hacked as it is not verified in Search Console, which prevents Google from sending any hacking notifications.
Effective #NoHacked Tips For Enhanced Website Safety
The best way for webmasters to prevent hacking threats is by following the below mentioned tips to improve website safety.
Use Strong Passwords: Webmasters should make sure that they create passwords that are complex and difficult to guess. It is highly advisable to choose lengthy passwords that contain a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters, making them really difficult to crack.
Regularly Update Site Software: The presence of outdated software on a website often provides an easy pathway for hackers to attack the site. As such webmasters should make sure to update the different software used on their site on a regular basis.
Set Up Google Alerts: Opting for Google Alerts ensures that the webmasters receive instant notifications about any suspicious activities. In addition, the webmasters are also made aware about any association of the site with unrelated queries that might indicate hacking attempts.
Restrict Access To Admin Accounts: By limiting the number of users who can access admin accounts, webmasters reduce the possibility of hackers gaining access to the website servers. This naturally helps in foiling their attempts to cause maximum damage by attacking the website at its core.