How to Repair Your Reputation After a Website Hack

If your website has been attacked and sensitive customer information stolen, your reputation as a safe and trustworthy business may be gone. It can take you years to build up such a reputation, and then within a few minutes, it’s gone. Your current customers may walk away because they had their credit card information stolen, while potential customers may have second thoughts about working with you. When this happens, you face the difficult task of rebuilding your reputation. Fortunately, that is possible with some hard work. Here are some things you must do to start this process.

Admit the Hack Occurred

People know it happened, so you have nothing to gain by covering up the fact that your website was hacked. In some cases, your website may have been vandalised. In other cases, malware and other nasty programs may have been hidden in your website and sent to visitors. Google may have declared your site a risk and blocked it from users. No matter what occurred, people are going to learn that your website was the source of a major problem.

By stepping forward and admitting that it happened, you can at least save a little bit of your reputation as an honest and upfront company. This also helps protect your customers. Some of them may not have realised that their personal information was stolen. By announcing that a hack has occurred, you alert your customers and website visitors that they need to check their bank accounts and credit cards.

Do an In-Depth Review of Your Website

The next step is to do a detailed review of your website. You want to fix a hacked website as soon as possible because it may be infecting visitors with malware that has been hidden on it. You will need to call in an expert who understands all the different ways that a cyber-attacker can damage your website and where they can hide viruses. You may find that they’ve created their own backdoor into your server with their own user accounts. Some may have left behind programs that will send them periodic bursts of data from your eCommerce site or will transfer all of your new usernames and passwords over to them.

Just because the initial attack is over doesn’t mean you’re safe. Have your website reviewed and repaired as soon as possible or you may find that your new firewalls and other security methods have already been circumvented.

Submit a Request to Google

Once you’ve had a professional clean your site and verify that it does not contain backdoors, viruses, or malware, you need to submit a request to Google to remove you from their blacklist. This is vital if you want to start bringing in more traffic to your website. If Google has your site blocked behind a warning, the only way to get there is by directly typing in the URL or going through another website’s link. Without Google, you have very little chance of bringing in new customers. Fortunately, the company that cleaned your website can also help you with this step.

 

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