The World Wide Web can be a magical place. You can connect with friends, watch movie trailers, order food, check out repository and more. But it can also be a scary place where your personal information, website, server, or computer is in danger.
To make the web safer, governments, search engines , and other authoritative bodies have started to implement laws, protocols, and safety standards over the years, such as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing And Protection Act (CISPA) and PCI Data Security Standard .
Another security measure that has been adopted is the blacklist of URL. URL blacklist is designed to prevent consumers from visiting malicious or phishing sites. If you have ever clicked on a link and received a warning message encouraging you to go back instead of yourself Go to the site, you clicked on a site that has been blacklisted.
In this article, we will define what a blacklist is. 'URLs, why a website could be blacklisted and how to prevent your own site from being blacklisted.
What is a URL blacklist?
A URL blacklist is a list of websites that have engaged in actsmalicious activities or suspicious behavior, and has been deemed insecure or unsafe by a search engine, hosting provider, antivirus program provider, or other authoritative body.
If you are using Google Chrome, the user will receive a warning page explaining that the site they are trying to access may be unsafe. The warning may show different messages, such as "Upcoming site contains malware " or "Upcoming deceptive site ", depending on whether malware or phishing attempts were detected.
Although the user can still visit the site if desired, many will return to the search engine results page or the previous site they were on. This warning page is therefore a simple but effective tool to protect online users. Examinons take a closer look at the Google blacklist below.
Note: Google does not use the term blacklist. Since May 2018, he tried to remove and replace the term "blacklist in external instances intended for users and in its internal code. The section below will use their preferred term: block list.
According to its Safe Browsing Advisory , Google uses automatic algorithms and user feedback to compile lists of potentially dangerous sites. There are three main types of sites on these lists:
- Social engineering pages : Social engineering pages - also known as phishing sites and sites deceivers - try to incto instruct users to do something unsafe online, such as providing personal or financial information or installing unwanted software.
- Malware pages : Malware pages are web pages that contain malicious code, which can download and install software on your computer without your consent. This software will attempt to steal your personal information or use your computer to do things that you do not intend to do.
- Unwanted software pages: Unwanted software pages promote software that violates the Software Principles and is potentially harmful to the user experience. He may falsely advertise a value proposition that he does not meet, omit certainof its main and important functions, collect private information without user knowledge, etc.
In 2003, Google estimated that it blocked around 10,000 websites every day . This number has increased in recent years. Over the past year, Google has identified near 40,000 websites per week as potentially dangerous. You can view these lists of potentially dangerous pages via the navigation service secure. .
While the goal of Google's Safe Browsing service is to protect users from phishing and malware, it can penalize businesses that don't know how to use it.as their sites have been infected or hacked. The result can be a significant loss of traffic and revenue.
To avoid these losses on your site, let's take a closer look at why a site might get blocked.
Why would a site have to be blacklisted?
It is important for users and site owners to understand why a site can be blacklisted. Firstly, it will help users fully understand the risks of visiting a site that has been marked as potentially unsafe. Second, it will help site owners avoid having their sites blacklisted or, in the east, help them resolve the issue and get back online as quickly as possible.
Here are some potential reasons why a site could be blacklisted.
One of the most common reasons why awebsite is blacklisted is that malicious code - or irregularities that look like malware - have been detected. Malware can take many forms, including Trojans. A Trojan horse is a type of malicious code or software that appears legitimate in order to trick users into loading and installing malware on their device. Once installed, it can take control of your computer and perform the harmful action for which it was designed. Other types of malware contain code that installs malware on a user's device without their knowledge.
Another common reason a website gets blacklisted is if it has been flagged or flagged as running phishing programsishing. The site may simply contain links that redirect visitors to phishing sites or be configured as a phishing site. Phishing websites claim to be legitimate in order to trick users into sharing private information, such as their username and password, social security number, and credit card information.
SEO spam is an increasingly common form of attack that can lead to a website being blacklisted. In fact, SEO spam was detected in 62% of sites Infected web that Sucuri cleaned up in 2019 . With SEO spam, bad actors will gain access to a website and add spam content to high ranking, high traffic pages for the purpose of selling counterfeit products or illegal items. Since these injections of moAny keys containing spam and pop-up ads can be difficult for site owners to detect, this can be a black hat referencing technique .
Now that we understand the common causes of website blacklisting, let's take a look at the steps you can take to prevent or avoid this fate for your site.
How to avoid being blacklisted
- Choose a secure hosting provider.
- Use an automated cybersecurity service.
- Keep your software and third-party applications up to date.
- Require strong passwords.
- Limit connection attempts.
- Repla this broken links.
- Assign roles and permissions to users.
A secure hosting provider that offers features such asContinuous monitoring, strong firewalls, and integrated server-side security can help detect vulnerabilities and prevent attacks and security breaches at your site. It can also notify you of any suspicious activity on your site and help you reconnect if your site has been infected.
Use an automated cybersecurity service.
The best way to avoid getting blacklisted is to frequently scan your site for infections or threats. This way, you can detect any malicious activity on your site and implement solutions as quickly as possible. If your hosting provider doesn't monitor and analyze your site, you can use a third-party cybersecurity service. Sucuri and SiteLock are two of the leading service providers available that work for all websites.
Keep your software and third-party applications up to date.
Hackers can use a backdoor, or insecure entry point, to gain access to your website and insert malware, Trojans, or keywords that contain spam. since the most common backdoors are obsolete software and plugins or applications, updating your core software and third-party applications is essential to secure your website.
Require strong passwords.
The actors malicious malware can access your website through dictionary attacks. In this type of attack, the malicious actor will use a list of usedwords to try to guess a user's password and take control of their account. You can combat this problem by asking users to create strong passwords that contain both upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols, etc. This step is especially critical if you are running a membership site or have a lot of users working in the backend of your website.
Limit connection attempts.
Another way for hackers to gain access to your site is through brute force. In a brute force attack, the hacker uses a bot to quickly scan billions of potential username and password combinations in the hopes of guessing the correct credentials. You can defend against these attacks by limiting connection attempts. The requirement for strong passwords will also help!
Replace broken links.
The most common cause of broken links is that the site you linked to has been restructured and a redirect did not configure it correctly. These broken links will send visitors and crawlers to a 404 page, which can negatively impact user experience and your SEO ranking. However, broken links are sometimes the result of a website changing domain names. If that domain name is then purchased by another website, then these dark links will redirect visitors and crawlers to a malicious or phishing site. This can result in your site being blacklisted.
You can avoid this worst case scenario by frequently checking your site for broken links and replacing them. There are tools that can automate this process for you, like the Monsido Outiquality assurance or Plug-in W3 Link Checker for WordPress .
Assign roles and permissions to users.
If multiple users are involved in managing your website, assigning user roles and permissions can help protect your site from bad actors who access it. one of the user accounts. If a hacker guesses the credentials of a site administrator, for example, they can cause serious damage to your site. But if it guesses the credentials of a user with limited permissions, it may not be able to install malware, pop-ups, or phishing links.
Protecting your website and visitors
Blacklisting is a common security measure adopted by enginesresearch, antivirus vendors, and other authoritative organizations including Google, Bing, Norton Safe Web, and McAfee SiteAdvisor. While the blacklist is designed to protect online users, it can harm your website traffic, revenue, and reputation. To protect both your business goals and your website visitors, it's important to understand the common causes of blacklisting and how to avoid them.