I’ve heard about Google hacking and I’m worried it might affect me. What is it and how do I prevent falling victim to it?
Very simply, Google hacking is a technique that uses Google’s search engine to find security flaws in your site. For example, if there is a particular type of vulnerability that returns a particular phrase, someone can use Google to see if this exists in the pages they have crawled on your site. If you’re interested in learning more there’s a database of Google Hacks here.
Protecting yourself is a bit of a misnomer in this situation. Your first instinct might be to stop Google from indexing your website, but this would stop legitimate traffic from finding your website. In fact, if you had to take a poll of some of the SEO companies in Columbus to see what they think of this, it’s likely that they would suggest this is the worst thing you can do. Search engine traffic is the lifeblood of most sites, whether it’s coming from Google or some other search engine, so closing yourself off from this could be detrimental to your audience.
My recommendation would be to run regular security scans against your site, to figure out what a potential attacker would be seeing. There are a number of services out there, ranging from free to obscenely expensive, but even a free scanner can give you an indication of whether you have a problem or whether there’s anything you need to worry about. Here’s are Five Free Penetration Tools that can help get you started on feeling more secure with your site, but if you need more, get in touch and we’ll see if we can help you!