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Tips for Securing Sites Against Badware

Posted on February 3, 2007 - 17:16 by egeorge

There's a new resource for webmasters up at StopBadware.org. Our "Tips for Cleaning and Securing Your Website" page is a place to start learning ways to keep websites free of badware. The guide has information about identifying badware already on your site, and removing existing badware. It also has advice about securing a website against badware in the future, including closing security loopholes that can leave doors open for hacking attacks that place badware on a site.

The guide is meant as an evolving resource, so we're encouraging comments and suggestions for additions on our discussion group. We're especially interested in hearing stories of webmasters who have successfully cleaned and secured their sites against badware. Join our discussion group and share your story!

Safer Searching Update

Posted on January 22, 2007 - 15:23 by colson

Several months ago we entered into a new phase here at StopBadware.org. Google - which is one of our partners – began creating warning pages for websites they found that hosted or distributed badware. They would then report those sites to StopBadware.org, and we would investigate and create quick reports explaining the badware that we found.
In the past couple of months, our focus at StopBadware has shifted from reviewing and writing quick reports on the sites that Google reported to us, to instead handling appeals from sites that have fixed the badware problems that led them to be flagged in the first place. Although all of the quick reports we previously did will still be accessible on our site, we thought it was time to let everyone know of our new focus. In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out a list of all the sites that Google has reported to us, and hopefully other partners will step forward an add to this new Badware Website Clearinghouse.
To clarify some misconceptions, the decision to post a warning page is, and has always been, an independent decision made by Google, not by StopBadware, and does not reflect any testing or review by us in advance. Google independently finds sites that cause users to be infected with badware and displays a warning page to users to try to visit these sites when the appear as search results on Google.com. Web searchers see the warning page instead of being sent directly to the potentially harmful site; the page informs searchers that the site they are trying to reach may contain badware and recommends looking for another site, but also offers the option of continuing on to the originally requested page at the searcher's own risk. Nothing is blocking anyone from actually accessing the website -- if web searchers choose to type or paste the URL into their browser they will still go to the site – but they will have better information to make more informed choices about where they surf.
It is not possible for someone to falsely report a website to Google or us and have a warning created for it in search engine results. A Google warning page means that Google's testing process has found the site to be hosting or distributing badware and thus potentially harmful. Google does not post warning pages merely in response to reports from the public but only after, and as a result of, its own testing of the site.
For more information on Google warning pages, check out our FAQ.

New resource: FAQ for site owners

Posted on January 10, 2007 - 16:08 by egeorge

StopBadware has heard from several website owners whose sites have been flagged by Google's search results as possibly containing badware. Whether the badware culprit on their site was a hacker or a third-party ad link, these site owners contacted us wanting to know what they could do to get their sites cleaned up and their search results back to normal.

We've collected the most popular questions into a special section of our FAQ page. Check it out to find out how the search engine warning process works, and what you can do if your site's search results have a warning page.

We plan to keep expanding the FAQ as new questions come in. If there's something you've been wanting to understand about how StopBadware works, please drop us a line at contact@stopbadware.org. You can also join the conversation at our email discussion group.

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