How to Resolve the Deceptive Site Ahead Issue
I’m sure seeing your website warned with a frightening red screen with the warning Deceptive Site Ahead gave you a heart attack. And you’ve been attempting to save your website from that threat ever since. Yes, you’ve arrived at the correct location. We’ll attempt to address the most common queries about the scary phrase “Deceptive Site Ahead” in this post. We’ll also assist you with deleting the face-shaming statement from your website.
Everything was good until yesterday night when Google unexpectedly displayed a nasty ”Deceptive site ahead” red page on your website this morning? To be honest, you aren’t the only person to have this problem. With Google showing the misleading site warning it’s all out now, a lot was going on behind the scenes on your website. We’ve seen it take at least 3-4 weeks for Google to notice a website has been hijacked and show the misleading site ahead warning — more on that below.
The Definition of ‘Deceptive Site Ahead’
On sites determined as dangerous for users to load on their devices, Google displays a warning message (usually a red screen with “Deceptive site ahead” printed on it).
Why is your website displaying a misleading site in the foreground?
- Phishing pages are hosted on your website.
- The website is infected with malware or viruses.
- According to Google, your website contains code that links to dubious domains.
- Visitors’ personal information is sent to unprotected servers/links through your website.
- Your website’s code contains malware that steals credit card information.
Reasons for your website’s Deceptive Site Ahead warning
As we previously mentioned, hacking and malware are two of the reasons Google considers a website to be misleading or false. However, it is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list. We’ll go through the potential causes of the “Deceptive Site Ahead” notice on your website in-depth in this section.
- Phishing:- A phishing website poses as a reputable source to mislead users into divulging important personal information such as credit card numbers, credentials, and passwords. Phishing, which is pronounced and meaning the same in English as the term “fishing,” is a shady method for criminals to get personal account information. Phishing may be carried out in a variety of ways, including:
- Developing legitimate-looking online sites to entice visitors to provide personal information such as credit card numbers, phone numbers, and email addresses.
- Planting malware or keystroke loggers (which record what you write), which provide the hacker your passwords/usernames without your knowledge.
- By showing a feeling of urgency and a desire for immediate action on your part. Remember how your bank account would be endangered if you didn’t provide your bank credentials right now? That is most likely phishing. A reputable bank or other institution would not force you to make a choice based on some arbitrary internet survey.
- Malware:- One of the reasons Google classifies a website as misleading is because of malware, which is short for malicious software. One of the most common causes of the “Deceptive Site Ahead” warning is malware. Malware may infiltrate a website for months before it is detected. With these common cyber attacks, Malware is often introduced into a website:
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attack: When a person visits a website, a cross-site scripting attack is used to plant a malicious link that automatically downloads to the user’s computer. XSS is reported to be present in a variety of plugins, themes, and websites. Because so many websites are susceptible to it, it’s frequently referred to as “low hanging fruit” in terms of online security. When coupled with other flaws, this assault may be very dangerous. Those sites are blacklisted by Google as being misleading.
- SQL injection attack: SQLi is a database management system that allows you to add, edit, and remove entries. This kind of information is known as a malicious payload, and it is an important component of the assault. Malicious SQL instructions are performed in the database when the attacker provides this material. This may also be the cause for a website’s blacklisting by Google. It may potentially be introduced to your website via a flaw in your CMS (e.g., WordPress, Magento, OpenCart, etc.) theme or plugin. It’s also possible that your website was attempting to install potentially dangerous scripts onto a visitor’s site.
- Dangerous Advertisements (Malvertising): If Google detects random pop-ups, redirecting advertising, or malware loading ads on your website, it displays a misleading warning to protect visitors from being duped into visiting malicious websites.
- These advertisements can infect visitors without needing them to take any action. They don’t even have to click on it to get infected. This is especially concerning. As a result, in certain situations, Google displays the misleading site ahead warning.
- Not Having a Valid SSL Certificate: Google’s rules are extremely stringent. They recently made SSL obligatory for all websites and even made it a component of their website ranking algorithm.
- Sites that haven’t switched from HTTP to HTTPS have been marked as “deceptive.” It is not enough to just install an SSL certificate; you must also redirect your website from HTTP to HTTPS. Aside from that, having HTTP and HTTPS versions of your websites sends a mixed content signal to Google. This may be the reason Google has flagged your website.
How to Fix Google Chrome’s Deceptive Site Ahead Error
A mega approach is required to fix the ‘Deceptive Site Ahead’ message. This is since Google does not provide much information to work with, so one must either be a web security expert or rule out all possibilities one by one. In this section, we’ll go over how to get properly dispose of deceptive site warnings in detail:
- You may change your search settings by adding your website to Google Search Console.
- From the left sidebar, choose the ‘Security problems’ tab.
3. Since your website has been warned by Google, you will be shown some basic reasons why it’s been flagged. Read more about it here, and make a note of the malicious URLs that were discovered.
4. Make a backup of your website in case it has to be restored in the future.
5. Now, remotely check your website using an online malware scanner to discover if any further malware has been found.
6. Google and other free internet virus scanners can only do a remote scan of your site. You’ll need to run a server-side malware check on your website to fully repair it and make it 100 percent safe. This will assist you in locating any viruses and preventing your site from being hacked in the future.
If you want to look over the code yourself, you can start looking through the following files for malware:
- index.php file
- core theme files
- header & footer files
- functions.php file (if using WordPress)
- wp-config file (if this file is infected, wp-config hack could be at work)
7. Examine and quarantine the files that have been flagged by all of the security scanners. Remove any third-party ads or scripts that reroute you.
8. When you’re sure your website is clean, go to the Google Search Console’s ‘Security concerns’ area and click the ‘Request Review’ option. In the next part, we’ll go over this in more depth.
How to Make a Google Review Request for Blacklist Removal
Once you’ve completed a thorough cleaning. You may request Google to have the “Deceptive Site Ahead” warning removed. But, before you send that request, double-check that the following items are in place:
- Your website is completely free of malware and other threats.
- The site’s vulnerabilities have all been fixed.
- The website is now operational.
- To avoid re-infection, your website is fully secured with a firewall and virus scanning.
Before submitting a Review Request, take these precautions.
You must submit a reconsideration request to Google ONLY AFTER you are certain that your website is free of errors. You’ll be labeled a Repeat Offender if your sites repeatedly fail Google’s verification process. You will not be able to request additional reviews through the Search in such cases.
Please don’t resubmit your request before you get a decision on any outstanding requests. Submitting a reconsideration request when the issue hasn’t been fixed can cause a longer turnaround time for the next request, or even get you marked as a repeat offender.
Google Search Console Team
A server-side malware scan of all files, databases, and the server is one certain method to ensure that your website is clear of “deceptive material”.
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