Parija Kavilanz finance.yahoo.com Small businesses are reeling from an increase in cybercrime, but a hacked website can have even greater consequences if Google lists you as "infected." The search giant is constantly scanning the web's 60 trillion URLs for malware and phishing scams. If it deems a site suspicious, businesses can say goodbye to their customers until the problem is resolved. "If Google blacklists an infected website, you're basically off the Internet until the website is fixed," said Peter Jensen, CEO of StopTheHacker.com. Google (GOOG) estimates that it flags and quarantines 10,000 websites daily (it doesn't use the term "blacklist"). It not only scans Google's search results and ads, but also flags suspicious URLs typed into browsers. The search engine Bing, run by Microsoft (MSFT), treats infected sites in a similar fashion. Being blacklisted can quickly decimate a small firm's reputation and sales. "Businesses say they're not at fault and shouldn't be penalized. Google [says] it wants to keep the Internet safe for its users," said Jensen, whose firm is contacted 20 or 30 times a day by businesses that have been blacklisted. Google spokesman Jason Freidenfelds emphasized that point. "About 1 billion people receive protection against phishing and malware every day because of the warnings we show users about unsafe websites," he said. Margo Schlossberg owns an online handbag business in Washington D.C. that was hacked in September. A Google search for her website still says, "This site may be hacked." The impact: Traffic to her site dropped 50% in the past month and her sales have been minimal. "It's the worst time to go through this," said Schlossberg. to read more click here: finance.yahoo.com
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