Redirecting traffic from one Universal Resource Locator (URL) to another can be done for good reasons or bad reasons. It all depends on intent. Sometimes, a benign redirect is just what a website needs. For example, a 302 redirect lets search engines and users know that a certain web page is somewhere else for a while but will be back soon. A 301 redirect similarly advises users and search engines that a page has moved away but won't be back, ever.
That's not what today's blog is about. We're here to talk about bad misdirection done by malicious actors to scam you, your friends, potential clients, as well as your customers.
Some recent forms of sinister redirects and what they do, in a nutshell:
Cybercriminals employ misdirect tactics because they know they're hard to detect. Fortunately, there are several practical methods webmasters can use to identify malicious website redirects. Here are the basic instructions on how to find redirects in some platforms if you want to try and fix it yourself.
Lastly, test your website from a variety of IP addresses. Test from different networks, too. A change in environment may impact the way a redirect works or who a scammer targets. Some redirects are geo-specific, so disguising your location may reveal otherwise unnoticed attacks.
The following tips are appropriate for WordPress and Magento webmasters who want to make their site 'harder' and less vulnerable to cybercrime: