What to Do If Your Website is Hacked
After you have made serious efforts in your web design, SEO and security, it can be disconcerting to discover that it has fallen prey to malicious and even criminal acts of unscrupulous website programmers.
Website hackers can:
- Deface your website
- Redirect your URL to porn, sales or other sleazy websites
- Compromise the security of your users’ personal information and perhaps use the information to commit fraud
- Cause Google and key search sites to block your website
- Lock you out of the admin areas of the website
Your website is one way that you present yourself to your customers. When readers look into your hacked website, they will get the impression that your company is not secure and therefore, not to be trusted. This is especially distressing when your customers use the website to conduct important transactions with your company.
Here are some things you can do when you discover that your website has been a victim of hacking:
- Take a deep breath and do not panic. The sky has not fallen and you can bounce back from the negative effects of a hacked website. Actually, how you respond to a crisis such as this can tell your customers about the resiliency and professionalism of your team.
- Inform concerned parties. You need to make your users know about the breach in security. This way, they can be more alert and aware about related breaches in their personal information. This also sets reasonable expectations from the readers and customers. You also need to let your website host know about the hacking so that they can also help you trace the extent of the hacking.
- Assess the situation. Before doing anything to fix the problem, you need to quickly know how much damage has been made. Call in your technical support team or your Utah web design services provider. Since this team of programmers and web developers was instrumental in creating the website, they also have the skills to review the damage. Provide your team with the information they need such as CMS administrator log-ins, the web logs, access to FTP/sFTP and backups. Perform an intensive anti-virus scan of all local computers. These may also be infected with spyware, malware and other viruses that came with the hacking.
- Change all your passwords. Go through all your passwords for the FTP log-in, e-mails and other admin facilities, as well as blog log-ins. Make sure that you use a secure password that is not easy to guess. Never save your passwords on an electronic file, rather write it down on paper, especially during the first few months after the hacking incident.
- Go offline. While the problem is being fixed, go offline to prevent more problems from cropping up. You can provide contact information so that customers can still choose to conduct their transactions offline.
- Do a clean-up. Remove current content from the site. This way, you are sure that all viruses are also removed. You should also review your databases to check the security and integrity of the content. If you have backup files, you can use this to repopulate your website content. If you do not have backups, you can make a search of each page of content and clean it up before you upload the pages to your website.
- Contact the search sites. If Google or other search sites have blocked your website because it is suspected to contain malicious software, log into your webmaster account to request a review of your restored website.
- Implement proactive security measures. Actually, this is not something you do after an attack. This prepares you for hacking attacks and also makes you less vulnerable to them. Backup all your files regularly. You can more easily rebuild and restore a hacked website when you have the backup files. Also, you should perform regular security audits. Place locks on your administrative areas by password protecting them. Regularly update scripts to the latest versions.
Website security is an important area in SLC web design and building. AdaptivityPro offers a team of expert web designers and programmers who are adept at building robust and protected websites. AdaptivityPro also boasts of specialists in Utah SEO and other web-based services.