My website was hacked in January, even though I’m uber careful about clicking on any links. After that, it was hacked constantly for months. To make things worse, my (now former) hosting company was unable to restore my site from their backup files. For me, the restore feature was a critical part of my hosting package — which they claim is “world-class technology.” Don’t get me started.
So far, it’s cost me over $2,000 for web designers to recreate my website, although some minor issues remain.
Things got worse. The last two weeks of May I was in Lisbon, Portugal having an awesome time. That is, until someone tried to visit my site but couldn’t because it was — get this — blacklisted as a porn site! Since then, lots of men from around the world want me to be their Facebook friends. Uh, no.
So, I’m in Lisbon and the supposed owner of a porn site. My site is blacklisted. My web guy isn’t responding. As if that weren’t enough, email suddenly stopped working on my iPhone. (Mental note: learn meditation.) On the positive side, another web pro fixed the blacklist/porn site issue a few days later.
What are some takeaways?
- If you have a website, don’t rely solely on your hosting company for protecting it or restoring it from their backup.
- Keep your own backup in at least two places, such as in the cloud and on a hard drive (computer and/or external drive).
- Maintain current backups.
- Keep current with plugins, themes and so on.
- While I’m on the subject, back up data on your device(s). I back up data on my iPhone to my Mac, and back up my Mac to two external drives: one’s in my desk and one’s in a bank safety deposit box. If there’s a house fire or robbery, my data is safe.
- Consider having another techie “in your back pocket” in case your regular one is unavailable for whatever reason.
Actually, I was lucky. The hacker didn’t demand anything or steal any data, as far as I can tell. I share my expensive, stressful, time-consuming situation so you can avoid what I went through. Be extra-vigilant about safeguarding your intellectual property and data. Contact me if you’d like help to organize your digital (or paper) data.