What To Do If Your Website Gets Hacked

Feb 09, 2017
 
 

Summary

What do you do if your website gets hacked? Do you panic, act as if your world is falling apart and distract every person you can find around you?

Unfortunately for lots of us, getting “hacked” is more likely to happen than we might think, especially if our website platform is outdated and has been neglected over the past few years. Here are four steps you can take to keep your sanity, fix the problem ASAP, and then objectively consider the long-term solutions:

1. Don’t panic. Try not to let your emotions take over. Most websites that are hacked have been neglected over the years and have very little traffic. For instance, let’s say you have 1,000 visitors per month. This means that on any given day, you might have 33 visitors. Unless you’re converting a substantial amount of your daily visitors into subscribers, leads, or sales, you’ll most likely live to see another day. Think about the last time you visited a website and there was something wrong with it (e.g. it was hacked, had malware installed, or your browser gave you a warning about the page being insecure). Did it leave THAT bad of an impression? 

2. Ask for help. Who has helped you in the past with your website? Did you do it yourself? If so, email the website platform you’re subscribed to immediately. If you hired a vendor or an agency, call them to notify them of the issue. If all else fails, go to Google and search for freelancers who can help you get your website back online ASAP. Sites such as Upwork, Freelancer and Codable can connect you with freelancers that specialize in fixing these types of website security issues. Tip: Be sure to gather any and all hosting, website, and FTP credentials you can as the person that’ll help you will certainly need this information. 

3. Identify the root cause. Why was your website vulnerable in the first place? Were you prescribed an overly complex platform that required more maintenance and fees that you were expecting, and it simply became neglected and outdated over the years? Was the culprit a plugin or extension that had been installed a while back, is now outdated, and is no longer needed? Or did your “password123” shortcut simply not work so well this time around?

4. Decide on a long-term solution. Should you pay a vendor or agency to update everything that’s needed to make your website or hosting environment up-to-date and secure? Or, is this an issue that’ll recur over the next few months and years? How much money can you invest in this type of maintenance going forward? Would it make more sense to investigate which fully-hosted website platforms are available today (e.g. SquareSpace, Weebly, Wix) that have all the security and technology infrastructure “baked in,” as well as award-winning design templates and themes at the ready for less than $20/mo? 

Watch the video above for the full lesson and always remember that when it comes to your online marketing efforts, #LessIsMore! 

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