CASE STUDY: Why my website got hacked into and how you can protect yours!
OK, I had to share this as it was a painful lesson and don’t want anyone else to have to go through it.
My website recently got hacked into and if you read on I will explain why it happened and how you can protect your website from being hacked into.
I registered my first domain 7 years ago and have built many websites since. All was hosted on a single account and many of the websites became old projects and were ignored. Some domains were left to expire, others I did not bother to update.
In all the years of learning about internet marketing, no one mentioned about the importance of keeping your website up to date. In fact, many of the internet marketers were preaching about how you can set & forget, that is set up your website to make money and forget about it, with the money continue to roll in. They are right in part, your website can certainly bring in cash or residual income through selling ebooks, affiliate marketing, membership sites but they deliberately left out the fact that website maintenance is still required.
Most of my websites were built on WordPress which is an open source platform. When there was new versions of WordPress or plugins, you guessed it, I never bothered to update my old websites thinking it was no big deal. How WRONG was I?
Now I know the importance of keeping my website up to date as some version updates are feature improvements but some are actually fixes to loopholes which hackers manage find. By not applying these updates, my website and ultimately my web hosting server became vulnerable and an easy target for hackers.
As a result of being hacked into;
- The hackers changed some of the content which showed up in Google search (bad for business)
- My website was infected with malware
- I stopped receiving my domain emails
- Worst of all one of my website got blacklisted
I had little choice but to close down my web hosting account and rebuild my websites from scratch. Yep, I never did backup my websites and it was too late. I had to bid farewell to my websites as I couldn’t just migrate them across as this would also bring across any malicious files.
- Back up your website regularly
- Ensure it is secured (don’t use passwords that are easy to crack)
- Always ensure it is up to date
So after this painful experience, naturally I did some research into the best ways to back up and maintain multiple websites ensuring they are always up to date. The softwares I use are specific to WordPress so I won’t cover it here. Give me a call if you have a WordPress website and need assistance with backing up or maintaining your website, otherwise your web developer should be able to help you.
Your website is your asset so protect it as you would protect data on your computer.
See you in the next post,
Kham – The Marketing Angel