Hacked Blog: What Would You Do If It Happened Today?

Steven8 responsesBlogging
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Getting that new blog up and running and watching those first visitors come rushing through the doors is certainly exciting. You’re all caught up in getting that fresh, new content published and rounding up all your Facebook and Twitter followers. You’re watching your traffic grow and polishing up your graphics. The last thing any of us wants to think of is – What would you do if your blog was hacked today?

hacked blog

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Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s inevitable. No matter how large or small, no matter your traffic numbers, and no matter your niche, someone, somewhere is eventually going to at least attempt to hack your blog. And more often than not, they’re going to be successful. Prepare for it. Now.

The first thing you should do is notify your friends and followers, for two reasons. One, they’re going to notice something’s wrong when they come to your blog and see an ad for Viagra or some shady loan company. And two, because if you’re like me, they’ll come to your rescue.

When my itty-bitty personal blog was hacked the first thing I did was sit down and cry. Then I jumped on my Twitter account to let everyone know what was going on and to ask if anyone could help. To my great surprise – and relief – I had three programming engineers jump right into my Twitter stream and they were able to get me back online in about 15 minutes. And two of these guys weren’t even my followers. They just heard my cry for help!

If you prepare for it, you may be able to head those hackers off at the pass:

Make sure you’re using a trustworthy, reliable hosting company. I use BlueHost and they have technicians available for online chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The moment you call and tell them your site’s been hacked they jump in and start removing the errant code and putting your site back together. BlueHost does not take hackers lightly.

BlueHost also provides automatic site backups and they’ll re-install your site for free. While they’re at it, they’ll remove any malicious code those hackers managed to install. If you’re feeling particularly vulnerable or paranoid, you can also generate your own backups through your BlueHost Control Panel.

I don’t use GoDaddy but I’m assuming they have some type of backup protection as well. If they don’t, you might want to consider moving your hosting.

Next, install a good firewall. If you’re using WordPress, just install the WordPress Firewall Plugin and you’ll be protected from hacks, attacks and injections. (Don’t ask. Just do it.)

Now, go change all your passwords – on everything. Change your password to your blog’s dashboard, the password to your email account, your BlueHost account and any other accounts that you had linked to your blog – including Twitter, Facebook and any other assorted social networks or automated blogging programs. Everything.

In conclusion, if you’re out of your depth, which most bloggers are when they get hacked, don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you try to restore your site yourself you may do even more damage. Rest assured, in most cases the damage is reversible. The best thing to do when your blog get hacked is – don’t panic.

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  1. I think part of it is to have a copy of your data offsite as well. Don’t just rely on your host to have a backup. I have a copy on my Cloud, and on my External Hard Disk.

    Yes.. I’m paranoid – but I want to easily get back online after the script kiddies had their fun.

    And if you read the fiasco about Pro Blogger losing his domain this year? You’ll know that GoDaddy helped him but it took a lot of jumping through hoops.

    Best thing to do is make sure you have a great password for your accounts.. and make sure your computer is clear of virii, spyware/malware.

    1. On Dukeo, I am also using third-party services to backup my blog on a regular basis. I certainly do not want to lose all my posts and data!

  2. Peter Masters

    Getting hacked and having some pretty bad content put on my blog was one of the reasons I stopped blogging after about 4000 hours and 180-ish posts, 100’s of great comments and a pretty major following as MarketingM8. People loved my SM satire cartoons and my blogs have had almost 95,000 views but I haven’t posted for almost a year now. It was affecting my family life and I was earning peanuts despite working a 6am-9pm 7 days a week regime. NOT worth the hassle although I love writing and now I’m publishing my 1st novel. Where there’s will there’s a way. So basically, yes the hackers killer a dedicated blogger and his audience!! PS My old Empire Avenue buddy Berrie Pelser helped me sort out my hacking probs on WordPress, he’s a total star!!

    1. I’m sorry to hear about this terrible experience Peter… Congratulations on not get stopped by adversity!

  3. Jacob Yount

    I’m a fairly amateur blogger compared to most of the folks online. Have been hacked twice in about a 2-month time frame. Was a horrible feeling. Thankfully the programmer who helped me with the blog was prompt to assist and save it within an hour.

    This post here, helped me to realize that I needed the WP firewall. So, glad I stopped by and thanks for the education.

    1. There are numerous ways to protect your blog from attacks… Be careful in the future.

  4. Good stuff to share. I run that firewall plugin and I have another plugin called Limit Login Attempts, where after 4 attempts the IP gets blocked for 96 hours (that’s my setting) and after it happens 4 separate times it gets blocked for 2 weeks. True, software can be persistent, but I’ll take those odds.

    1. This sounds like an interesting approach. I’ll take a look into that. Thanks Mitch.

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