Last June, I learned that my website had been hacked; some very malicious codes were encrypted in my site. With just a few “pings” and my site was gone! I was panicked at the thought – first, for all the information I might lose and second, that my online reputation would be adversely affected. At that time, I had high search engine rankings and was a Google preferred location. It so happened that this discovery was made while I was working with a web developer to actually upgrade the site so I didn’t have lag time in finding help. The upgrade I had been planning was to add a membership site and the web designer directed me to make the site a Joomla site (I previously had WordPress). He was quickly able to get a website back up for me, although it was not the look I wanted. He said “we can work on that”
However, the working consisted of him sending me directions to do it on my own. I have learned how to do a lot of things but I haven’t mastered all of the computer skills needed to make the site look good. I am not sure why he wasn’t willing to do the work himself and then he slowly disappeared. I kept asking around and finally found a Joomla expert, who developed a brand new site for me; however, he also disappeared before the site got up and running. For just about a year I asked, but could not find, anyone who knew Joomla so this new site could get up. I was frustrated and I could see how my business was affected. Well, I finally did find a real Joomla expert who was able to clean things up and I am happy to announce that my new website is ‘open for business!” I invite you in and let me know what you think.
There are also some lessons learned for those of you who have your own website or blogsite:
1. Pay attention to your site often – even though I was on my site often, it seems it wasn’t enough. I am more diligent now
2. Don’t be aloof – I was too trusting that my site was safe. I was told by my hosting site, who discovered the malicious encryption, that there are people out there who sit and “ping” sites in the hopes of finding a way in. I now have a stronger software protection and it is monitored heavily. Although this won’t totally guarantee that this won’t happen again, these measures will deter attempts
3. Update your content – don’t let the information you share be static; customers need variety so changing it up will keep them coming back as well as let hackers know that the site is monitored – this will put them on notice that any activities will be noticed and dealt with quickly which is what they want to do
Learn from my lessons so it doesn’t happen to you. Rebuilding is never fun or easy but not impossible. Here is my new site – www.cyscoaching.com – let me know how it looks!