What to do when your website has been hacked

website hacked

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One moment your site is running perfectly and the next, it’s completely shut down. Traffic drops and all the effort, time, energy and money you put in all goes down the drain. What’s more, you didn’t take insurance. Why did the hackers target your small website? Well, they didn’t.

website hacked

Most of them use bots to crawl the net looking for vulnerable sites. That’s why when it comes to being hacked, traffic size or popularity are not the deciding factors. So, if you own a small website that just got hacked, here are a few steps you can take to restore it.

1. Get in touch with your hosting company

If you don’t have the right technical expertise, inform the company hosting your site as soon as you find out that your site or page has been hacked.  They probably won’t do the actual work of cleaning your website. But they can provide invaluable assistance or may have multiple customers on the same server that are experiencing the same issue. Also, don’t forget to contact insurance.

2. Take your website offline

It is always best to temporarily shut the site down while it is being assessed and fixed. You also don’t want the people trying to access your site to be confronted with malicious code or spam files. You can take your site offline or password protect the main directory to block website visitors from your hosting control panel.

3. Change passwords

Change ALL the passwords – from mail box passwords to FTP passwords. And, don’t forget to warn your users that your website has been hacked and advise them to change their passwords to your website once it’s back up and running.

4. Scan your computers for viruses and malware

You have to scan your computer(s)/phone(s) with up-to-date anti-virus software to make sure they aren’t infected with malware, Trojans, spyware…

5. Hire A Professional

If the attack is bad or you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy, hiring professional the best solution. Ideally, this has to be someone with both strong technical expertise and someone. Your best options are your web developer and/or your hosting provider because they are familiar with your site and its configuration. A vulnerable website only gets worse with time, so the faster you can get your issues fixed, the safe your website will be.

6. Request a review

Your site might be back up and running, but you need Google to review it and have it unflagged. A blacklist can temporarily impact your site’s SERPs and SEO. So, log into Google Webmaster Tools to see if you have any site warnings in that need to be addressed. You must have identified your vulnerability and cleaned your site before resubmitting and requesting a review.

7. Get insured

According to a 2013 report, South Africa has the third highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide. Cybercrime is a reality and a risk that can’t be ignored. In just a couple of clicks, you can be hacked, phished, scammed, and easily seduced into opening infected attachments. You could even be held to ransom… And your business could lose everything.

King Price cybersure covers your computer systems, software and data, and also protects you against liability arising from cyber attacks on these assets. Cybersure includes cover for cyber liability and cybercrime, data breach expenses, damage to computer systems and data, associated loss of income, and more.

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