My website’s been hacked! Now what?

First of all, don’t panic. A number of things could be the culprit, so stay calm.

We’ve put together this handy flowchart to make it easy to figure out what’s happened to your website and what to do about it.

There are usually three circumstances you’re dealing with:

  1. Redirect attack – anyone attempting to come to the site is automatically redirected to phishing or malware sites to increase traffic to their site.
  2. Spam transporter – the site is being used to send spam out to the web. You might not even know this has happened unless you receive a notice from your website hosting company.
  3. Full takeover – the site has been taken over and is no longer visible. Sometimes you’ll see a message that states your site has been hacked.

Use the flowchart to determine your next step in returning the site to normal.

Where do I start?

Prevention is always the first line of defense. Take the time to implement the following preventative measures now to save money and time in the future.

  1. Regularly install software updates. When logging in to the admin side of your website, update notices are usually quite visible at the top of the screen.
  2. Make sure you have regularly scheduled website backups (on-site and off). In the event that your website gets wiped out, having a backup makes it easier to bring it back online rather than having to start from scratch to build a new one.
  3. Purchase an SSL certificate to ensure your data is secure. More and more sites are moving to https for security reasons even if no credit card information is exchanged. Google favors websites that have SSL certificates, too.
  4. Change your administrator login password often. Pick a short phrase and add special characters and numbers. Passwords don’t have to be a garbled mess of letters, numbers and characters for them to be secure.

If you find yourself having to deal with a hacked website and don’t know what to do, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’ll help you navigate through it and bring your site back online in no time.