The ugly truth is that any blog or web site can be hacked, whether it’s well-known or not. And the reasons your site is targeted could range from a hacker’s desire to have a little fun to a full-on vendetta against your point of view or something else on your site that offended them.
While we are as yet unable to know what’s happening in a hacker’s mind, there are many steps that can be taken to not only confirm an attack, but reverse it completely, in addition to preventing future attempts.
It Begins With You
Staying calm is the first and best thing you should do if you find out your blog or web site has been hacked. Panicking will only cause you to waste energy that could be put toward solving the problem. This can be especially difficult if it was your business which was attacked, as every minute lost can result in lost revenue. But the quicker you calm down, the more quickly you can begin working toward a solution.
Some Solutions for Blog Hacks
This article can by no means cover all of the potential ways to stop and reverse a blog hack, but it may give you some ideas about which moves to make next.
A good idea when beginning your quest to reclaim your blog is to, well -claim it. This can be done by getting in touch with the site that is hosting your blog and letting them know that your blog does, in fact belong to you. You may also want to tell them what you plan to do about the hack and ask if they have any ideas.
Shutting down your blog the minute you discover you’ve been hacked could make the entire process of fixing the problem much easier. While it may cause confusion for your visitors, completely removing access to your site by the hacker causing the trouble will prevent future hacks from occurring, and make you feel less like you’re putting out multiple fires, and more in control of what’s happening.
A good idea is to run a virus scan on the computer you use for blogging, as a large number of block hacks begin with the installation and execution of a virus on your computer. To clean your computer properly, you will need to reboot your computer in Safe Mode, run your virus scan, and then reboot in Safe Mode again, running a malware scan. Follow this procedure until you’ve been informed you are clean.
You will also need to do some cleaning on your blog’s server side, as anything you leave lying around can be fodder for future hacks, specifically, the files located in your HTDOCS directory. Contact your ISP by phone and request that they clean out this portion of your blog from their end.
Getting hacked means that the hacker most likely has your username and password information. So any passwords and usernames associated with your blog will have to be changed, including FTP logins, blog host login and even your password to log into your own computer (if you have one). But be careful about when you do it; taking this step too early can cause another quick and dirty hack. Follow the steps above first.
Every aspect of your blog will have to be reinstalled, from the software it uses to its plugins and widgets to your theme. And while it may be tempting to go live ASAP, resisting temptation will allow you to stay invisible to hackers for as long as possible, which is a major key to getting through a blog hack unscathed.
After you’ve completed all of these steps, it’s important to also prevent commenting and searching on your blog. That’s because the XML databases of blogs are very easily hacked and infected. It’s also a simple task for a hacker to infiltrate a blog by using the search field that’s included in most.
As soon as it’s safe to do so, posting about your experience will let your visitors know what happened and why you were offline for as long as you were.
Guest author Elizabeth Brosuga enjoys writing on a variety of topics, particularly in technology. She has contributed helpful information on how to locate a broadband provider at http://www.highspeed-internet-providers.com/.