See Something Say Something.
Uh Oh. Is your email box filling with Russian or Chinese spam? Reach out to your web guru right away. You might even save a few emails for the guru to see, since they may hold a clue to the cause. If they look like they’re coming from you, and your host has shut down your site, your contact page may have been hacked.
You don’t have to be a large website to get hacked. It’s a crime of opportunity. The hacking (ro)bots roam the web looking for unprotected sites.You left your apartment door open and the electronic burglars came in, ate most of the food in your fridge, ordered a few hundred movies on your cable account, turned on all of your appliances and made endless calls to everyone in your mobile phone directory. The party doesn’t stop until the landlord turns off the power. That’s when you get the urgent email from your host telling you that your site is down because it’s “consuming too many resources”.
Lock down the vulnerable points on your website. Any page that requires a login or accepts info from a visitor should include something to deter an automated attack from a bot. Bots don’t do well with interpretation or context. Asked to identify the dog picture in a field of cats, the bot will move on. They don’t do well with misshapen numbers and letters either. As annoying as those CAPTCHAs* are, they demonstrate the (current) superiority of humans over robots.
*CAPTCHA is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”)
There is an Upside
A hacking incident is a drag, but it’s also a good opportunity to improve your web security and learn how to defend your website. Web gurus use these attacks to work on hardening the wall around your precious website. A hacked website is clear evidence that you must invest in maintenance and security. A site with out-of-date software is vulnerable to hackers who are honing their techniques every day. Ignoring program updates and improvements, guarantees eventual failure.
Buy a maintenance contract
We recommend that all of our clients purchase a maintenance contract that includes scheduled website and database backups, theme and plugin updates and analytics to find out how the site is being used. This kind of programmed and scheduled attention goes a long way to keeping your website secure and gives you someone to call in an emergency.