I got a text from a friend recently telling me the last thing I expected to hear, “I think your website's been hacked.” In case you're not sure how you would react to news like that, let me show you with some gifs.
When you have no idea what's going on and need help, the first thing you want to do is find help. Thankfully all my websites are back up and running.
During this whole process of dealing with the hack and recovering from it, I have learned a lot.
- Don't necessarily trust your host to have a backup.
When I contacted GoDaddy they told me that they while they say they could have a backup they do not guarantee it.
Imagine getting that response when you're panicking because you website hosted by a third-party was hacked. Luckily, I kept my own backups through WordPress Backup to Dropbox and VaultPress.
- You don't have to fix your problem by yourself.
This was new territory for me and was not something I was familiar with. So even though I had a backup, I didn't know what to do with that. But given how many talented folks are out there, I figure I could find someone to help me out. 🙂 And I did thankfully. Shoutout to those who helped fix my issues.
- If you're hacked, it isn't always necessarily your fault
Speaking with several contractors that specialize in this area, sometimes being hacked is not the fault of the site owner. I kept up with the updates, installed security plugins, tried to be as diligent as possible with keeping the site safe. That's why I was so shocked to find out that I had been hacked. Sometimes your site can be hacked if your host has a breach in one of their servers and a hacker gets in before a security patch is installed. This means that you should be asking your host about their security and what they do to protect your site from and prevent hacking.
In my case, it appears that the hack came from somewhere else and affected my sites. This can easily happen because I am on a shared hosting plan. Shared hosting is one of the most common plans offered by web hosts. It means you are sharing your websites with other customers of the host. But this is also one of the most commonly bought plans because it's cheap. SO…just be careful. Don't fall behind on updates, take precautions, and be aware of what's going on.
Here are some helpful resources in case you are hacked.