It’s every website owner’s worst nightmare and it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Your website will get hacked. It will happen at a time when you do not need the extra stress and you will feel like you might lose everything you worked so hard to build. The important thing to remember is that you can prepare for such a situation and come out of it stronger.
What do I do if my site has been hacked. Do this.
- Get in touch with your host
After realizing that your website has been compromised, it is important you get in touch with your website host as there is a chance that the hack may not be limited your website only, or even if it is, they are better equipped with trained tools to remove the offending piece of code and restore sanity to your website.
Restrict access to your website
Having an error message show to visitors when they try and visit your website is much less damaging, than having their bank accounts emptied due to malware infection. Take your site offline so that you can get everything in order without any interference from the hackers. Make sure that you let your audience know that your site has been compromised via twitter and facebook as well.
You will also need to change all your passwords for access to your site and check for any unauthorized emails that may have been added to the list of site owners.
- Identify the nature of attack
Using the set of webmaster tools provided by Google is a good idea for this work. Google does a lot of the heavy lifting for you once you have verified your ownership of the site and provides you with analytics, malware assessment as well as ways to fix the damage that was caused.
It’s useful to make a Google account and keep it ready in case you ever need to use these tools.
- Cleaning up your site and getting back online
This part can be a tricky for most users and it is helpful to have someone with knowledge of coding and website design on your side guiding you through this. Some web hosts will do all this work for you and make sure that no active malware exists in your site, while others may require you to do it yourself.
Once you are back online, make sure that you have all your files back up regularly if and when this happens again. Make sure that you are working with a file host that is helpful in such a situation and if you are not, then switch to one.