"You've Been Hacked!"
One day a loyal customer tells you that Google has flagged your website with this dire warning "This Website May Be Hacked"?
You look at your website, and everything looks normal. Most likely, you are the victim of a "Spam Hack" aka "SEO Hack."
In this very common situation the hacker doesn't want you or your customers to see anything unusual. They want you left in the dark so they have more time for their own desired customer, Google, to notice - Which it does repeatedly and at warp speed. All of a sudden, Google shows your website as having 300,000 pages, not the 30 pages you actually started with. All this happen very quickly.
You worry about that Google warning. You immediately realize the potential for lost revenue if Google keeps showing that warning. You know that your potential customers will skip that website and move on the next listing -- which all too often is one of your close competitors.
Time is of the utmost essence. I have seen some unfortunate business owners go for months without knowing what to do or "who to call."
You need to locate the damage, lock out the hackers (yes, most likely there are several, with a very well hidden "backdoor" left open for other hackers to find), clean up the damaged website, get your website's host to clean up their entire system, upgrade all the software and security aspects of your website, and finally beg for Google's forgiveness.
And you need to do this ASAP or more customers may be lost.
So, "Who ya gonna call?"
- Your website Host - Yes, they will want to make certain that "your" hacker does not gain access to their system. But... your host doesn't really care that Google still lists that "Warning";
- Your web designer - Might work, but too many "designers" are skilled in a site's appearance, and not in the technical aspects which you are now facing. And, they might not be available on the Sunday you discover your predicament;
- The "Repairman" - When your furnace quits at midnight on a sub-zero February night, or your sewer pipe backs up into the basement just as your dinner guests arrive, when time is of the essence, you call 911 for medical emergencies, otherwise you call a repair specialist.
So you turn to your "friendly" Google, and type in "what to do if my website was hacked." Then you start making phone calls. You need someone who speaks plain English, not "tech" or a language you can't understand anyway. But being a technical problem, they have to ask you a few technical questions - like, "what is your FTP logon info." Now you are stumped again.
So what to do?
If you are victim of a "Spam Hack" we can usually get you back in business with a "clean" Google listing in 3 to 7 days.
Ideally, prevention is easier and less costly that the cure, so taking proper preventative measures is vital.
It is vital that you have recent backups of your entire website - photos, web files, databases and any special software. In a worst case scenario, your entire website can be restored to what it was as of your last backup.
If you don't make frequent changes, an annual or quarterly backup might be OK. If you are making changes daily or weekly, as with a Blog, you need backups on the same basis as your edits.
You also need to have a support person who has all your recent backup files - one who knows how to "repair" a hacking situation.
Be certain you have that as a minimum insurance.
The bottom line with hackers is not that you got hacked. Sadly, the reality is that once you first set up your website, hundreds of attempts will be made each and every day by hackers looking for websites to break into.
I was contacted recently by a business owner and upon my investigation I identified one single hacker having made 75,000 break in attempts in just one 24 hour period).
Of course the hackers themselves don't do all this work, they write or purchase programs that will constantly scan the entire internet and when an open door is found the hacker is alerted and then he goes to work.
All websites can be hacked. But websites using a content management system (CMS) where the site owners can login and make their own text changes are the most vulnerable. Common examples of these CMS systems include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Also included are many custom systems, such as DatAvenger which is used by a web firm in Maine.
"Call Now to Arrange a Free Consultation"
Or click here to send me an E-mail, and I will call you. Let's get to know each other, and discuss some of your most pressing problems, during a brief, confidential, visit in your office. I will freely share my ideas with you, even though there is no charge for this meeting, and no obligation.
PS: Why I Offer A Free Consultation
I want your business. That's no surprise. But I hate selling. In fact, like most people, I need an ice-breaker.
My free initial consultation will let you to get to know me better. You won't need to worry about how much our meeting will cost you. And I wont worry about all the valuable advice I give away. So we can both relax and share ideas.
Then you'll see why other business owners continue to seek my business and marketing consulting services, and you will want to as well.
Like my other clients, once you get to know me, and I contribute to your success, I know you will never forget, and you will continue to seek my consulting services long into the future.
"Yes But, Here's that Old Catch"
Of course, neither you or I can afford to give away the store all the time. So I only make a limited number of free consultations each month. And I make them on a first come first serve basis. So the sooner you call, the sooner we can get together and start solving your problems.