The Horrors Of A Hacked Website: How To Repair And Secure Your Website!

Many a website security is compromised because of lack of proper monitoring systems in place.  Websites can be infected with all sorts of viruses, Trojans, iframe injections and a zillion other forms of attacks.

If your website has already been hacked, you need to take instant action in regaining control. The first thing that needs to be done is to check for problems on your computer. It could be happening from your computer itself.

Scan Your Computer

Towards this end, it is essential to first scan your PC with an anti-Malware program and an anti-Virus program.  After checking with the anti-virus program that is installed on your computer, you can double check with a variety of free online anti-virus programs available.

Some of the free programs available are:

  • ABG Free anti-virus scanner
  • AdAware Free anti-malware scanner
  • Microsoft Windows Defender, which is a free anti-malware program
  • Spybot Search and Destroy, a free anti-malware program

There are several others, but these are a few of the more popular scanners.

Take Your Website Offline

If your pages are infected with viruses, any visitor to your website will also be attacked. It is your duty to protect your visitors and this is the only way to ensure your reputation is intact.  The first thing that needs to be done is to take the website offline, which involves adding a few lines to your .htaccess.  If done right, a warning saying that the site may harm their computers will flash in Google and other search engine results.

If you think that this will harm your reputation, you must consider the fact that most visitors who find your site may not even notice this and there is a greater chance of them returning later; whereas, if they suffer from a virus attack because of your website, you would be losing them forever.

Another reason for taking it offline is because there may be a security hole that caused the site to be hacked in the first place.  You don’t want that to happen again until you fix all the issues and secure your website.  The hackers may also have installed a script to access the site.  Closing your site for a while will block them out and no script can help them get in.

Report To Your Web Host

Open a support ticket letting your web hosting company know what happened.  Try and explain clearly whatever you know.  There are many web hosts out there that will help you clean your site; of course not everybody does, but then it is always better to find out if they can help or give you some advice.  If you are using shared hosting, there is a possibility that the web host may know of other websites that are affected too.

Change Passwords

Once the PC is free of viruses, it is crucial to change the cPanel, email, FTP and database and all other passwords.  Make sure the new passwords are very strong and difficult for people to decipher. Try and use different passwords for each and everything.

Once you’ve repaired the damage done, it is time to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  You will have to manage your website properly keeping it safe and secure.

Here are a few tips:

  • Install a good antivirus software program on your PC. You will need real-time continuous protection as scanning it once a day is not good enough. Malware has the ability to delete itself after causing the damage.
  • Install all the latest security patches on Windows systems as well as all other internet-related software.
  • Use strong passwords using upper and lower case letters, numeric as well as punctuations in the password.  Do not use the same password for everything.
  • You must make sure it is safe before downloading anything from the internet; whether it is a script or something else.

You must give your website the same importance you would give the house you live in. Just as you would secure it properly to make sure nobody gets in, you must ensure your website is locked for all bad elements.

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