Why Did My Website Get Hacked?

hackedUnfortunately we are hearing this question more and more.  Even if you don’t handle personal or financial data it doesn’t seem to matter; just about any website large or small could be vulnerable to attack.  But why would someone bother to hack your humble little site?  Some reasons might include:

  • Enslave your website into an evil botnet. **
  • Use it as an email spam relay to advertise their human enhancement products, sketchy dating service, fast cash scam, etc.
  • Use your website to further spread malware to other websites and computers.
  • Maybe they just do it for kicks, giggles and bragging rights.

What can you do about it?

You probably get updates on your computer, phone, tablet and apps all the time.  Those important updates give you improved security and functionality.  Did you know your website also needs to be updated regularly to keep it secure?  Here are some basic care and feeding instructions for every website owner.

  • Make a backup of your website each month and store it in a safe place.  If something bad happens you can quickly restore and get back to business.
  • Update your website software and plugins.  Outdated software could leave your website vulnerable.
  • Run a malware scan to ensure nothing bad is lurking somewhere.  Most modern websites support some sort of malware scanner like this one for WordPress.
  • Test your website to make sure everything is working normally, especially your contact and lead generation forms.  Sometimes an unannounced change by your website host or a software update can cause forms to stop working.
  • Sign up with Google Webmaster Tools (it’s free) and review for any crawl errors or security issues that Google has found on your site.  Google will email registered website owners if they find any problems on the site so be sure to monitor your email for notifications.

Discuss with your webmaster to make sure your website is being kept up to date.  If have a WordPress-powered website and need help keeping it maintained, contact us to discuss.

** What Is A Botnet? Infographic via Microsoft Malware Protection Center