If you’re reading this because your blog is hacked then reach out to iMark Interactiv. They are the only company I trust with something like this and with all my log-ins. They are actually the ones that handle all our regular Wordpress maintenance and support as well. They will help you clear out the hack and protect your blog from future security breaches.
I never thought my blog would ever get hacked. I was sure this was something that happened to really famous bloggers with lots of traffic and honestly I didn’t even think it was something that really happened. That is, until it happened me when my blog was teeny tiny.
Thankfully my blog wasn’t compromised, nor were my readers, but it could have been much worse. After months of dealing with this and fixing the hack my blog is now protected but it was such a horrible experience that I want to share with you the steps I took to protect my blog.
Hopefully your blog hasn’t been hacked and you can keep it that way by following these tips on this post. These tips are useful for blogs that use the WordPress platform.
The most important thing you can do is keep your software up to date. I use wordpress so this means I have make sure my blog has the latest wordpress update, theme update as well as all the plug-ins updated. This is so easy to do and takes just a few minutes. It is one of the most common way hackers access your blog.
Have a unique username & password:
When you install wordpress your user name is “admin” by default and hackers know that. I remember trying to this change in the control panel and I couldn’t figure out how to do it and left it this way. Big mistake! You can change it and it’s easy.
Go to “Users” and create a new user with administrator properties. Do not use your initials or name for this, use something completely unrelated to you or your blog. Same goes for your password, make sure it’s long, has letters, numbers and symbols. The weirder it looks, the better.
Once you created that user, log out of “admin” and log in with your new user name. Go back to the ” Users” section and delete the “admin” user. When you’re doing that make sure you attribute your current content to your new user so your posts don’t get deleted.
I didn’t know about this wordpress plug-in and I wish I had known about it before. It protects your blog and keeps you updated on hacking attempts. There are other plug ins that can keep your blog safe like VaultPress and iThemes Security Pro.
Remove all unnecessary and not updated plug-ins:
Check every single plug-in your have and make sure they are being updated by the person that created them. I found 3 plug ins that haven’t been updated in a while and some of the reviews said it was causing spam in their blogs. Make sure the plug-ins you have are really necessary and keep them to a minimum.
Delete all unused themes:
If a theme is not updated it might be easier to access your blog so to avoid this, delete all themes you’re not using.
Run a good antivirus on your computer frequently:
A virus is another way hackers can access your blog. Having a good antivirus and making sure it’s scanning your computer frequently is very important. I’ve rarely have had viruses in my many years of owning computers, but I recently found one after all of this happened and I’m wondering if this is what caused the hack.
Because my laptop was old and having issues I ended up replacing it with a Mac. I feel much safer now since Macs aren’t as targeted as other computers.
Make sure you have a good hosting company:
To this day I’m not sure what caused the hack and if my old hosting company was to blame but my advice get a reliable hosting with good reviews, good customer service, someone that keeps a backup of your blog content, offers a good security/firewall for your blog and can help/fix if your blog were to get hacked.
We currently use InMotion Hosting for this blog and all of our other blogs.
Add an extra layer of protection:
If you’re really paranoid like I am now, you can hire someone that will go into your backend and make sure your blog is protected as well as install all necessary plug-ins to prevent it from getting hacked.
I am not a techie person so for me this is must since I don’t understand much of what happens behind the scenes. I use iMark Interactive. They actually take care of all my WordPress related issues or if I want to make any HTML code changes. It’s a relief to have found someone I can trust and that can do all the changes I need.
Create a Google Webmaster tools account:
This is how I initially found out about the hack. Right after I created my account I saw the notification of my blog being hacked. I wish I had the account sooner so I could have known about it right when it happened and not a few weeks later.
They will send you notifications when your blog has a threat, and just for that it’s worth having. Also, once your hack has been removed, through this account, you can request Google to review your blog to make sure your hacking has been fixed.
Check periodically your blog links on Google:
If you go to Google and type site:yourdomain, with no spaces and search for results it will show you all the pages that are created in your blog. If you have been hacked and there were pages created using your blog, you will see them here.
From there you can proceed to get help to get them removed. Once the malware and pages have been removed from your blog, you can request google to remove them immediately from their searches by using the Google webmaster removal tool. You only want to do this once you make sure your site has been cleared.
Check your wordpress stats or Google Analytics:
When my blog was hacked I remember checking the keywords used to find my blog and seeing some weird words that weren’t related to my blog at all. I didn’t understand why they were there and thought it was some form of spam.
Now that I went through this I realize this should have been my first warning that my blog was hacked. So if you see something suspicious on the keywords being used to find your blog, look deeper into it.
If your blog gets hacked:
The hosting company I was with when this happened referred to SiteLock to clear up my blog issues. I was desperate and that’s what I did but afterwards they kept trying to up-sell me and I found some questionable reviews online so I ended up closing my account.
If your blog is hacked, reach out immediately to iMark Interactive so they can remove the hack right away and add extra layers of protection to your blog. Right now, it’s the only company I trust.
These are all the steps I took to protect my blog. I truly hope no one ever gets hacked but the best way to avoid it is by taking the right measures before it even happens. Remember, not only big bloggers get hacked, anyone can get hacked.
What other steps do you take to make sure your blog is protected?
Has your blog been hacked in the past? How did you fix it?
Carolina King and Jessica Dimas are two experienced bloggers finding success in different niches with different revenue streams, creating this blog together to prove that any blogger can be successful. Connect with them in their Facebook group or on Instagram for more inspiration.
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