Hacking seems to be the most popular thing these days. If you think you’ve been hacked, it’s a good idea to figure out if you have as soon as possible. With so many different viruses and types of hacks out there, you need to be aware of it and handle it before something worse happens. Regularly backing up your website will keep you from losing important information and will make restoring your site much easier, but you still have to deal with the hack.
Sometimes it’s pretty easy to figure out if your site was hacked. Some viruses or hacks will deface your website and tell you they hacked you. However, others won’t make it so obvious. Here are some of the things to look for.
- Listen to your anti-virus software – If it warns you when visiting your own site, you were probably hacked.
- The dreaded Google warning page shows up when you visit your site – This means Google scanned your site and found something malicious, probably from a hacker.
- Changes to the homepage – Some hackers will actually change your homepage to display a page stating they hacked your site. Others will just make changes to the homepage. Look for anything out of the ordinary and you’ll know if you were hacked.
- Lost Admin Access – If you can’t access the admin area anymore, you were probably hacked.
- Other site issues – Pages don’t load that used to, widgets have been moved or anything else out of the ordinary could be a sign of being hacked.
What Caused the Hack?
Many different things can give a hacker access to your site. They could have hacked into your computer and stole your username and password, but more likely, it was something else. The most common ways a hacker gains access to your website are:
- Code Injection
- Remote File Inclusion
- FTP account password compromised
- CPanel compromised
Usually, a hacker that gets ahold of your password will try to take credit by defacing your homepage. You can avoid some of these hacks by keeping your software up-to-date. For example, if you use WordPress, make sure all plugins and the actual database are updated whenever an update is available. This goes for ALL your sites, as hackers can sometimes gain access to your cPanel from an old site with an outdated plugin.
Fixing Your Hacked Website
Since each type of hack is different, it can be very hard to advise someone how to fix the hacked site. However, there are some general things you can do whenever you think you’ve been hacked. Here’s a list.
- Change your passwords – This is the first thing you should do and to avoid being hacked use a password with uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.
- Update all your programs through your hosting account – This includes CMS, shopping cart or any other software you’re using on your site.
- Run malware and virus scans on your computer – Sometimes your computer becomes infected and that’s how they get into your website.
When all else fails, call your hosting company’s support team and find out if they can help you get everything back to normal. Once you’ve cleared the malicious code or software and things are back to normal, consider an upgrade to your hosting company for more protection. In addition, make sure all your software programs remain up-to-date.