Don’t panic. I know that it’s a scary thing when your business webpage has been successfully modified by a hacker. In fact, there might be some intentionally disturbing stuff going on with your website because of it. However, dealing with a hacker is often not a big deal, provided you have a backup of your site and can still access the back-end in some way. Once you have your small business website back online, the most important work is in prevention: Seeing to it that your site is as hard to hack as possible in the future.
First Things First: Get Your Website Back
It might not seem like it, but this is actually the easy part. If you have a backup, that is. There is a pretty good chance that the hacker did not actually lock you out of your site, as most hackers are more concerned with causing a disruption than severely crippling a business. If your website has locked you out, however, there are still ways to get in. The server will probably be able to reset your password and send the password to your e-mail address with a simple request. You know that link that says “I forgot my password?” That’s code for, “Some idiot hacked my account.” Go in, fill out the form, and check your e-mail. That’s the password that is going to get you back into your account.
Once you receive that password, log in immediately. Upload your backed up files to their respective locations, and click update. Ta-da! Your old site is back.
Obviously, if you don’t have a backup, things get a little more complicated, as you will have to reconstruct the site from the ground up. Servers don’t typically back up recent versions of their websites for you, as this would put a crunch on their available space. If you get hacked and you do not have access to the backup, you may be looking at a “start over” situation. However, before you go that far, check the Way Back Machine for your website. If your site was crawled recently, you might be able to get at least a working copy of your site.
Just because you have your site back, though, doesn’t mean you are done with hackers forever. My next post will delve into how you can help prevent a hacker from accessing your site in the future.