What if Your Website Gets Hacked

A computer that has been hacked with a man showing distress.

In the event that your website does get hacked, the most important rule is to stay calm, cool, and collected. It is not the end of the world. Your first step should always be to contact your website developer. The experts will know best; do not attempt to fix this problem yourself.

Often, the reason you were targeted for an attack is because of a vulnerability on your website, like a deprecated plugin or an outdated theme. Your personal data may have been breached in other ways, and if your passwords are all the same, your login could be compromised.

Hackers do not care how big or small your company is. Their entire goal is to do harm, and they don’t care who they hurt.

If you believe your website has been compromised, here are a few ways that can help resolve the issue:

Create a List

Keep in mind your data could have been breached months before you noticed a problem. “On average, companies take about 197 days to identify and 69 days to contain a breach,” according to IBM

What Security Steps Did You Take?

  • Have you updated your plugins regularly?
  • Do you check your themes for updates?
  • When have you changed your passwords?
  • Did you add a new plugin to your website?
  • Create a list of everyone who can access your website.

If you believe your website became hacked, the first thing you should do is start documenting. You should write down when you first started noticing problems, including the time and date, what type of actions you are experiencing, and backtracking to previous actions you have made which may have caused the security breach.

Documenting will help you recall information and keep a list of problems you are experiencing with your website in real-time for future use. This will help you or a specialist identify the main issue and make it easier moving forward to re-securing your website.

Review and Scan Your Website

Reviewing and scanning your website is an excellent next step. Going through your website will allow you analyze each area of your website and identify areas of concern or find data you have not included yourself. In addition, it is also ideal to scan your website with security software, which will do a complete deep dive and report on a various thing within your website. To find a list of security plugins, check out our article on keeping your WordPress website secure.

Scan Your Devices

On top of scanning your website, it is always a great idea to scan your devices (i.e., Desktop, MacBook, Cell Phones, etc.). Attacks can come from anywhere so running an anti-virus/malware scan on your device can help identify if this is origin of the attack. If this happens to be the case, make sure to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Many people do not think about cell phones as access points to your personal data, but today, hackers readily target personal cell phones to gain access to login information and passwords. Often, we download the app that gives hackers the keys to our personal lives without realizing it.

Phones are popular targets for hackers, because they contain so much personal information all in one place. Smartphones hold everything from email and phone contacts to banking and social media details. Hackers can sell this data on the dark web, use it to commit identity theft, or carry out a host of other cybercrimes.

Phone Hackers: 9 Signs Your Phone Has Been Hacked | Avast

Reset Access Control to your Website

Another step to help mitigate the effects of a hacking attack is to reset the access control. When thinking about access, do you know how many users can get into the back end of your website? Is it an old employee? A marketing partner you no longer use? Eliminating unnecessary access to your website is a good way to limit the ability of hackers to gain easy access. The more points of entry, the more vulnerabilities you have to consider.

Doing this will lock down your website and prevent others from entering and causing additional damage. To achieve this, you can implement a global password reset which will affect all users, including administrators. To force users off that are actively logged into WordPress, you must update the secret keys in wp-config.

Have a Backup of your Website

It is always important to have a backup for your website. If you don’t have one, now would be a great time to create one. A backup allows you to continue operations in the event of an attack on your website. It is ideal to backup your files and database to ensure they are as current as possible if this were to happen.

Locate and Remove the Hack

This will be the most difficult part of the journey. Finding and removing the hack can get complicated depending on the severity, yet it is doable. If you don’t have the technical aptitude for working with websites and web servers, connect with us at IGV for professional support. However, if you wish to remove the hack yourself, here is a great resource that will help in this process:

Update Everything Website Related

Now that you have resolved the issue, it is now time to update. This means updating and changing your passwords and ensuring that your website is running at the most up-to-date version possible. In addition, ensure you have the proper security measures implemented into your site. This will help avoid future attacks and keep your WordPress website secure.

An interlocking web of symbols with a lock in the middle being pressed by a mans finger.

IGV Provides Website Maintenance and Security for Your Website

Your website is a focal point for your business communications. Ensuring that your website remains secure and maintained is an important factor in stopping possible hacking threats. Here at Innovative Global Vision, we secure your investments with our website maintenance programs to give you peace of mind. We provide our clients with unmatched service and distinctive maintenance plans to keep your website free from vulnerabilities and up and running.

Contact us today to learn more and get started.

Additional Reading

AUTHOR: Stuart Silcox

Stuart Silcox
January 17, 2023

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