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Three Lessons I Learned From Getting Hacked

You don’t realize how important backing up your information is until disaster strikes! And that’s exactly what happened to me a few years ago.

It was just another day on the grind for me. I got up to login to my computer to get my day started. Everything appeared to be cool.

After I logged into my computer, I headed over to my wordpress blog to add some new content to it.

Can you guess what happened next?  

My Blog Was Hacked with Some Kind of XXX Related Crap!  

I Reached Out to My Web Hosting Provider for Assistance But There Was Nothing They Could Do!

After seeing this mess on my website, I reached out to my web hosting provider to tell them what was up.

And you know what their response was… “Gee, sorry Kim, there is not much that we can do for you because you didn’t get the backup package with our web hosting plan”.

Ummm >>> Thanks for NOTHING Mr Web Hosting provider.

Now, I will say that I take full responsibility for not making sure that my website was backed up.

To be honest, I wasn’t really diligent about making sure that I had a decent backup system in place to restore my blog, so yea, some of the fault was on me.

What were the results of this outage? Ohhh let’s see….

  • Loss of potential sales
  • Loss of traffic
  • Loss of potential new email subbies to my email list

It was one of the biggest PITA’s that I’ve ever experienced.  Then to make things worse, having to get on the phone with a web hosting company that didn’t really give a care about what I was going through.

Hackers Are Always Out There Trolling and Ready to Take You Down!

Just last year, data breaches from cybersecurity attacks cost firms on average 15 million per year! That is super costly!

When I worked as a computer consultant a few years ago was

I’m not sure if you remember, but a few weeks ago there was a massive DNS attack that took down half of the internet.  

I knew something HAD to be up because there were too many major social networks down at once.

Twitter was down.  Pinterest was inaccessible. And I caught wind from my brother that the Playstation network was down too.  Sad times for the gamers right?

To say this day was madness would be an understatement.

What I Have Learned from Getting Hacked and What I Do Differently Now

After my website was hacked and I lost all of my files to a computer crash, I started taking computer security and backing up my data very serious.

I don’t know about you but in my experience, downtime is a killer for business productivity and it just down right sucks!  

What’s disturbing to me though is that still to this day, it’s troubling for me to read that 1 in 10 businesses don’t backup their data and 94% of computer users don’t either

What I’ve learned from getting hacked is…

  1. NEVER ever… leave anything to chance.  It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure that you have some sort of backup and restore system in place for your business.
  2. Nothing is 100%.  Computers fail, hard drives crash and hackers gonna hack!   Again, as a business or brand owner you need to have safeguards in place to protect your business as much as possible.
  3. Invest in the right tools to protect your business data.  I get it…money might be tight for ya, but believe me there are certain tech tools like backup solutions that you need to invest in for your biz.

How to Save Your Computer Data and Protect Your Business Assets

As you can see, I am very passionate about this subject.  I know what it’s like to be down in the water for days.  I know what it’s like to have to build a website from scratch because it was hacked.  This kind of stuff just down right sucks…

So friends, I leave you with these 3 tips on how to save your computer data and protect your business assets:

#1:  Use some type of remote backup service to store your data

Right now, I am using Amazon S3’s cloud based storage with CloudBerry’s remote backup software to store my files and and let me tell you…it is the Bomb diggity!

amazon-s3-storage

I was a little scared initially to pull the trigger and use Amazon’s service because I wasn’t sure how the pricing would work out. But when I saw my bill for the month, I promise you I turned a couple of cartwheels.

My bill was a WHOPPING .12 cents!

I use Amazon S3 to backup:

  • Content from my websites and blogs
  • Important files from my computer
  • Pretty much everything that I can backup!

Oh and in case you’re wondering, I use the UpdraftPlus WordPress plugin to backup my site to Amazon S3.

#2: Use Cloud Based Apps

I used to be a hugeee fan of the Microsoft office suites (and I a still am). But after experiencing computer crashes and shelling out all kinds of money to use the software I decided it was time to move to a cloud based platform. I eventually landed on Google Docs.  

googledocs

What I love about Google Docs is that:

  • The software is FREE to use
  • I can access my documents anywhere and anytime from an internet connected device
  • I can download files from Google Docs and convert them to all kinds of file formats like PDF’s, JPEG images and PNG images.

Some of my other favorite cloud based systems are Box.com and Dropbox.com.

#3:  Invest in a either an External Hard Drive or a NAS Drive to store your data

If you don’t want to bother trying to get a service like Amazon S3 setup, I would suggest at a minimum getting a NAS Drive or an External Drive to backup your data to.

The difference between a NAS Drive and an External Drive is that with a NAS drive you will have to connect it to your home network to access it.

With an External Hard Drive, you will need to connect it to your computer via a USB cable to backup your data.  

Either way, these are great tech resources to have in your business arsenal to make sure that you protect your business data.

So tell me…Have you had any horrible stories where your website or computer was hacked?  If so, I’d love to know how you handled it.

Cheers yall!

Kim
 

Kim, YourChicGeek is a tech savvy diva + founder of YourChicGeek.com. She is passionate about teaching small biz’s how to go from unnoticed to unstoppable online using tech and digital marketing. Kim has created several online courses and DIY trainings in the Blazing Branding Academy that help small businesses flourish online. You can contact Kim to hop on a quick 15 minute call to chat about your digital marketing goals.

  • Mark Newsome

    Unfortunately I too know the feeling all too well Kim!

    My blog site was recently hacked as well!And unlike you,
    since I’m far from being a techie, the experience literally
    through me for a loop!

    But like you I recovered and took the necessary steps going forward,
    to hopefully prevent it from happening again!

    Thanks for sharing your experience and solutions!Hopefully, that
    temporary negative experience is behind us for good!

    • Ohhhh nooo friend! Yea, it really does suck to have your blog or website taken down from a hacker! They just need to find something else better to do with their lives for realz. Im glad that you are on the path to recovery though and I am planning to roll out a video on how to backup your site really soon. Wishing you a fantabulous weekend bud. Cheers to ya 🙂

  • Lisa Irby

    I had no idea Amazon S3 was that reasonable. I never understood their pricing. LOL

    The other thing that is important is malware scanning. I haven’t had too many issues with hacking (knock on wood) but I’ve had several incidents of malware being inserted on my server (probably from WordPress plugins). So I signed up with Sucuri in January and they scan your site every hour for malicious files and clean it if necessary.

    I tried using Wordfence’s free scanner, but wasn’t impressed. I upgraded to their premium plan and it still missed stuff. Sucuri has been the only thing that has worked for me. They aren’t cheap but love how quickly they act.

    Great post Kim! Sometimes we assume our host is backing everything up for us and that’s not always the case. Always good to do it yourself just in case.

    • Heyyy there Lisa! Such an excellent point about using some sort of Malware protection too (especially on a WordPress website/blog). I have heard nothing but great things about Sucuri so I will definitely check them out.

      Oh girl… that website host was horrible. I do put the blame on myself for not making sure that my site was backed up though… but they were just a terrible company to deal with….which is why I am no longer with them. I truly appreciate you chiming in my friend. Hope that your holidays went well. Cheers to ya 🙂

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