How To Recover Your Website After Being Hacked

Website SecurityIf your website has been hacked, recovering from it can be overwhelming. Restoring the site back to its former glory as well as taking preventive measures to prevent repeated hacks can be very exhaustive. Regardless of the nature of the hack, you need to follow the steps outlined below to get your site back after it has been compromised by hackers.

Are You Sure That The Site Has Been Hacked?

Your site might be compromised yet you have no clue about it. Therefore, if you suspect that it has been hacked here are a few ways to confirm before diving right into the restoration options. First, you will find that the hacker has completely defaced your site. For instance, you might try logging into your site only to find everything wiped out completely.

Some hackers like to brag about their skills so they might leave a blank page revealing the hacker behind your site. On the other hand, after logging to your site, you might be redirected to a completely new site which is a clear indication that you have been hacked. There are a few hackers who will cover up their tracks completely leaving no sign that your site is completely compromised.

That’s the worst type of hack. Basically, the hackers have access to all your confidential information. Therefore, they can use anything that goes through your site in whichever way they wish. Luckily, a few search engines such as Bing or Google have hacker detection algorithms that can warn you when your site has been compromised. If you find any of these signs, your site has clearly been compromised.

How Are Sites Hacked?

A recent survey revealed that most website owners have no clue that their sites have been hacked. If you suspect or have clear proof that your site has been hacked, you need to know what happened exactly in order to prevent further attacks. There are a few ways hackers can compromise your site.

For instance, if you have used a very simple password, the hackers can simply guess it and get access to your site. That’s why it’s not advisable to use passwords such as birthdays or birth year. If the passwords are too complicated, the hackers might send malware to your computer. If you click this malware unknowingly, the hackers have all your login credentials and access to your site.

On the other hand, if you’re using outdated software on your site, hackers can find vulnerabilities and sneak through. Also, if you’re using the same shared server as another vulnerable site, chances are that hackers will find access to your site. That’s why it’s important to avoid cheap hosting providers.

With numerous technological advancements, hackers have found it easier to create their own hacking programs that can generate passwords no matter how complicated they might be. Therefore, it’s important to add a few layers of security to your website. That way, if the hackers pass through the first firewalls, they can’t access the rest.

How Can You Recover A Compromised Website

Changing Passwords

If you’re sure that your account has been compromised, you need to change your passwords immediately. You should change the email, cPanel and FTP passwords immediately. If you’re using any content management system such as Joomla, WordPress or Joomla, you should change the passwords immediately.

Scanning Your Computer

Hackers can access your local computer once the shared server is completely compromised. If a virus completely compromises your computer, the hacker can send a hacking code/program to your site through HTML editors or FTP programs. If your computer is not air-gapped (connected to the internet), always make sure your internet connection is very secure.

Start by updating any antivirus software on your computer then scan the whole machine. If you don’t have any antivirus program, install one and keep it updated. You should perform regular scans of your computer to make sure it’s not compromised. You can either use any of the free antivirus programs on the internet or pay for one and download it.

Secondly, if you connect to the internet using a wireless router, make sure the connection is secure. Search for your router model online and learn how to perform a secure internet connection. You can also contact the router manufacturer and get instructions on how to do it properly.

If your website is designed using web development software such as iWeb, Dreamweaver and many more, you should make sure that the software is updated regularly. As mentioned above, hackers can identify vulnerable old software and gain access to your site. All the Adobe products such as Acrobat reader and Acrobat should also be updated. All the browsers used on the computer should also be updated regularly.

How To Secure Your cPanel

The cPanel refers to the control panel for your hosting account. That’s where most malicious attacks on your website are likely to come through. If you have been hacked, you should make sure that the cPanel is secured using the following steps.

First, you should change the password to your cPanel account as mentioned above.  Look at all the listed FTP accounts and make sure they are in use. If there are a few not in use, then you should remove them. Also, don’t forget to change the passwords to your FTP accounts.

Look through your cPanel email forwaders. Make sure that all the forwarders currently in use are of your own creation and are forwarding to and from the right emails. If there are any suspicious forwarders, you should remove them immediately to avoid further compromise.

Professional Help

There are several websites that specialize in website security that have useful articles.  One we can particularly recommend is Sucuri.  There are also firms that provide website malware removal services and hacked site recovery services.

In summary

Once you have thoroughly clean out the current attacks, you should put measures in place to make sure that your site is never hacked again. For instance, use stronger antivirus programs, change your passwords into more complicated options and also update all the software used on your site to prevent any vulnerability. It’s good to always be on the lookout for any compromise on your site since you can’t exactly be sure when hackers might gain access.  and if you need assistance, professional companies specializing in website virus removal services, such as Silicon Beach SEO, in Beverly Hills, CA, may be hired.