Everyone dreads having their website hacked, but if it happens to you, take swift action to minimize damage. Your initial response may be dread and misery, but there are many things that you could learn from the experience. The last thing you want to do is panic. Keeping your mind and your emotions steady will be key in responding properly to the breach.
With all eyes on the upcoming holiday rush, the following are steps to take in the event that your site gets hacked:
- Lock down your website – Locking your site will prevent further access and damage. You may temporarily lose some sales but that’s better than permanently losing your reputation.
- Update your passwords – Change the passwords for everything that you have on your server, including any other passwords that you are using to communicate or access your server, hosting account, or control panel. Otherwise, hackers could gain access again using one of your old passwords.
- Dig for answers – After you have locked down your sites, you can start your investigation and cleanup.
- Disclose what happened – Communicate to other involved parties and customers exactly what happened and the steps that you took to solve the problem. The last thing that you want to do is be like Equifax, know about an issue, not disclose it, then be exposed later.
- Strengthen your website’s security – Your site was hacked because there was a flaw in your security. Strengthen your website by setting up several layers of protection.
No one welcomes getting hacked, but you can use the unfortunate occasion to learn and move forward stronger and safer than ever.