How safe are you online? Up until last year I would’ve said that my internet security was sound and that there was no way that I could be ‘hacked’. But like Christian Slater says in the ‘The Wolf’, a promotional campaign for Hewlett Packard, it is oh so easy to be hacked and not even realise how, why, and by whom.
Last year I was working on a blog post when I had an email from a PR contact. She wanted to know if I could do a post for me, but said that when she had accessed my blog, she had faced a red screen that was telling her that my blog was infected. The strange thing was that I was working on my blog at the time and had faced no issues when logging in, nor when I was working. I also couldn’t find anything wrong when I searched for my blog online, for me, the homepage was still showing normally. But then I started to get comments from friends on online forums, telling me they were accessing the home page and getting that dreaded red page too. I was devestated – I didn’t know where to even begin looking for the problem. I checked plugins, I checked everything was up to date -my version of wordpress, my plugins, my anti virus – but still nothing made a difference. Gutted was an understatement.
Eventually, after spending hours feeling helpless and exposed, with more and more friends sending me messages about the red screen (think Red Wedding, but even more ‘red’). I found out about Sucuri site checker. This is a free site that checks for malware. It told me that an advert in my sidebar was indeed infected. I was able to remove it and trash it, and then the Sucuri software again. I breathed the hugest sigh of relief that was site was now safe and back to normal. But so many people are not so lucky and can find years of work gone in an instant.
Have you ever been hacked – either at work or at home?