My website's changed and might have been hacked, what can I do?

If your website has changed without you doing anything then it may have been hacked. If this has happened you'll need to do the following -

  1. Secure your web hosting
  2. Remove/replace any hacked content
  3. Confirm your site is clean

1. Secure your web hosting

The first thing you should do is reset any passwords you use to access your website and webspace. At minimum it should be your FTP password. You should also run an anti-virus scan on any computer you use to login to your website or webspace.

2. Remove/replace any hacked content

If you have a backup copy of your website the easiest way to do this is to wipe your webspace and upload the backup copy. It's usually worth keeping a copy of your hacked website just in case.

If you're using your own software such as Joomla or WordPress update it to the latest version.

Without a backup copy it can be little trickier to clean your site. To remove the hacked sections of the site you'll either need to edit the hacked pages (which can be tricky) or remove them entirely and rebuild them otherwise.

You should also be on the lookout for any files which weren't in your original site. Another common area to be hacked is a .htaccess file if you're using one.

3. Confirm your site is clean

If you're site's been hacked unless you're noticed quickly you'll find it may be blocked by search engines and security programs. Once you've cleaned our site you should search for your in a number of search engines such as Google, Bing & Ask. If your site has been marked as hacked you should see how to report it clean when you try and access it.

It's also worth checking your site with a number of security software providers. Many of these provide checkers on their website you can use. We've copied some common ones below:

  • McAfee Site Checker
  • Norton Safe Web
  • AVG Online Web Page Scanner

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