Recovery from a Hacking Nightmare and How I Now Back-Up All My Sites

Recently I released a video to our customers where I told them a story about how I woke up one morning to discover I had lost 7 of my websites to hackers, and the whole nightmare that unfolded from there and the process I had to go through to clean up and recover some of the sites.

A couple of years on from this ordeal and it still bothers me when I think about. You see back then I wasn’t half as successful as I am now and still pretty new to online marketing. And to see months and months of work completely destroyed by some anonymous figure while I was sleeping really upset me.

And to be honest with you I felt like giving up…and very nearly did.

You see when it happened the first thing I did was email my host and send an S.O.S. for some help or advice on how I could recover my sites and clean everything up. It took them 2 days to respond to my email and even then, all they said was that website security was my responsibility and had nothing to do with them.

I just assumed that since I was paying them to host my sites they would also be taking back-ups of them for me, so should the worst happen I would be able to get things back up and running pretty easily.

Needless to say I was wrong and I had learned this the hard way.

 

I Became Obsessed with Online Security

Since all of this happened to me I became kind of obsessed with best practices for online security and tried to learn as much as possible so I could prevent this from happening to me again in the future.

The first thing I did was move all my sites over to a new host, and made sure when creating my plan that they included daily back-ups of my server. This costs me a little extra every month but I didn’t mind paying it as my new motto was “once bitten, twice shy…” and I wanted to make my new system as secure as possible.

So that was the first step on the road to better site security – full server back-ups every day.

The next thing I wanted to work on was a solution for each individual site on my account. You see server back-ups are just that, the full server, and are no good for restoring individual sites if a problem arose. Just for restoring a full server and everything that entails.

After months and months of researching the various solutions that I could find I realized that there wasn’t something available on the market suitable for what I wanted and needed it to do.

So this lead my team and I to put our heads together and come up with our own solution.

Ideally I wanted something that I could set-up quite easily that would allow me schedule a variety of different back-ups for my sites.

For example : I may want to run a Full Site Back-Up once a week/fortnight depending on the site.

And a smaller back-up, maybe just databases, to run every single day/second day.

The other thing I really wanted to be able to have was the ability to Back-Up my Sites to a Third Party Location. So if anything should happen to my host I would still have back-ups of my websites stored in a different location – like on Amazon S3, Drop Box and other Cloud Storage Solutions.

And the last request I had, which was probably the biggest, was the ability to be able to Restore these Sites with just a Few Clicks if I needed to roll them back to a previous version.

You see this was the major problem I envisaged if I had a problem with my sites. How the hell do I restore them? Even if I had a back-up ready to go?

I already knew my host wouldn’t help me with this and I’m not an overly technical person so wouldn’t be able to do it myself.

And thought wouldn’t it be great if we could come up with a piece of software that could do all of this for us?

Fast forward quite a while, a few setbacks and a few false dawns and we did exactly that.

 

And we called it iSnap Pro.

Finally we had a system that would allow us to :

Schedule a variety of different back-ups to run at intervals of our choosing

– Save these back-ups on our host and also store on a number of cloud storage solutions

1 Click Site Restore functionality so we could easily roll back to a previous back-up if needed

It does a lot more than that but they are the 3 Main Things that I wanted and I was super happy when we had this system in place.

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And you may be thinking – have I ever had to use it yet to restore one of my sites?

Absolutely yes. Last year I was away travelling and one day we had an issue with one of our sites. Basically the sales page had disappeared for some reason and we needed to get it back ASAP.

So I logged into my WordPress Dashboard, went into iSnap Pro and selected which Back-Up I wanted to roll back the site to.

Then I clicked “Restore” and in about 20 seconds my site was back, the sales page was back, and most importantly the sales started to come back!

Naturally this made me feel pretty good and as you can see I learned a pretty valuable lesson from that time a few years ago when I lost 7 of my sites to hackers.

I guess it made me wise to some of the different threats that us online marketers face and the steps we need to take to safeguard our websites.

 

I recently recorded a video that I posted here on the Blog where I talk about this in detail and also introduce you to our iSnap Pro software so you can gain access to it and use it to Back-Up and Safeguard your Sites.

If you would like to Watch this Video feel free to CLICK HERE and you’ll get the full story and also see a Demo of iSnap Pro in action.

Either way, I hope this post has opened your eyes to online security and hopefully has spurred you on to make your websites security a high responsibility for your business.

Because it’s so easy with technology for something to go wrong and it’s always good to have a Plan B  ready to go should the worst happen.

Feel free to leave your thoughts, comments and opinions below and I’ll respond to each of them personally.

Thanks for reading,

Noel.

P.S. Please click a little monster below and share you reaction with others…

 

2 Comments

  • Bob Caine

    Reply Reply September 29, 2015

    I hope everyone who reads this post takes it to heart. No one 100% safe.

    Great Post,
    Bob
    Bob Caine recently posted…Week 4 – Social MediaMy Profile

    • Noel

      Reply Reply October 2, 2015

      Thanks Bob,

      And you’re totally right – no one is 100% safe online. All we can do is take the necessary steps to make our sites as secure as possible and easy to re-deploy should the worst happen.

      Cheers,

      Noel.

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