Don’t worry.  It’ll probably happen to you too.
the netOver the past few months, I’ve been dealing with a really special problem: my website was hacked.

After working for the past two years to get Tequila Aficionado back on track, we finally saw the fruits of our labors.  Thousands of people were visiting our site every month and each month brought a new record spike in page views.  We had re-launched and we were finally flying high.  Then the bottom dropped out and suddenly everyone was gone.

hackersSome clever little hacker had changed our code and redirected our visitors to a yoga pants store.

Yeah, because tequila aficionados are so big into yoga pants.

But we figured out how they got in, handled it, and increased our security.  Then they got in again and redirected our visitors to an Uggs store.

Yeah, because people who want to learn about tequila want to be wearing ugly Eskimo boot knockoffs.

swordfishAgain, we handled it with increased security measures and added the assistance of a professional.

After months of that nightmare, our page views rocketed back up and I decided to take a moment to check on my own website.

Hacked.  WTF? FML

At least it wasn’t my first rodeo.

So what’s the moral of this story?

Swordfish-Hugh-Jackman_lYou can spend the better part of your life pissing off people with guns and weapons of mass destruction without ever getting hurt – but once you achieve a modicum of success, you can bet your sweet ass some guy who looks nothing like Hugh Jackman, in his underwear, in his mother’s basement, is going to take you down while noshing microwaved pizza rolls if you don’t make your passwords difficult and change them often.

How you can protect yourself:

  • Change your passwords to something that a hacker won’t put together by stalking your Facebook page
  • Use special characters like &^%$#*
  • Use capital as well as lower case letters
  • Make your passwords long

It may seem like a pain in the ass, and you may believe you’ll never get hacked, but I never thought I’d get hacked either – twice.