I run my own business. Like many other SMB´s I have a site – a couple of them actually – an account on Twitter and a number of Facebook pages. The sites are not up-dated as often as I’d like, but I have a business to run.
Maybe that’s why I missed the security warning from my hosting service Loopia. My websites where all on WordPress. I used premium themes and only the most used plug-ins to avoid crappy coding and malware. As did many others: 60 million to be precise.
But my security strategy backfired. The down side of using popular apps is that they are also attractive to hackers. If a bad guy manage to find a security hole in any WordPress app there are million sites that can be used for any evil intent.
First one of my plug-ins where infected and I had to take all my sites down. I spent a couple of days to take down the sites and restore them. Couple of months later there where another security issue, and I had to take the new sites down. This time by simply deleting all files
If you are the kind of business owner that keep all your files backed-up, stop reading here. I am not. On the contrary I kind of used my sites as a repository for articles I’ve written.
But not quite. There are life savers: here’s three if you ever will be in the same situation.
1. Hosting service. Even if you did not make a back-up, maybe your hosting service did. My sites are hosted at Loopia. Excellent service, they do back-up sites often. But I was too late, they save the back up for 30 days only.
2. Google cache. In most cases Google have crawled your site. Make a search on you old site by writing using the operator site followed by the URL of your site in my case. In my case the search was “Site:sakari.se”. Google will retrieve all the pages it have in its index. Even if the site is down it’s probably still in the cache of the search engine. To find the cached page, simply click the small arrow on the right of the URL In your search result. Most of the time you will find your content safe.
3. Internet archive. This is one of the most admirable projects on the internet. The internet archive crawls the net and saves snapshots of all the sites it finds. Not every day, like Google does, but every now and then. Unlike Google it saves all the old versions. At the time of writing it has 459 billion pages in its archive, of which some where mine. IA had my site indexed 13 times since 2012, and thanks to this I could find most of my content. Unfortunately – but understandably – the archive does not save images or any rich media. Only text.
Bonus tip: Check if someone used your content. The last and least reliable tip is to simply search for content. There is a chance someone used it on other sites without you knowing. As you know your content – or maybe even remember an exact phrase – put the words into Google and hit search.
If you are lucky you can steal it back!