Sally Around the Bay

Website Hacks and Being Zen

zen buddha photo by @sally_kZen and the art of dealing with being hacked.

This past week ALL of my Websites got hacked! Poof, bye, bye no more sites. Mine were gone, Celia’s were gone and 2 of my client’s sites were gone. We were all hosted together under the same umbrella so unfortunately when one site got hacked they all went down. It was ugly. You know the feeling you get when you are rushing to an important meeting and you get in your car only to find it won’t start, it is completely dead, well that pretty much sums up how I felt.

You see, Celia and I depend on our websites to make a living. Most of her mountain biking clients come from her site: Mountain Biking Marin. I am a blogger and I consult on social media, my site is my storefront. When I go out and do public speaking and hand out my card with my website on it, I’d like there to actually be a site for people to go to when they type in the URL. We have other sites Celia uses for presentations related to her consulting business. My 2 clients who I have been hosting for years under my account rely on me to keep their sites up. So when I log on and see the sites are gone, my heart sinks. My heart sunk last week.

I immediately contacted my techie angel and told her what happened. She dropped everything and got right on the job. The woman performs miracles, I’m serious! It’s like having a mechanic you fully trust and handing your car over to them and knowing they will fix it and charge you an honest rate for what they did. I am so thankful for my techie genius angel.

Thanks to her, all of our sites are back up. I am still piecing together a few random things like plugins and stuff (notice the cute new share buttons at the top and bottom of this post) but for the most part we are back in business!

I tried my best to stay calm and Zen during this experience because I realized I had no control over the outcome. There was nothing I could do! I just had to put my trust in my techie angel and wait. Do calm, Zen type people get tummy aches? Because I got a bad tummy ache during this process. I had a sinking feeling the hack was my fault. We still have not determined where the hack came from but a good guess is it came somehow through one of our WordPress sites. I’ve been losing sleep wondering if I had done the latest WordPress updates? I think I did… This got me to thinking. What does it really mean to be Zen, calm, let go of things? By the feeling in my tummy, I’m thinking I just swallowed the stress and wasn’t actually being Zen.

The good news is our sites are back up! I have cute new share buttons and it really wasn’t the end of the world even though there were moments when it kind of felt like it was. Panic about presentations next week, etc…

Now the reality part comes in. This blog has been hacked before. Fortunately, last time it got hacked it was just this site not ALL of them. It cost me a few hundred dollars to fix. This time I don’t know the price tag yet… It got me to wondering how much is this blog really worth and why do I keep saving it? I put a whole bunch of time and money in to it and get zero financial profit from it. Keeping the business sites makes sense to me because they are basically our online business cards but the blog… I could write all this on Facebook or Google+ and it wouldn’t cost me a thing. Sure I would risk not ‘owning’ the content, whatever that means and there would be the risk of those companies going out of business and all my writing disappearing (remember the old MySpace) but is it really worth it to keep this blog? Some things for me to ponder: URL costs, hosting costs, my time, tech support, etc

Why do you keep your blog?

If you read this blog and are interested in helping keep it up, please consider purchasing my tiny Kindle eBooklet (it is only $2.99): The ABCs & 123s of Getting Stuff Done

Thanks!

;-)

7 thoughts on “Website Hacks and Being Zen

  1. cathy

    Sally, my worst nightmare (at least as far as this kind of stuff goes) would be to get hacked! I can imagine how you must have felt. About letting go of your blog….I would be sad because you have a great “voice” and I love reading it. But, I can see where being hacked twice would make you think twice. I’m using a service now that checks my blog monthly and updates. Maybe you should consider same? …of course that’s more money on your blog….

  2. Colleen Proppé

    Hi Sally!

    I love the question “why do you keep your blog?”

    For me, that’s easy. My blog is for me. My blog is not for anyone else, really. Although I like to share things with people and I hope that they might read my blog, it has really been more of a repository for my thoughts, my images, my experiences, my hopes and joys. A place where I can write freely! Where I can put down things that my kids might like to see someday, and that I can ultimately turn into a book! A book for me and my family- not to sell. I realize that many people use blogs to market their products and to advertise other people’s businesses, but for me, my art blog has really been more of a scratchpad or sketchpad of words ideas images and experiences that help me with my art and life. Cheers, Sally! Glad your websites are back up. Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving.
    -Colleen

  3. Mary H Ruth

    You raise really good questions, Sally. Seems like the more successful you are as a blogger, the more you are likely to be hacked. Many sympathies – it must be a purely awful feeling. And what, really, do the hackers get out of the mayhem? I admire your pluck!

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