Clicked on a seemingly legitimate link and then watched your hard disk vanish before your very eyes?
Received a message from a friend who asks if your social media account’s been hacked because he’s been receiving spam from you?
Had problems logging into your e-mail account or found your list of e-mail contacts empty?
Experienced your computer crashing?
If it has, you probably felt just like me—terrified and helpless.
It’s especially unsettling for those of us who run online businesses, where our professional lives depend on technology.
Unfortunately, the reality is that it’s not a matter of if something like this happens to your devices or software, but when it happens. It’s inevitable.
So what do you do, who do you turn to, how do you deal with it?
Preventative measures might not spare you the experience, but they can definitely minimize the damage and ensure you’re back up and running in no time.
Risk Management Tips for Online Biz Owners
Take a look at the following crisis situations, my risk management recommendations on how to lower your chances of them occurring, and what to do if they do happen.
Hacked E-mail or Social Media Account
Change your passwords regularly. 1Password or LastPass allow you to keep your passwords in one centralized location and effortlessly retrieve them when opening corresponding sites.
- Do not change or disclose your credentials via e-mail.
- Do not click on suspicious or strange links. Don’t open messages or click on links from unknown parties. Don’t download random applications.
- Reset your password. The best passwords are a combination of meaningless numbers and symbols used for a single account.
- Report compromised accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail) and follow directions on the help center sites to regain access to them.
- If you’ve been using this social media profile to log into other applications, revoke privileges to the applications you haven’t been using (Account Settings/Apps/Delete App).
- If you used that compromised password somewhere else (especially in combinations with the same user name), reset those passwords immediately because the hacker will quickly associate one social media account with a bunch of other ones and hack them as well.
- Do damage control. Get in touch with your friends and let them know that your account has been compromised and that they should not be clicking on any link they receive in messages from you.
- For the next few days monitor your online accounts to make sure that no other accounts have been compromised and no other information is missing or used against you.
- Regularly back up your site. There are a number of solutions, including BackupBuddy and BackWPup.
- Install Limit Logins Attempts. This plugin for WordPress sites ensures that if someone tries to log in to your site more than a certain number of times, they will be blocked.
- Monitor plagiarism occurrences. Turn to CopyScape to make sure that there are no duplicates of your web pages. You may also have Google alert you if/when it picks up the unique phrases that you set up in your Google Alerts.
- Report compromised a website to your web host. Unless you are technically savvy, you’ll need the help of a knowledgeable team to identify vulnerability and clean your site of the malicious content. So, make sure you keep your website credentials somewhere that’s easily accessible so that you can share them with the person assisting in you in recovering your website.
- Do damage control. If you have a list of the most frequent visitors to your site (many online businesses use e-mail management systems like MailChimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft and OfficeAutopilot), send an e-mail notifying everyone of the problem and asking them to be patient until the situation is resolved. You may also post announcements on your social media profiles. If you get in touch with your audience promptly, they will show you nothing but compassion.
- In case of plagiarism, print or make screenshots of plagiarized pages or excerpts. Do the same to the corresponding pages on your site. Request that the publisher of unauthorized duplicated information take it off their site. If the situation demands it, report the offence to Google and take legal action.
Your Computer Crashes
- Regularly back up your computer. There are a plethora of solutions. Time Machine for Mac or Norton Internet Security for Windows are just two examples.
- Consider moving your data to a cloud-based program. This will allow you to access your information wherever you are and from any device (as long as you have an Internet connection). Dropbox is a fantastic solution.
- If you are a Gmail user, make Chrome your default browser. You don’t have to use Chrome exclusively, but one of the benefits of this browser is that once it’s linked to your Gmail account, it keeps your browsing history and bookmarked sites regardless of the computer you use.
1. Get your backup and transfer your setup and all the data from your backup to your new computer.
Unfortunately, there is no other solution, which makes the above recommendation absolutely crucial!
Most of us are wired to wait to deal with problems until the crisis happens.
But the fact is that it’s highly likely that one of these crises will happen to you.
Do you want your business to be crippled? Do you want to lose money?
Or would you like to know that you’ve got your bases covered and can easily resolve any of these challenges without hurting your bottom line?
So. . . .will you be ready when it happens?
Back to You
Has your e-mail/social media account or website ever because a victim of a hacker? How did you deal with the situation?
About the Author: Natasha Vorompiova is the founder of SystemsRock, architect of business systems that work and a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach. Her clients are small business owners who start their businesses with passion and a desire for freedom, but find themselves stuck and buried in day-to-day operations. Natasha creates systems that ensure clients get more done in less time and pave the way for greater profits and long-term success. Check out the FREE Systems Chick’s Guide to Transforming Busyness Into Business for simple ways to grow your business.
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