Welcome to The Blog Report

I'm so glad you stopped by and hope you find this blog an interesting read. I've been blogging since April of 2006, currently the author of six public and two private blogs. In the beginning I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. Over the years through trial and error, frustration and elation, and a few tears I've learned a lot. However, the learning process when it comes to blogging continues to evolve. Here you will find a hodge podge of my blogging experiences, useful codes and how-tos, sprinkled liberally with my opinions. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What to Do if Your Account is Hacked

I wrote about a suspected security breach in my Blogger account which falls under Google products.  What this meant is if someone hacked into my account they would have access to any of the Google products I use.  If someone hacks into your account, always assume malicious intent.  They certainly are not gaining access to your account to help you out.  Gaining access to your blogging platform account is done to alter or delete your content as well as get any private information you may have on your account.  Some information on your account that is not made public (eg. home address, phone number, Pay Pal account ID, etc) has the potential of personal threat or harm to yourself or family as well a potential financial harm.  A hacker could hijack your account denying you access by changing your password.  They could delete content or the entire blog!  If you suspect your blogging platform account has accessed without your permission, there are a few steps to take.

  • immediately change your password - Make your new password stronger by using a combination of letters, numbers, capitols, and characters.  Don't use anything that was in your profile as part of your new password as whoever got into your account may have that information giving them clues to your new password.
  • immediately change your email password -  Most sites send a confirmation notice to your registered email address.  Ensure that whoever got into your blogging platform account does not have access to your email account.
  • check your blogging platform settings - If someone gained unauthorized access to your blogger platform, chances are very good they will change some of your settings especially those that lessen your security and/or privacy or they may have turned off comment moderation.
  • back-up your content - Unless your blog has been completely deleted or your content completely deleted, back it up even though it may contain any changes the hacker made.
  • check through your content -  Look for any alterations to your content including posts, links, advertising, coding and images for any changes. Pay attention to the coding of any protective measures like Copyscape.
  • make any necessary corrections - This is fairly straight forward and while tedious it is very important to do.  
  • restoring your blog - In the event you content was deleted and/or replaced by a message from the hacker, upload your last back-up copy of your blog.  If you have been doing regular back-ups at most you may lose a week's worth of blog posts but those can easily be restored if you.  Restore any missing blog posts from your email copies. 
  • back-up your content - This back-up copy will have all the corrections you made if any.
  • change your password - Once someone has breached your security to gain access to your blogging platform account, there is a good chance they will try again especially if they realize you know what is going on.  First and foremost, they are doing so for a reason whether to steal your content, cause you problems, do a bit of online stalking or worse.  Remember, they do have malicious intent.  Second, folks tend to use certain patterns or words as passwords making them rather easy to crack.  Step away from your pattern for creating passwords.  Although the initial password change should solve the immediate problem, changing your password again gives one more level of security.  It's a good idea to change your password a few times until you are sure any threat is over then regularly after that.


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