Saturday, 6 October 2018
Driving Instructor Hacked
It's been one of those turbulent times recently where lots of problems associated with driving instruction all seem to come at once. A high turnover of new pupils owing to loads of tests going out in the same week. Car damage due to pupils reversing the car into a trolley corral in the supermarket and most shockingly the driving school website going down owing to it being hacked.
It's my first experience of being hacked though I have had my driving school website spammed many times. My website seemed to be accruing fake URLs which went from my website to a page about Viagra or Casinos or some other such thing. They never really effected anything so I had a word with a web developer guy and just redirected them to my site's home page. This time though the site went down totally.
I must give a shout out to the nice people at GoDaddy who managed to get my site back up and running after nearly a week. It took a good few hours back and forth on the phone but now we are back in business. I've dropped to the 2nd page on Google search but hopefully I will be back on the front page soon. Phone calls did definitely drop off during the down time. Was it because it coincided with the students just getting back to university or does a website help to sell lessons? I have been a bit sceptical about the effectiveness of websites recently with most enquiries coming from Google my Business. It surely can't help consumer confidence when they click the website button and are presented with a blank screen though. Probably better to have a site than not.
So why would anyone want to hack a lowly driving instructor's website? one thing hackers do is make a copy of your website and then destroy yours a bit at a time. When it has completely gone you receive an email from them offering to sell you the site files for a price. If it came down to it I would just redesign the site on the same domain and link it all up again. No way would I give in and pay some hacker for my own stuff. Another reason is to access any online payment data to get into people's bank accounts. If you are taking payments through a website you need top notch web security which can be expensive. As payments can be made using the banks over the phone I don't see the need for this function on a website. Not for a small one person business.
So anyway we are back up and running online. I'll now be taking online security more seriously and have got a firewall installed to prevent further interference. The rear lights of my car will be fixed next week. My diary should settle down and everything running smooth again soon. You need the difficult times to appreciate the good times. Yes indeed.