Seems like computer mayhem is in the air. Like the DNC, I too was recently h@cked, and the fallout has been truly nightmarish to deal with. The saga continues, but thanks to your sharp eyes I hope I’m close to working it out. The site was knocked completely off Google for about a week, making it totally invisible from search. After much diligent work I got the site reindexed. Unfortunately, because the company that helps me with this kind of technical stuff had to restore from backup to try to put back the latest non-h@cked version of the site, a bunch of junk posts suddenly showed up in the index, old deleted files, files that were saved as drafts and not supposed to be public and calendar items for stuff that happened eons ago, weird page redirects, wrong dates on things (date of submission to Google rather than date of post, it seems like, making it look like events and signings were upcoming rather than in the past) and any manner of nonsense.
What a nightmare, y’all.
Anyway, so the junk links on Google then led to a bunch of “page not found” errors, which then caused my anti-h@cking software to lock out more and more visitors through no fault of their own. The higher the traffic got to the non-existent pages, the more people got locked out, the harder they tried to hit other pages, adding to the “page not found” errors. And so on. This happened because one of the settings on the anti-h software automatically locks out people trying to hit non-existent pages, since that one of the things that bad actors who are up to no good on a site usually do. It’s one way they look for vulnerabilities to h@ck into. (PS – I don’t know why I’m superstitious about writing the “h” word. It’s like I’m afraid they’re watching). I’m not sure if this explanation totally makes sense, since a lot of this is above my head too, but that’s what I know. It’s been exhausting.
This is when a girl really needs a full-time webmaster! I am nearing the 1,000 post mark, so we are talking a lot of content to sift through and manually check. I know a bunch of authors who’ve had such trouble with this that they’ve just deleted their entire sites outright because it’s so hard to find where the malicious code is. This is a great outlet for me and such a satisfying way to share my thoughts with you, so I really hope I have it under control now. One important thing to note is that the malicious code just redirected users to spam sites but didn’t pose any danger to anyone’s computer. It hurt the site, but not you.
Anyway, I’ve enlisted the help of someone more knowledgeable than I am, and hopefully we are on our way to sorting it all out. I know enough to put up a simple site and swap out pictures and such, but I am completely outmatched when it comes to figuring out how to fix all these problems, so I called in the big guns. Again, I am sooo sorry if you’ve been affected. I know how annoying it can be to try to get to a resource or information and not be able to access it, especially as fall lesson planning is gearing up in some regions of the country (on a separate note there, stay tuned for a Hispanic Heritage Month resource guide soon!). I am going to get through all of your emails and social media messages with a personal apology and a small gift (if you’ll have it).
In the meantime, here are links the pages that most people have been complaining about trying to access but being unable to do so, or are getting weird re-directs from search:
Thanks for alerting me to the ongoing issues! Hopefully ongoing no more. The fact that you’re here continues to be one of my biggest sources of gratitude. I appreciate you so much.