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Feb 27

Hackers should get a life and STOP RUINING other people’s

Hackers should get a life and STOP RUINING other people’s What do hackers actually gain from hacking into websites? Absolutely nothing as far as I can see, except ruining businesses and... Read More

Hackers should get a life and STOP RUINING other people’s

What do hackers actually gain from hacking into websites? Absolutely nothing as far as I can see, except ruining businesses and consequently lives.

After years of training and narrowing down my many business ideas through trial and error (and through realisation that it’s not humanly possible to do everything!) my business was doing well and growing stronger every week.

One part of my business is Pamper Parties and over the last 18 months, I’ve done several Hen Parties often with other therapists who I have sub-contracted to help. So much fun! All of these bookings have come via my website.

However, the main part of my business takes part at Hamworthy Osteopaths (Poole) where I rent a room offering a variety of massage treatments and pamper packages. Here I have a loyal client base (thank goodness!) of people who come to me for “maintenance”, some referred to me by the Osteopaths. Many of my other clients are beautiful pregnant ladies who visit once or a few times during their pregnancies… many come back to see me with their babies to learn Baby Massage.

Pregnancy Massage, Baby Massage and Story Massage are becoming my niche. My name and reputation were becoming well known in our local area. The majority of new pregnant customers find me via my website.

As my appointments at the clinic were getting booked up fast I started to overflow people to my home, and subsequently built a log cabin in the back garden for occasions like this. I can’t turn people in desperate need of a massage down, especially ladies expecting their babies in a couple of week’s time with sore backs or legs!

So what happened to my successful business?

My website got hacked at the end of 2014. When and how exactly I don’t know and probably never will.

The technical consequences…
My successful Google search rankings were high jacked to re-direct my customers to spam websites. The security on my website did not allow this to happen and therefore generated error messages which the search engines rejected. My website was subsequently BLACKLISTED BY GOOGLE and my business became INVISIBLE on the internet unless customers knew my domain name.

The other consequences…
My business decreased by approximately 70% within only a few weeks. I lost money from lack of bookings and new customers. I lost money in web developer fees and host company security clean up fees. And I didn’t have the cash flow available to pay my salary… and still don’t.

Money aside I had days and weeks of stress, worry and sleepless nights about how I was going to pay my rent and how I was going to rebuild my business. I spent hours and hours trying to resolve the problem – talking to my web developer and host company. I wasted time worrying, talking and trying to sort everything out; time that I could have been spending with my family and little boy. Family time that is precious and I will never get back.

My business has effectively gone down the pan. I’ve been through many emotions over the past couple of months – sick, sad, angry, annoyed to name a few. I was feeling totally demotivated and lacked energy. The biggest problem is that I don’t understand websites and the internet so this entire problem has been completely out of my hands and I’ve been relying on others to help in this crisis.

The future…
My website has now been rebuilt and I seem to be gaining new business online again and my website is showing up in Google search results. How long will it take for my business to get back up to its previous successes though? How much time and energy will I need to invest it in (considering I’ve already been through this at my start up)? Is the problem properly fixed? Could it happen again?

One thing’s for sure… it will be onwards and upwards for Pure Life Massage Therapy. I don’t plan on giving up, I won’t let hackers defeat me. My business will learn from this and somehow grow stronger.

In the meantime my message to hackers is this… Get a life, don’t ruin other peoples. Next time you plan on hacking think about the consequences on the people it affects. You GAIN NOTHING from it and the website owners lose everything.

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