So, you’re probably wondering, what has she been doing these last two years, when her blog was out of order and, more importantly, why was it not working/being updated?
Well, I’ll start answering the second question: MALAWARE! Like, a lot. In 2014 my blog (started when I was 16!) reached the peak of its popularity, with an average of 5000 unique visitors per month and me interviewing great writers such as Isabel Allende, Rosamunde Pilcher and Janet Evanovich. That’s when the attacks started and, in spite of the captcha, my comments got flooded with spam, I received literally HUNDREDS of spam comments per DAY and my friendly and talented IT guy at the time informed me that he had to fight a serious hackers attack at least once a week. At a point, one managed to sneak in and advertise a site selling meds illegally: We found out simply because I got contacted by the company producing said meds’, asking me, of course, to take the whole thing down. I did. Then they did it again. And again. Then, through my blog, they hacked my LinkedIn and started SENDING PORN MESSAGES TO ALL MY CONTACTS, INCLUDING, OF COURSE, MY CLIENTS! My IT guy cleaned everything up, I sent messages explaining what had happened and apologising. In spite of my efforts, I lost a few clients who pointed out that, if I wasn’t able to protect my accounts, then I really wasn’t accountable (see where I’m going here?) for everything else. Consider that, at the time, I was a university student, had just started my second year and was putting myself through college thanks to my writing. That should give you the idea of the damage produced by those bastards hacking my website.
The situation snowballed once my 21 year old IT guy got hired by Google (did I mention he was talented?) moved to the US from London and, of course, couldn’t help me anymore. Because of my lack of insight in the industry, I then relied on the security service of the web host I was using. Well, it turned out that it was a scam, since that was the host’s sister company and they basically PUT MALWARE ON YOUR WEBSITE ON PURPOSE, TO LATER CHARGE YOU A TON OF MONEY TO CLEAN IT UP. I was paying 60 bucks a month to get protected and kept being attacked nevertheless. ACTUALLY, MY WEBSITE WAS FILLED WITH MALWARE LIKE NEVER BEFORE! I got off LinkedIn for good measure, informed my clients of what was going on, then researched the company which was supposed to “protect me” and found out, well, that it was a total scam, like I mentioned above. They were such a scam, that I had to block my credit card and get a new one, BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO TERMINATE THEIR CONTRACT WITH ME. After all, their contract was really shady and ambiguous and they refused to send an invoice every month. I should have known better!
I had to wait another good six months before giving this website a makeover, having other priorities about which I’ll tell you in another post but now, here I am, back hopefully for good, with a new cool header and blog which will be ready in a couple of more days. It’s good to be back, folks! Beware of malware and let me know if you had any negative experience with it too! Below, I post Rene Folsom’s links:
So, 2 years ago I stopped writing here, feeling defeated, having spent literally thousands of dollars to protect my blog and to no avail. I missed this place so much, but I had to focus on making money, not thrown it out of the window! In the meantime, I entered an amazing community of writers (more about it in another post) and, as a last resort, I posted a message asking if someone knew an affordable web designer and IT person, explaining my situation. Against all odds, the wonderful Rene Folsom came to the rescue and CLEANED MY BLOG FOR FREE! Yes, you heard me! Not only, but she moved it from my previous host to her web designer hosting space, WITHOUT CHARGING ME A SINGLE BUCK EITHER! I mean, how amazing is she? She’s a web designer AND an established Romance author, that’s how amazing she is!
Her AUTHOR WEBSITE: renefolsom.com
Her WEB DESIGN website: phycel.com