Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Web Hosting Disaster- Severe Data Loss Occured

The words I never wanted to hear were "your web accounts were hacked by terrorists and all of your data is lost forever". The web host company is Direct Horizon and I seriously recommend never to use them. Hackers were able to penetrate their shared servers and delete entire accounts, email databases and the backups that went with them. They have no record of any of my 5 web sites or my entire database of email customers. It's like I never existed as their customer.

I do have backups of my websites which will be a pain to get back up and running on a new web host, but I was never told I needed to back up my autoresponder with my email list of 20,000 names which I have cultivated and nurtured for over 6 years. This was ARP3 autoresponder and I mistakenly assumed it was kept separate and secure like my Aweber account is. Had I known it could be easily deleted of course I would have kept my own backups. It seems to me in these days of technology and assurances of security by web hosting companies things this devastating should not occur.

Direct Horizon bought out the original hosting company named Fat Jack and I stayed with them because they migrated my ARP3 list with my accounts and it was going to be a pain to find another host which supported ART3. Big mistake.

Direct Horizon blames me for not having a backup and takes no responsibility for being hacked and losing client accounts. Their response was I should have had my own dedicated server for a lot more money each month and then this would not have happened. They wanted to know if I wanted to set that up now. Are you kidding me?????

I now am forced to start over from scratch. I have a limited amount of people who have emailed me that I can contact gradually and let them know what happened. Unfortunately the majority will probably wonder why they have stopped getting updates and I will never know who they are to explain.

If you are reading this post and were on my list, please email me and I will get you set up on my new list just as soon as I get things going again.

Let my tragedy be a lesson to anyone with websites or ARP3 autoresponders. Back up everything you have on your web hosting account because it might not be there tomorrow.

Luckily, my blog and main website were not affected because they are hosted by reliable companies. I will be moving my other websites to these hosts soon.

Believe me, I will be backing up everything I possibly can from now on.

Paula Straub