Have you experienced it yet? In this day and age, I’d be surprised if a business hasn’t been hacked. We’ve had our turn – the Next Gen PFMA website was hacked about three months ago.

Don’t worry. No sympathy needed. It is what it is and I think valuable lessons can be had for all.

My intention here is to give you some lessons learned.

It was a combination of events that broke the system. First, the website was not secure. You can check if your website is secure by visualizing a closed padlock on the search bar next to your HTTP address.

Then, I had not coordinated with the IT providers who would maintain the frequent WordPress updates. Therefore they weren’t getting done. By either of us.

All of a sudden, one day in November, there were 91,000 bogus comments on the website!


Concurrently, the JetPack add-in broke and we lost all record of blog followers. Hundreds of email contacts lost, including you. Which meant even if I was able to publish a blog post, it would have been received by nobody because the list was gone. Except the system was so broken I couldn’t even publish a post!

So where are we now? We have a new website. It’s secure (see the locked padlock up top?). We have re-created the email list as best as we can through data-mining four years worth of email records.

And we have processes in place for who is responsible for maintaining security and updates of the system.

Do you have processes in place for that? Because we all want our IT folks to always be there but what happens if they fall off the face of the earth? With back up systems and processes in place, someone new can step in and provide a seamless transition.

It’s not my intention to overwhelm your inbox with emails this week – but there are a few things to get caught up on.

Stay tuned for the updates. And, as always, please reach out if you have specific concerns (support@ngpfma.org).

PS For those of you who actually tried to open this post the first time – you discovered it didn’t work. A few of you emailed me – thank you! So, even when you think everything is fixed, there will still be glitches.

Here’s to this post/email being deliverable – more to come!


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