My parenting/lifestyle blog, www.crewcutandnewt.com is no longer being actively maintained. However, please visit my personal web site at www.sarahhillwheeler.co.uk. There you will find out more about me and my current projects.
Blogging about life in the countryside with my son was great fun. (Not least because of all the great people, blog links, free cereal samples and the opportunity to photo-shop my cupcakes to death). However, two things happened.
First, my son started to talk about privacy and his human rights. OK, it was part ironic. But he didn’t like the other children at school seeing pictures of him with his IV line in, or his four-year old self staggering under the weight of the bunny-bedecked Easter bonnet I had so lovingly and painstakingly constructed. Fair enough.
Secondly, my site “caught” the Google Virus. I repaired it. But being a non-techie, and on a limited budget (which ruled out the expensive “recommended” fixers plugged by Hostgator) it was more of a sticky plaster than the surgery it really needed.
Fast forward to Christmas 2015. I return from the holidays, if not exactly rested, in a stupor of over-indulgence and chocolate-fueled contentment.
2nd January, I download my e-mails. The usual suspects. Invitations to buy calendars, fondue sets, Father Christmas onesies, and a self-assessment reminder, stuff nobody wants in January. A notice from Hostgator telling me my account has been suspended.
Crewcutandnewt had been hacked.
Someone had hijacked my beer bread recipes and was using my tales of parenting fails for nefarious purposes. Worse, the rot had spread to my personal web site and the local digital magazine, which I had only just started.
There’s been a steep learning curve to get things sorted. Properly this time. Sadly, the process also made me realize that it is time to move on. I’ve said Goodbye to Crewcutandnewt. (Although I now have a copy on back-up. Another lesson learned).
It’s been a great journey. I’ve enjoyed it all, and discovered so much; Britmums Live, Blogfest, designer gin and improbable food combinations.
And, above all, the importance of good security. It’s not as much fun as creating cake-in-a-mug recipes or telling George Osbourne he couldn’t even run a PTA fund raiser. But, believe me, you’re ****’d without it.
For WordPress users, Copyblogger’s 10 Steps to a Secure WordPress Website is a good place to start.