Brandi Yee is the owner and writer of YeeWittleThings, a family-friendly blog that offers product reviews, giveaways, recipes and lifestyle information to its readers. Yee is happily married, has two kids and takes pride in writing about family-focused topics.
Yee’s passion lies in her blog. “I started my blog over six years ago as a way of creating an outlet for my passion of writing, but also to connect with families and offer them recipes, honest reviews on family-friendly products and the opportunities to try those products themselves,” she says.
Yee is constantly creating new, engaging content and encourages her readers to share their comments, pictures and stories on yeewittlethings.com. “My website is extremely important to me. It helps me connect with my readers and provides them with a friendly place to find new information. It’s also a way for me to connect with companies and help promote their products and services in a safe and reliable environment.”
Yee got word from her hosting provider that yeewittlethings.com was suspended due to malware. YeeWittleThings is powered by WordPress, a popular target for hackers looking to steal data and mailing lists (among other things). Her entire WordPress site was shut down, preventing her from posting new content and her customers from accessing her blog. To top it all off, Google blacklisted yeewittlethings.com, meaning her site was completely removed from the Google index. Unfortunately, before the site was suspended, others noticed the malware as well and she quickly began receiving emails from her friends, clients and readers regarding the issue.
“I was shocked to discover one day that my site had been compromised due to malware,” says Yee. “When something like that happens, it puts everything on hold – including website traffic and scheduled sponsored posts. It’s very stressful and discouraging, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. I had readers and companies messaging me asking when my site would be up and running. Thankfully, my readers and companies I work with were very understanding and patient as I worked with Sitelock and my web host to get my site cleaned and functional.”
After learning about Yee’s situation, SiteLock suggested implementing the SiteLock TrueShield web application firewall and SiteLock Premium scanner on YeeWittleThings.
With SiteLock TrueShield, all comment spam was detected and removed from the blog, restricting hackers from posting spam links and unsolicited advertisements as comments. SiteLock analyzed the results from TrueShield on YeeWittleThings for a 30-day time frame. In the first month, 16,000 malicious bots were blocked with over 50 percent of that traffic identified as comment spam attempts from bad bots. With TrueShield in place, over 1,000 suspected malicious bots were asked to fill out a CAPTCHA challenge, in which zero passed, keeping her site secure.
The SiteLock Premium scanner was added to identify and remove malware, as well as detect vulnerabilities on her site. The Premium scanner provides a daily comprehensive analysis of Yee’s website from the inside-out. When known malware is detected, the scanner will automatically remove it. Over the same 30-day period, more than 165,000 of Yee’s files were scanned, averaging 5,500 files per day. Had these products not been placed on yeewittlethings.com, the malware could have been modified to create a backdoor file, giving the hacker complete access to all of Yee’s website and customer data.
“I honestly am not sure what I would have done without the expertise of Sitelock and their incredible staff,” Yee says. “They offered me so much support and help during a time when I was stressed and worried, and they assured me things would be okay. I was thrilled that within a day, my site was back up and running, along with a protection plan that would help keep it safe from future attacks.”