Protect Your Websites & Wordpress Blogs

During October 2011, I had the not so pleasant experience of having sites attacked by a hacker. It can happen to anyone and to the best of us. :)

It is now ALL cleaned, fixed, monitored and protected! :)

The incident did not at all affect my website visitors, other than that my readers had no access to my content for nearly 3 weeks.

Here’s how my visitors were protected during that time...

Protect Your Tech Book Cover ImageGoogle informed my hosting service, who immediately placed a “Temporarily Unavailable Notice” at all my sites. There was no danger to any visitors, at all! :) Everything was put into lockdown!

Even though only two sites were impacted, all sites in my account were closed up. This seems to be protocol, therefore, not till the those two sites were cleaned and fixed would any of my other sites show up again.

Protect Your Passwords With LastPassLuckily I had some sites working just fine because they were hosted elsewhere. Every one of my sites are now heavily protected and constantly monitored. I plan to never have this issue again! By the way, there is nothing wrong with the hosting services I used, they have been magnificent with their support.

I recommend Those guys were my heroes during this challenge. They have now cleaned and protected my sites and added extra security files. It is so nice to write this information in the past tense, thanks to them!

Very helpful security tips for you, including a few things I learned...

 Read these 2 articles Protect FTP Passwords & Malware Steals Credentials
 I now use SW_FTP Pro and transfer files using the SFTP/SSH protocol (not FTP).
 I added Login Lockdown and Bad Behavior plugins to my Wordpress blogs.
 I changed all my hosting accounts, FTP server account, email accounts and Wordpress accounts passwords to super-long passwords that are combinations of symbols, numbers, lower case, upper case, etc. Personally, I use LastPass for top security of all my passwords.
 I have always had good security on my computer, yet I added two items more. Here is now the list of things I have on my computer Sophos Antivirus for Mac, Malwarebytes, Adaware, AVG, Advanced System Care Pro, CCleaner and a firewall at my wireless router, as well as log in password for wireless connection (i.e. not open to public). Another Mac antivirus you might like is Panda.
 Change default username(s) at your Wordpress blogs by creating a new user (make sure that user has Administrator privileges) then delete default “admin” user.
 Check your sites using[type your domain here] for example Use Google Webmaster Tools.
 Before & during trouble, use the services of We Watch Your Website They are fantastic and I recommend them to you. They check your site(s) each 4 hours and clean up anything that looks suspicious. I now use their services for all sites. Other great and similar services are Sucuri and SiteLock.
 I always update every Wordpress version, every plugin and all programs on my computer any time that latest updates become available.
 At my Wordpress blogs, I deleted and removed all plugins that were not necessary and I also added Si Captcha and Spam Free, as well as the Login Lockdown and Bad Behavior plugins mentioned above.
 A couple of other very reliable and safe tools to check out, are Wordpress Secure Pro 2.0 (step by step non-tech training and protect my sites from digital terrorists and hackers right away) and Wordpress Twin (if your blog ever gets comprised... just deploy a new clone).

I do hope you have found that these tips are useful for you. Searching Google for more information is recommended. See this video at Search Security. Their site is another wonderful source for latest information, and read the following article (skip their advert first!) to know why password length is also important.

In Lak’ech Ala K’in,
Thea Westra

P.S. I also found another very useful Basic Site Security Checklist for your reference.

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