WordPress Security Options set up

WordPress websites are one of the most used Content Management Systems on the web.  They are also one of the most attacked Content Management Systems on the web!  Hackers are constantly trying to find loopholes or backdoors to gain access to your WordPress site with the intent to insert code within your theme to link to their sites (most cases).  In most cases people don’t even know their sites have been compromised, you can’t see it and it the hacks are hidden in old theme files, image files or wherever they hope they will not be detected.

There are many security plugins that you can install in your WordPress site.  My favourite is Wordfence Security.

It is easy to install and set up.

Go to Plugins Add New

In the search field type Wordfence Security, then install.

You will be prompted to type in an email address to send notifications. This is how/where Wordfence will notify you if there are any alerts on your website.

Then Click Wordfence from the left side of the WordPress dashboard and select Options.

 

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These are the default selections when you install Wordfence.

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The Alerts let you know when there is any activity on your site. These are important especially when there is a global attack on websites. You will know when a hacker is trying to sign in and what admin user id they are trying to gain access with.

Now sometimes this can be a bit of a nuisance as repeated emails get sent to your inbox. But it is important to monitor and make sure they aren’t using a correct administrator user id.

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The login Security Options I set really tight so that once a hacker fails 2 times to gain access, they are locked out for 60 days.

Click save to save all your changes.

Windows XP support has ended

As of April 8, 2014, support and updates for Windows XP are no longer available. Don’t let your PC go unprotected.

What is Windows XP end of support?

Microsoft provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But the time came for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.

As a result, technical assistance for Windows XP is no longer available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC is secure because Microsoft is no longer providing security updates to help protect your PC.)

If you continue to use Windows XP now that support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Internet Explorer 8 is also no longer supported, so if your Windows XP PC is connected to the Internet and you use Internet Explorer 8 to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

For more information please visit Windows official website.

“Ransomware” computer scam using OPP logo

Members of Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Anti Rackets Branch are warning computer users of a variation on s0-called ‘ransomware’ that is hitting close to home.

‘Ransomware’ is a fraudulent threat to online security has been around since 2006 but only surfaced in Canada in late 2011.

This malware is first installed by visiting malicious websites set up by criminals. It produces what has been called a “Police Trojan” or “scareware” because a notice pops up that appears to come from a law enforcement agency.

Two recent complaints indicate the well-known O.P.P. shoulder flash – the logo seen on the uniforms of provincial police officers – is on the pop-up to amplify the perceived threat and come between unaware people and their money.

The message is a false accusation of accessing child pornography or other file sharing websites and subsequently tells the consumer that a fee needs to be paid via money transfer or credit card to unlock the computer.

When the victim submits their payment details, the criminals then steal and use personal information, fueling further criminal activities.

In 2013, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received close to 3,000 reports from Canadian consumers who have reported receiving the ransomware pop-up message.  In some instances, complainants  indicated children were using popular social media sites when the ransomware message appeared while others saw the pop-up threat while viewing free TV online.

This infection is easily distributed tens of thousands of times and relies on the fact that even if only 2% fall victim to the scam, it is still a very good rate of return.  It’s believed more than 97 % of victims are reluctant to report the crime.

Signs that you may have encountered ransomware:

  • a pop-up message or banner with a ransom request
  • a user cannot usually access anything on the computer beyond the screen
  • Sending money outside the traditional or mainstream banking system
  • sending money to “unlock” a computer

Tips to protect yourself from ransomware:

Never click on a pop-up that claims your computer has a virus.

Update you anti-virus software often and scan your computer for viruses regularly

Don’t click on links or attachments in e-mails sent to you by someone you don’t know

Turn on your browser’s pop-up blocking feature

Never download anti-virus software from a pop-up or link sent to you in an email.

If you suspect you or someone you know has been affected by ransomware, contact your local police service, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

“Ransomware rips data and personal information needed to fuel further criminal activities, such as credit card fraud and routing payments to offshore accounts from the victim’s computer.  The best way to go is to stay away from suspicious websites in the first place,” said Detective Inspector Paul Beesley, OPP Anti-Rackets Branch.

– The Advance January 29, 2014

Note:

If your computer does get hacked, do not pay the ransom….. call your local computer technician who can clean your machine for you.  Another reason you need to make sure you backup your computer data on either a USB, external drive or in the cloud!

Blog Post Excerpts in Genesis Theme

Genesis Theme is already set up to allow you to either have Full Post Content in your blog, or Post Excerpts with Featured Image.

Simply go to your Genesis Theme Settings, scroll down to the Content Archives.

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When you click ‘Display Post excerpts’ it then allows you to select ‘Include the Featured Image?’.  Select the appropriate size of featured image in the Image Size drop down (according to your theme specs) and select the post navigation technique.

Click save to update your changes.

Keeping your CMS website version up to date

Keeping your Content Management System website up to date is critical for keeping your website safe from hackers.  Content Management websites are a free complex website system created and kept up to date by volunteers who are constantly working to ensure that the system is protected by searching for loopholes or backdoors that can let in viruses.  When they find a loophole they create a fix, and send out a new version of the whole system.

Hackers can tell what version you are currently using and when they find an out dated version they know exactly where that ‘hole’ can be and then get access to your website.  Usually people try to fill your website with Malware or what they call a “pharma hack” which are hidden links for instance to pharmaceutical companies that sell Viagra or Cialis.  These links might be hidden to you when you view your site, but what they are doing is trying to boost their SEO by having links all over the internet to their website.  They may also inadvertently direct people to their websites.

WordPress and Joomla both allow you to update the version of your CMS right in the administrator area (dashboard) with a simple click.  This is a safe way to quickly and easily update your system.  If you host with Wanna Web Design Hosting, or GoDaddy, you can update your system within the hosting area.  This is a preferred way to update your system as a backup of your files and database is created before you run the update.  Also, if there is an error with the update, you can quickly back it out.

There are many free plugins available to create backups of your files and database.  One free plugin that I found for WordPress is Wordfence, this scans your website, looking for any modified core files or plugins, updates to your plugins or WordPress and then tells you what problems exist with your website.  You can also pay for an advanced version of the plugin for further diagnosis of any problems with your system.

How to Create a Facebook Fan Page

Creating a Facebook Fan Page is super easy!  Sign in to Facebook with your personal account.  You have to be set up on Facebook already or set it up as you go.  You always start with your personal info first, then your business/organization gets attached to your personal page. (This is the same for Google+).

So, are you ready? Then Click here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/.

Follow through the prompts..

Choose your business/organization/Brand/Product etc.

Follow through the prompts, super easy and in no time you have your facebook fan page!

 

How to Add a Twitter Share Button to your website

Adding a Twitter Share button is easy to do, Twitter provides the code, you choose what you want to display, fill in a few lines and the code is automatically generated for you.  You then cut and paste this code onto your page, wherever you wanted to add the Share Button.

If your website is created using Joomla! or WordPress, you can easily add it to a module (in Joomla! make sure you turn off the editor first) or a widget (WordPress).  If your website is created using HTML, then just add the script to your HTML.  If you don’t know how to update your HTML, just call Wanna Web Design and it can be added quickly and easily for you.

How it benefits your website:

Surfers love to share great content from across the web via Twitter. This button encourages them to share your website and to follow your Twitter account in the process. You’ll increase traffic to your site and develop a larger Twitter audience.

Instructions for adding a Share Button:

Go to https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons

Twitter

Select the button you would like on your website, for this tutorial we will select ‘Share a link’.

Share a link

Share URL: You can type the domain address you want to share, or simply select “Use the page URL”, that way if you use this code on every page, the page will automatically be populated.

Tweet Text: Use the title of the page, or enter a title.

Show Count: Your choice whether you want to display how many people have shared your page, check the box if you want to display the count.

Via: type in your twitter name, shown is Wannawebdesign

Recommend & Hashtag: you can enter this or leave it blank

Large Button: will display a larger button on your site

Language: select your language.

Now the code will be ready in the code box on the right….. however you do not actually see all of the script… for some reason this box is too small.  So what you have to do is put your cursor in the box on the line of code and RIGHT CLICK, then select ‘SELECT ALL’ then RIGHT CLICK again and click COPY.  This will select the javascript code that you don’t actually see.  This is required to run properly.

* Note * Make sure you turn the editor off in Joomla! before you paste the script or the script will not run properly when you save it.

 

Why own your own Domain and hosting?

Have you ever been unhappy with your current web developer and decided to hire a new one, when to your dismay you find out you can’t have access to your website?  That it is stored on that developers server along with their other websites and you can’t get access?

This is the one reason why you should always own your own domain name and hosting.  You are in control and will always have access to your website, email, domain etc.

There will never be a reason for the hosting and domain to disappear (web developer retires), or for the rates to suddenly skyrocket!  You will always be in control!

So when deciding where to purchase your domain make sure you find a reputable company, one that offers 24/7 phone service and one that guarantees over 95% up time on the server.

A good choice? Wanna Web Design Hosting…… click here to find out more on pricing and domains from Wanna Web Design…..

Transferring a Domain Name

If you are unhappy with your current host provider, you can transfer to Wanna Web Design Hosting quite easily and inexpensively.  The cost to transfer a domain is less than $15, and that includes a year for the domain!

Contact me for more details!