Monthly Archives: February 2017

Protect Your WordPress Site From Hackers

As long as there are personal and business websites, there will be hackers who, for reasons unknown, think hacking a website is a thing to do. Personally, I have had all my websites hacked at one time or another over the last few years. It is a royal pain in the butt to clean and reconstruct a hacked WordPress website. I try to keep a good attitude and look at it as a great time for a total redesign and I also make sure to add more protection measures to keep the hackers out.

My number one security resource is WordFence Security Plugin. I use the free version, which is great, but I do know site owners who are upgraded and they give it rave reviews. There are other ways to secure your site or blog.

How Do The Hackers Get In?

To protect your site from unscrupulous hackers, it helps to know how they get in it in the first place.

Use Extreme Caution When Installing Plugins

As you can see from the image, plugins are the largest risk to a site attack. There are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins available. Unfortunately over half are equipped with a “back door” into your website.

How To Keep Plugins Safe

The number one way to keep plugins safe is to make sure to update them as updates become available. WordFence is a great way to keep track of updates, you will get an email when a plugin has an available update.

Look At The Details

There are a few red flags that should serve as a warning against using a plugin.

  • Visit the developer’s site. Check to be sure it is there and that it is up to date with fresh details on the plugin’s use and make sure there is valid contact information. Tip- If it has been a while since the plugin had an update issued, chances are it is no longer supported by the developer.
  • It is best to download any plugin from the WordPress official site. The plugins listed there will likely be safe. Downloading plugins from an unknown source should be avoided. This is one way hackers will get in. They have you install their awesome plugin that is guaranteed to drive customers. Or that is what they tell you it is, in reality they are having you do the hard part for them. The plugin likely contains the tools they need to hack your site.
  • Do a little investigation into the developer of the plugin. Search the author name and the plugin name and put “malware” or “hack” behind it and see what comes up.

The 2nd Way Hackers Get In

The second most common way WordPress sites are hacked is a brute force attack. This type of attack is the ultimate guessing game. It can take hours to find the username and password for your site, but it is fairly simple way to get in and cause damage. Use a few of these tips to keep them at bay and off your site.

  • Use a two factor authentication. Using this method, users must know their password and have their cell phone ready to receive a secret number. WordFence premium has this feature and it is a fool proof way to protect your site.
  • Choose a unique username. It is no longer a good idea to use Administrator or Admin. Using your domain name is also not recommended. Instead choose a username that will not be easily guessed by a potential hacker.
  • Change your password often. This is just one more way to keep a brute force attack. Their software may be getting close to guessing your password but, if it is changed often, that would not be a problem.

Simple Maintenance Keeps Your Site Safe

Take simple steps to take to keep your WordPress site safe. Clean your site up often. Get rid of plugins and themes that you are no longer using. Keep your themes and plugins updated. Install trustworthy security to keep hackers out. If you have never had to redo a 5 year old site, be happy! If you have had to clean up a mess left by an attack, learn from mistakes and lacks in security. Lock your site as well as you lock your home.

Protect Your System

Computer system protection has become very necessary in today’s world. There are many cases where the computer system gets affected by a virus and loses the important and confidential data or the data gets hacked by someone. These are some of the common problems faced by people these days. However, companies maintaining highly confidential and important data can face some major problems and losses due to computer viruses. They can lose their data which can result in a huge loss or some competitor can hack their data which is also not good for the company business. Antivirus software eliminates all the unwanted viruses from the computer system and is very important for data safety and integrity. You can install the antivirus software on your system very easily. You can either buy it from the market or download it online. There are many websites that provide free versions of antivirus software and you can download it easily without paying anything. Sometimes you can also come across websites that offer free installation of trial version of the software. One can install this software and can use it for a period of 30-90 days depending on the website.

Websites normally provide these trial versions for the publicity of their website and to increase the sale of the software. We all know that the basic function of firewalls is to protect your system from unauthorized access and users. Installing antivirus firewall software is also a good way to protect your computer system. It prevents your computer system from any kind of unauthorized access. No unauthorized user or program can access any information on your computer if you install antivirus firewall software. On the other hand installing antivirus software will protect your system by detecting the viruses and heals the system by deleting the unwanted viruses.

Big organizations and companies normally store huge volumes of data on their computer system. It is very important that they maintain their data integrity for the goodwill of their business and organization. It is necessary that they keep updating their antivirus security system so that their data is maintained properly and they do not have to suffer from any loss. They should install good quality software with the most advanced features.

Many different types of viruses can affect your system. Some of the common ones are Trojans, spyware and adware. However, these viruses are becoming stronger and improving along with the computer technology thus, becoming a huge problem for everyone. The only way to prevent these viruses from attacking your system is to install the most latest and advanced version of antivirus firewall software or antivirus software. You can find information about the advanced version of the software online. This will help you in understanding the features of this software and how it can protect your computer system. Nowadays, you also get computer security systems which consist of both antivirus software and antivirus firewall software to give your computer the best protection. Thus, this was some important information about antivirus firewall software and antivirus software.

Protect Your Inbox With Anti Spam Software

Have you ever opened your email and found many items on your inbox from people you don’t recognize? If your answer is yes, then you are a victim of spamming. Get rid of this problem and avoid encountering unsolicited messages in your inbox again with anti spam software.

Today spam isn’t just your favorite pre-cooked processed meat anymore. It’s a message sent by businesses to many unsuspecting recipients used to market their products and services online. At first it seems as though this won’t be a problem because it is after all a legitimate method of online advertising. When your inbox starts receiving thousands of these in a day, that’s when it becomes a bother. In fact, there were over seven trillion spam messages sent this 2011 alone. While there’s no threat in numbers, there is threat in opening unsolicited mail that contains a virus or, even worse, serves as a phishing tool. It can put your information out there for people to access and hack into.

This is where anti spam software comes into play. These programs block unwanted messages from entering your inbox. They may come as a feature in your email or as a separate installation. You can go with a basic program that only filters your incoming messages and detects junk mail and other malware and phishing links contained in each email. If you are a business owner, you may want to choose more advanced software, which provides filtering of outbound mails as well, to provide protection for messages it detects as confidential and highly sensitive.

Whether you are looking for a basic program or advanced anti spam software, you should decide on a program that does the following things at the very least:

Prevents spam, malware, and viruses from entering your email servers. Truly effective software blocks these unwanted items even before they reach your inbox. Don’t settle for a program with lesser capabilities.

Installs easily using web browser-based installers. Web-based installation lets you get protection quickly by allowing you to use the program as soon as it finishes installing. You want to stop these messages from flooding your inbox as quickly as possible, so choosing software that is easy to install and use is a must.

Provides continuous protection and automatically updates itself regularly. Spammers come up with new tactics every day to get past anti-spamming programs. Select a provider who continuously updates your program, bringing it up to speed with the latest spamming techniques. In addition, choose a program that lets you set scheduled updates so you can use your time for more important things.

Meets your preferences and your budget. Basic programs are free, but the more advanced ones cost some money. Make sure you get all the features you need for the best rates. These programs are usually economically priced, so budget won’t be too much of a problem.

Ensure you get these in your software package at the very least. You don’t have to endure receiving thousands of spam messages each day and risk exposing your private or professional details to the rest of the world. Get good anti spam software and protect yourself today.

Protect Your Computer From Intrusion By Hackers And From Viruses

If you’re connected to the Internet (especially with an “always on” connection such as cable or DSL), you’re at risk for intrusion from hackers or with infection from a virus or spyware.

This can happen without your knowledge. You can be browsing, logging on and off various web sites, etc., and be compromised. However, you can protect yourself from this type of intrusion by following a few simple steps.

Using Routers and Firewalls

If you don’t already have one, you should get yourself a router. This is important even if you only use one computer. This is a type of hardware firewall, which is the best kind. It will protect any personal information you have stored on your computer and will keep it safe. It will also protect you computer from being infected with various viruses.

Because hackers try to gain access to your computer by doing what’s called “port scanning,” a router can completely block the scans or at least slow a hacker’s progress down. Most hackers want to work fast and won’t waste a lot of time trying to get around a single router. Instead, they’ll move on to someone else who doesn’t have a computer that’s well protected and that can be hacked.

You can also use a software firewall. Oftentimes, your operating system will already have one included. One good example of this is Windows’ firewall. Others include Norton, McAfee, or ZoneAlarm. All of today’s software firewalls have several packages to choose from.

In order to protect yourself from unwanted intrusion, spyware, viruses or hacking, you’ll need the following components:

– An antivirus protection program

– A spyware scanner and removal program

– An automated virus scanner and removal program

– A firewall

Antivirus protection program

An antivirus protection program will scan your computer for viruses and then will quarantine them or will delete them if it can. It will give you the choice, oftentimes, as to whether or not to delete or quarantine. There are many good antivirus program is available. You can also buy complete packages. Many ISPs also provide their own antivirus programs, so make sure that your ISP does not offer one before you purchase one.

Once an antivirus program is downloaded and installed, it will run in the background to make sure that your computer is always protected. Most antivirus programs will update hourly to daily. You can set them so that they will update automatically and therefore keep your computer protected with new definitions all the time. Again, this is especially important if your computer is “always online,” as with DSL or cable connection versus dial-up. If set up correctly, your computer will have maximum protection from new virus intrusions.

Being armed with the proper virus protection is the best thing you can do for your computer to keep it running smoothly and to avoid unwanted intrusion.

Spyware scanning and removal program

Spyware can be installed on your computer without your knowing it whenever you download something for “free” from a web site, for example. At its most innocuous, it’s meant to keep track of your browsing habits online; however, more malicious spyware can even give hackers the opportunity to access personal information such as credit card numbers, for example. Regardless, spyware is something that really doesn’t belong on your computer. Even if it’s “innocuous,” it can eat up system resources and slow down your browsing significantly. Simply put, it should be removed.

To do this, there are many spyware programs available, for free. Again, Windows has its own spyware component called “Windows Defender,” that does quite a good job of protecting your computer from spyware, including its installation. Other programs, such as Lavasoft Adaware, have both a paid version and a free version. Adaware does not protect your computer from new spyware, but will remove spyware once on your computer for free.

An automated virus scanner and removal program

In most cases, the virus scanner and removal program will be included with your antivirus software. Because your computer has the antivirus software running in the background all the time, your computer is protected from new viruses as often as it’s updated. Therefore, frequent updates will help ensure that your computer is not infected with new virus definitions. However, if a virus does happen to make it onto your computer, you’ll need a regular virus scan (usually daily to weekly) to make sure any viruses that have gotten on to your computer are removed.

As part of your antivirus software (generally), when you run the virus scan, the program will opt to either automatically quarantine or remove any viruses it finds or will ask you what you would like to do with them, depending on the options you set. In most cases, it’s probably best to go with the default choice the program gives you. Most of these programs tell you to let the program choose what to do with the viruses it finds.

A firewall

A firewall is your first line of defense against anyone hacking into your computer. There are many software versions available if you don’t want to use a router, and some are free to download, although most of these also have paid versions with more features. One of these which is highly recommended is ZoneAlarm. If you are not a commercial user, you can get it for free by visiting the Zonealarm site.

This software lets you set individual Internet access capabilities for individual programs, allows for automatic program configuration, and puts your computer into stealth mode, which makes your computer invisible to anyone else on the Internet. It also blocks intrusion to anyone trying to hack into your system automatically. A paid version also includes virus protection with ZoneAlarm if you choose.

Protect Your Computer From Being Hacked!

The thought of people being concerned that NSA is listing and monitoring their activities is a hysterically funny concept to me. Whatever you think of Edward Snowden, know that he is a day late and a dollar short. Most of these very same people that worry about the NSA, have a “Tracebook”, Twitter, Instagram or a half a dozen other social media accounts that should be significantly reducing the NSA operating budget. In fact, let’s just disband the NSA and hire Google! It seems that most of us have no issue publicly posting our most intimate details on Facebook including everything short of our Social Security numbers. Posting our current location and “checking in” so that the entire planet knows not only where we are, but what we are doing seems to be an absolutely essential public service and should also include pictures of the meal I am about to eat. How many of these same individuals are aware that every picture posted contains Meta Data that also memorializes the GPS co-ordinates and the camera type used to take the picture? I know you want to share picture of the family, but do you really want ISIS to know exactly where they live?

As everyone is so willing to publicly disclose these personal details, it explains why so many remain ignorant of the data mining that goes on that you do not knowingly consent to. I assume we all know that Google is in the business of selling digital user profiles to advertisers? Every type an email to a friend about planning a trip to the Italy only to find your inbox now populated with travel agency “hot deals”? If your email does not fill up with travel deals to the Italy, you can bet your internet browser will now display a travel agency advertisements, “learn to speak Italian” and top Italian Restaurants on every page you view fin! Now ask me what we think about using Google Docs! We suggest that you consider DoNotTrackme extensions to your Chrome and Firefox browsers. We also recommend that you install “self-destructing cookies” and watch how many cookies are exchanged with your browser each use. Remember, we really don’t need your username and password, we need your cookies all of which are transmitted in clear text over that Starbucks wireless you have been using! All available using FireSheep!

Now if this is a vulnerability that effects individuals, what vulnerability effects enterprise level environments? Forget the notoriously leaking Windows Operating system and your hopelessly porous laptop, in the wake of the 55 Million credit card numbers stolen from Home Depot and the 45 million stolen from Target, we now have to worry about the credit card machines at the checkout counter. Actually the TJ Maxx heist was in many ways much larger! You might be considering how did the hackers get through the Firewall? As we have pointed out before, most computer network security exploitations are not executed through the firewall, they are executed by “social engineering” with the assistance of an ignorant employee or paid hit man. It is suspect that at least one of the above break ins was assisted by a third party trusted partner like the heating and air conditioning service company. Nothing like a starving janitorial night service crew to earn a few extra bucks plugging a USB device into any desktop computer releasing a new and improved malware version of BlackPOS! Most of these stolen credit card numbers can be purchase here or on the Darknet using a Tor browser to reach silk road type websites.

It seems you can’t turn on an electronic device today without it alerting you that a software update is available for download. From the TV set, to the mobile phone, tablet and now even your car, all are subject to software updates. Do you even question what is being downloaded to your device when you do a software update? You just assume you are connecting with Apple, Amazon or Samsung? What if some evil doer was really just spoofing a software update and you just willingly downloaded a super basket of spy goodies that turn on your phone camera, activate your microphone and email snapshots to back to the mother ship. NSA, are you kidding? You would never know if it was your spouse, or employer would you? Yet millions of people do this without care, day after day and think nothing more about it. If you want to be tracked everywhere you go, risk having your most intimate communications published (just ask Jenifer Lawrence and the other celebrity Nude hack victims) just carry your Smartphone with you at all times!

Cyber-crime, next to the Ebola virus and violent terrorism is the single most economically destructive phenomenon to threaten the American way of life since the Cuban missile crisis. Yet the average business owner winces at the cost of engaging a computer network security audit and thinks that penetration testing is lovemaking foreplay. When the IT team asks for a Firewall upgrade or an increase in budget to cover a subscription to virus, spam and bot net filtering they somehow can’t justify the added expense. Educating your employees on the safe use of the Internet over WiFi should be part of the healthcare preventive medicine program, but most business will ignore “social engineering” vulnerabilities until a major data thief publicly embarrasses them.