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Archives for November 2014

3 WordPress Security Plugins

The following are examples of security plugins with fairly high ratings. I am giving Wordfence a trial run right now after using WPSecure for some time, as I went over to wordpress.org to get some data on WPSecure and this message was posted on the plugin’s info page:

This plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

I’m glad that I checked on it. It probably hasn’t been protecting my site for some time.  But this is why I use Bluehost for hosting my sites.

1.  Wordfence Security

As of this date, this is one of the top rated security plugins.

  • Version 5.3.3
  • Updated 2014-11-20
  • Downloads 3,962,003
  • Average Rating  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Wordfence Security is either free for the basic security (which is enough for most people) or you can purchase a premium version. This security plugin includes a firewall, anti-virus scanning, and malicious URL scanning.

Wordfence starts by checking if your site is already infected. We do a deep server-side scan of your source code comparing it to the Official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins. Then Wordfence secures your site and makes it up to 50 times faster. Wordfence Security is 100% free.

To learn more about Wordfence, click this link:  http://docs.wordfence.com/en/Wordfence_Official_Documentation

2.  BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security is designed to be a fast, simple and one click security plugin to add .htaccess website security protection for your WordPress website

Compatible up to: 4.1
Last Updated: 2014-11-19
Downloads: 1,374,100
Average rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  • One-click security protection
  • Automatic .htaccess file updating on upgrade installation
  • htaccess file backup and restore
  • Built-in File Editing, File Downloading and File Uploading
  • Custom Code feature permanently saves and writes your personal custom .htaccess code
  • Backup and Restore customized / modified .htaccess files
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 3.  WordPress Antivirus

Compatible up to: 4.0.1
Last Updated: 2014-11-27
Downloads: 688,960
Average rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Useful plugin that will scan your theme templates for malicious injections. Automatically. Every day. For more blog security.

WordPress Antivirus scans WordPress themes for WordPress permalink backdoor malware. Also, this plugin scans all theme files for malware injections and vulnerability. This plugin scans files daily and can notify your via email.

  • Virus alert in the admin bar
  • Cleaning up after plugin removal
  • Translations into many languages
  • Daily scan with email notifications
  • Database tables and theme templates checks
  • WordPress 3.x ready: both visually and technically
  • White list solution: Mark suspected cases as “no virus”
  • Manual check of template files with alerts on suspected cases

These are just a sample of what’s out there in terms of security plugins.

As always, do your due diligence when installing any plugin. Check the ratings, the feedback, the number of downloads, and the developers.

What are you using to protect your site?  Leave a comment and let us know.

 

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How Secure is Your WordPress Site?

imagesI’m writing this post on the heels of the recent WordPress critical security update. If you missed the announcement, then I am speaking to you in particular.

This recent update was due to a WordPress security breech that could result in your site being compromised in serious ways.

You can read about the update here WordPress.org update announcement, but come back and finish reading this post. It contains vital information that you need to keep your site free from bots, hackers, and other entities that could seriously hurt your business.

Keeping Your Site Safe Requires Your Vigilance.

Here’s how:

WordPress Updates

Update your WordPress site as soon as you hear about the update. Once there’s a WordPress update/announcement, you’ll see it on the dashboard of your site.  You’ll also see an alert beside the dashboard link over to the left.  Go there and follow the very simple instructions.

Plugins and Themes

Your plugins and themes (templates) must be kept up to date. They actually add code to your site that hackers can exploit if your plugins and themes are not regularly maintained. Again, you’ll see the information your need on your dashboard and the very simple instructions.

Change Your Passwords

Changing the password on your site needs to be a regular part of your site maintenance.

  • To change the password, look to the top right area of your site where it says “Howdy,  your name”, and hover there.
  • In the drop down menu you’ll see the Profile link. Click that link and you’ll be taken to your profile page.
  • About half way down you’ll find a section where you can enter, and then confirm, your new password.

Backup Your Site Regularly

You can install a plugin that will back your site up, but if you’re hosted with a reputable company, there should be an option whereby your site is backed up automatically.  There are times when your site is too large for the automatic backup, but there should be an option where you can go into your hosting and back your account up. When you back your site up, your files and databases are stored so that if there is an attack you can restore your site.

Here’s a checklist of actions to take on your WordPress site to ensure that your site and/or business cannot be hacked.

  • Update to latest WordPress version

Here’s a vid to show you how:

 

  • Install security plugins on your WordPress site
  • Perform all plugin updates
    • Delete and uninstall old or unused plugins
  • Change your passwords regularly
    • Use a different password for each site you own
    • Use random passwords that would be very difficult to guess
    • Do not share your WordPress passwords, but if you do share it, change it immediately after use.
  • Set up separate permissions for each user on your site.
  • Back up your site files on an automated and regular schedule
    • Store your backups in more than one place
  • Use only secure internet connections
  • Never download anything you’re not sure about
    • Do not download plugins that you’ve not researched, and by that I mean research the developer/authors. If it is offered at WordPress.org, you are fairly safe. If it’s offered on a private site, do your due diligence in researching the background of the plugin/developers. There are perfectly legitimate developers out there who create awesome plugins and there are lots of sketchy developers too — you just need to know which they are.
  • Purchase reliable and recognized web hosting

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Overwhelmed and need assistance?  Click here to contact me

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WordPress 4.0.1 Security Release

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WordPress 4.0.1 is now available. This is a critical security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

Sites that support automatic background updates will be updated to WordPress 4.0.1 within the next few hours. If you are still on WordPress 3.9.2, 3.8.4, or 3.7.4, you will be updated to 3.9.3, 3.8.5, or 3.7.5 to keep everything secure. (We don’t support older versions, so please update to 4.0.1 for the latest and greatest.)

READ MORE HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook changes effective January 1, 2015

Facebook Logo

 

Over the past year, we’ve introduced new features and controls to help you get more out of Facebook, and listened to people who have asked us to better explain how we get and use information.

Now, with Privacy Basics, you’ll get tips and a how-to guide for taking charge of your experience on Facebook. We’re also updating our terms, data policy and cookies policy to reflect new features we’ve been working on and to make them easy to understand. And we’re continuing to improve ads based on the apps and sites you use off Facebook and expanding your control over the ads you see.

We hope these updates improve your experience. Protecting people’s information and providing meaningful privacy controls are at the core of everything we do, and we believe today’s announcement is an important step.

Sincerely,
Erin Egan
Global Chief Privacy Officer

Updating Our Terms and Policies: Helping You Understand How Facebook Works and How to Control Your Information

Privacy Basics

Privacy Basics offers interactive guides to answer the most commonly asked questions about how you can control your information on Facebook. For example, you can learn about untagging, unfriending, blocking, and how to choose an audience for each of your posts. This information is available in 36 languages.

Along with our privacy checkup, reminder for people posting publicly and simplified audience selectors, Privacy Basics is the latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with the people you want.

Helping you get more out of Facebook

Every day, people use our apps and services to connect with the people, places and things they care about. The updates to our policies reflect the new products we’ve been working on to improve your Facebook experience. They also explain how our services work in a way that’s easier to understand. Here are some highlights:

Discover what’s going on around you:

We’re updating our policies to explain how we get location information depending on the features you decide to use. Millions of people check into their favorite places and use optional features like Nearby Friends (currently only available in some regions). We’re working on ways to show you the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to. For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area.
Make purchases more convenient: In some regions, we’re testing a Buy button that helps people discover and purchase products without leaving Facebook. We’re also working on new ways to make transactions even more convenient.

Find information about privacy on Facebook at the moment you need it: To make them more accessible, we moved tips and suggestions to Privacy Basics. Our data policy is shorter and clearer, making it easier to read.

Understand how we use the information we receive: For example, we use device information to optimize your mobile experience, like understanding battery and signal strength to help us make sure our apps work well for you. We ask for permission to use your phone’s location when we offer optional features like check-ins or adding your location to posts.

Get to know how the family of Facebook companies and apps work together: Over the past few years, Facebook has grown and we want to make sure you know about our family of companies, apps and services. We use the information we collect to improve your experience. For example, if you’re locked out of your Instagram account, you can use your Facebook information to recover your password. Nothing in our updates changes the commitments that Instagram, WhatsApp and other companies have made to protect your information and your privacy.

Your information and advertising: People sometimes ask how their information is shared with advertisers. Nothing is changing with these updates—we help advertisers reach people with relevant ads without telling them who you are. Learn more about ads and how you can control the ads you see.

Keep in mind that your settings on Facebook are not changing, and that some features are only available in certain regions. For example, tag suggestions are only available outside of Canada and the EU.

Giving you more control over ads
We’ve heard from some of you that it can be difficult to control the types of ads you see if you use multiple devices and browsers. In the past, if you opted out of certain kinds of advertising on your laptop, that choice may not have been applied for ads on your phone. We know that many people use more than one phone, tablet or browser to access Facebook, so it should be easy for you to make a single choice that applies across all of your devices.

That’s why Facebook respects the choices you make about the ads you see, across every device. You can opt out of seeing ads on Facebook based on the apps and sites you use through the Digital Advertising Alliance. You can also opt out using controls on iOS and Android. When you tell us you don’t want to see these types of ads, your decision automatically applies to every device you use to access Facebook. Also, we’re now making ad preferences available in additional countries, beginning with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK.

These updates take effect on January 1, 2015. As always, we welcome your feedback about our policies.