Thoughts, life, and struggles of the blogger (moi)
Let’s talk about this thing called MALWARE and other things
A couple weeks ago, I discovered that my little bloggy was …. wait for it …. infected with MALWARE! Dan dan daaaaaan! I absolutely freaked the H out thinking that I was going to lose everything I worked so hard for – my reviews, my reviews, my reviews (even though they crosspost to Goodreads) and a few random blog discussions. Thankfully, I was able to save all my posts but everything else is a bit wonky (i.e. my challenge posts aren’t tracked with the UBB challenge plugin, and my featured images aren’t showing). This will all be done manually in due time.
So, malware happened.
How did this happen? First off, it was because of me being stupid and not updating my WP plugins. Well, one plugin in particular. See, this plugin enabled me to showcase a rotating carousel of the recent reviews on my blog and I liked how it looked. About a year ago, they updated their plugin and I hated how it looked on my blog. Hence, me keeping the old, un-updated version. And this is me keeping the old plugin despite knowing the consequences of it. So yes, I got my blog infected.
I didn’t think it could happen to me.
Since my little bloggy is not very popular and I hardly get any traffic, I just shrugged off the thoughts of my blog being hacked. I mean, it’s not like hackers are going to waste time infecting this unknown blog, right? WRONG! Apparently, they attack any blog/site that they deem worthy. So congratulations to my blog being deemed worthy of being hacked. ha ha ha *enter sarcasm here* And yes, if you are asking this question know that IT WILL HAPPEN AT SOME POINT IN YOUR BLOGGING LIFE (especially if you are on WordPress). Be warned.
I have take steps to combat these beings and I hope that this incident will be the last.
Applying the things that I learned.
I’m not a web guru or anything but I have learned quite a few things to safeguard my blog throughout the years. But then (see above) I didn’t think that it would even happen to me and it didn’t sink. I did the bare minimum of protecting my blog and this was the result.
Here are the things that I learned AND will apply moving forward:
- Update ALL plugins. ‘Nuf said.
- DO NOT download any plugin without verifying that it is legit. (apparently some plugins do more harm than help you)
- Follow Ashley’s blog Nose Graze for helpful blogging tips and tricks and coding tutorials (I learned a lot the last couple of weeks)
- Login Lockdown your WP login page. (nifty free WP plugin)
- Be a ninja in watching out for any suspicious backend blog activity. Chances are there shouldn’t be any if you are the SOLE user of your blog.
- If you host your own site, learn to ask for help from the right customer service people or they will convince you to purchase unnecessary software to sort-off cure your site infection. Almost happened to me but I put my foot down and called again, thankfully I was connected to this very helpful customer service guy who walked me through everything step by step.
Moving from Feedburner to Mailchimp.
I have used Mailchimp before to send out email newsletter from my now defunct digital scrapbooking hobby/business but I never realized that you can set it up for RSS to email! *woot!* Yay me for finally discovering this neat feature! Anyway, I am now moving over my blog RSS subscription service to Mailchimp and I imported all the subscribers (not that there are many but I’m happy that I have subscribers!) to this new list.
Ode to those who subscribed via Feedburner.
If you have subscribed to the old Feedburner email subscription service please note that it will not be working any longer. If you decide to unsubscribe, please click the links below this post. I do understand!
Has your blog ever been hacked or infected? What steps did you take to safeguard them for the future?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2015 Book Blog Discussion