Should I Purchase .porn domain?

CNN Money Website
CNN Money Website

Big in the news today is people like Taylor Swift purchasing .porn, .suck  and .adult domain names. (Source CNN Money) The reason being the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)  has decided to expand the top-level domain (example .net, .com, .gov) which will include the .porn and .adult.

While this makes it easier for the adult and porn industries to help people to find their products, it also puts businesses and celebrities in a bit of a bind. For example, you may want to look for some information on Microsoft Office. Normally you would get various websites such ending in .com or .net either selling the product or having other information about Microsoft Office.

However, come June 1, you could also get websites ending in .adult or .porn. The information you would find would be not so much related to Microsoft Office, but in the realm of adult or pornographic entertainment.

In an effort to prevent this, companies such as Microsoft and celebrities are buying these domains so such incidents to not occur. Hence, Taylor Swift now owns the domain TaylorSwift.porn.

So does this mean I should run out and buy the domains for CatholicTechnoGeek.porn and CatholicTechnoGeek.adult? On the damage control side, it would seem to make sense. Why risk having someone create a site that could be potentially damaging to my site?

At the time of this posting, I could not buy these domains, but I could buy 207 other domains.  The prices ranged from $6.99 to $69.99 per domain per year. Anyone one of these domains could be used to damage my this website. So I could pay somewhere between $1,389.00 and $13,998 for damage prevention for any of these 207 domains.  If I try to protect myself from just the two (.porn and .adult) domains, I most likely would $140 (or more) per year. Since my income from this site is, $0.00, I have to pay for these domains out-of-pocket. So, financially it isn’t the most prudent decision.

If I was a celebrity or a business where image affected my bottom line, I definitely would do it. If I had a huge volume of web traffic, I would consider doing it because I could be a target for someone making a duplicate site. However, a small website like mine, it is unlikely someone is going to try making a CatholicTechnoGeek.porn site.

 

Passwords & Rea_MeM_8Ereeng Them

Lifehacker Logo

If you are like me, you can create wonderfully secure passwords that you think you will never forget. However, when it comes time to enter them, your mind draws a blank. Earlier I wrote about using a password vault such as Keypass.

I came across this article by Kevan Lee on Lifehacker entitled, “Four Methods to Create a Secure Password You’ll Actually Remember.” Kevan covers what makes up a good password, common passwords that are now part of every hacker’s arsenal, as well as 4 different methods of creating passwords. Also covered is a few ways to check if how secure is your password as well as password management.

I encourage you to check the article out at – http://lifehacker.com/four-methods-to-create-a-secure-password-youll-actually-1601854240

Wordfence – Slowed Site to a Crawl?

I recently found one downside to Wordfence recently. On a website I manage, it used up enough resources that slowed down my website to a crawl even with cache option enabled. I was using a high-speed connection and yet it took about 2-3 minutes for the site to display.

The way this website is constructed is more to blame than Wordfence. In an effort to compartmentalize various aspects of the website, is made up of seven WordPress installs under the same domain. So in this case the site was using 7 times the resources a normal website might use. Wordfence simply pushed it over the limit.

The moral of the story most likely Wordfence won’t usually crash your website, but it may slow it down depending on the limits of your web sever.

Wordfence Revisited

As I continue to use Wordfence and have started to use it on other sites, I grow to appreciated more and more. I already mentioned the ability to block specific IP addresses in an earlier post “Wordfence Live Monitoring Plugin for WordPress” and some of the reports the plugin is able to generate. Today, I would like to focus on some of the Firewall options in the free version.

Image #1
Image #1

When you fire up Wordfence and look up the options, you will notice that the plugin defaults to Security Level 2. As you can see in image #1,  Wordfence recommends this setting  for most websites.

Shows settings of level 2 default in wordfence.
Image #2

Scrolling down to the Firewall Rules, you will find additional security options (see image #2). These change as you change your security levels. I should also stress that these rules only affect the firewall for your WordPress site and do not change the firewall settings for your computer or server.

I have been personally debating both the level 2 and level 3 defaults. At level 2 they don’t really do anything, and at level 3 they only throttle back a crawler or human being who is searching your website. So rather than staying at the default level 2, I have set some of the option myself to actually block rather than throttle down after what I feel is a reasonable request per minutes. The danger here is you can actually block legitimate crawls by search engines, negatively affecting all the hard work you are someone else has done for search engine optimization (SEO). So you might want to leave these alone unless you are sure you need to need to tweak a setting.

Image #3
Image #3

The other area that is affected by changing the basic security leve setting is the Security Login section (image #3). This area controls the complexity of your users’ passwords and how soon the will be locked out of the site if they fail to enter the correct password.

Again, I find the settings a little lax for my taste, so I have beefed them up over the default level 2 setting you see here. I would be careful how far you tweak this setting or you could be flooded with a lot of users complaining that they were locked out.

Under options you will also find a spot to input an email address. The plugin will then email you when people successfully login to your WordPress Dashboard or when someone has been blocked. So if you aren’t able to watch you site, you at least know if someone has logged into your site and potentially damaged your site.

The most common report I get from Wordfence is a report of someone trying to use ‘admin’ as a user id and was locked out. (A good reason to assign an existing user administrator rights and then deleting the default admin account, or creating a user with administrative powers and then deleting the default admin account.)

I highly recommend this plugin if you have a WordPress site! It is fairly intuitive and does a good job blocking attacks.

 

Wordfence Live Monitoring Plugin for WordPress

log in attempts listing
Just a short list of attempts to break in.

A goal of every blogger and website designer is to have people view and read you site. It is only natural. After all we spend countless hours trying to design a great looking website that is easy to use with content that people want to read.

However, one of the things that will ruin any site, no matter how well designed and how terrific  the content, is a website that is compromised. In other words, outside parties hack the website.

I know this from personal experience. This particular site was hacked and the site gained a poor reputation quickly. It has taken me a lot of work to prove to various people that I have cleaned up the site and it is safe to visit.

 

To help protect this website, and you the reader, I have installed various plugins to help monitor activity on this website. One plugin I have recently installed is Wordfence. While I am still learning about all the program’s features, I am impressed so far.

Wordfence is a plugin that monitors activity on your webpage.  On function is it keeps track of log in attempts. As you can see from the snip from above, I have people trying to sign in as an administrator and gain control of my website. To help prevent this type of break-in, I do not use “admin” as a user on my WordPress website. I also use a password consisting of random letters, numbers, and characters and is longer than 6 characters making it more difficult to break into.

Another function of Wordfence is to track hits on the website. As you can see from the photo below, my site has gained the attention of someone from the Netherlands (most likely a crawler or spider program) who has hit my site 1170 times. While some of these hits are for legitimate reasons, like listings for various search engines, most likely the large number of hits from the Netherlands is not for legit reasons.

Visitors or Hackers
Visitors or Hackers

In Wordfence, I can issue block a particular ip address, preventing a that particular computer from visiting my site. Unfortunately, it is a temporary block if you have the free version.

In premium version you more advance blocking features such as country block. This premium feature allows you to block any hits from a particular country(ies). You can do a simple blanket block, or you customize the block so that legitimate users you know can enter your site.

As I stated before, I am still learning all the programs features, so I can’t give a full review. However, I do urge you do take a look at this WordPress plugin.