Is Your Blog Under Attack?

Yes, it is, and it’s happening every single minute of the day.  However, don’t be alarmed as there are a few simple steps you can put in place to make sure your blog is safe.

Every day our blogs come under attack from various elements, most are invisible to the eye.  Just like protecting our families, pets, and anything else we value, we should also do all we can to protect our blogs from these threats.

Threats come in all sorts of forms, and I have listed below what I do to make sure some of these threats don’t hurt me or my blog.

Comments

We talked about comments in my last post, Is Your Blog As Friendly As You Think It Is?, and many agreed with me that we should respond and acknowledge comments.  However, what do you do if some of the comments are not friendly or do not agree with what you have to say?

I’ve blogged for over 18 months and, in that time, I have received a handful of comments that were not only very personal but were also rude.  Because I moderate all comments before they are published on my blog, I was able to stop these comments in their tracks.  They were of the nature that did not call for a reply, and I simply marked them as spam and then deleted them.  I’ve seen some rude comments and spam appear on blogs that I follow.  Not only can they be shocking in their nature but their very name can also be very offensive.  Unfortunately, Akismet, the WordPress software that blocks unwanted spam, does not always block all spam, so consider monitoring all comments first before they are published on your blog.  Follow the steps below to set this up.

  1. Open your WordPress Blog Dashboard
  2. Click on settings
  3. Click on Discussion
  4. Look for ‘Before a comment appears’ and tick the box next to ‘Comment must be manually approved.’

You’ll also notice an option to allow comments to be posted straight away from people who have previously had comments approved.  For bloggers who are dealing with hundreds of comments on a daily basis, this is a great time-saving option as you don’t need to manually approve them. However, be wary that once you tick this box, then somebody who may have left a perfectly nice comment on an earlier post could very well leave a ‘not so nice’ comment on a future post.

Sometimes I receive comments from people who may not agree with what I have to say, but providing their comments have been written in a friendly and professional way, then I will approve their comments and respond to them. Nobody should tolerate rudeness or bad manners so don’t allow any of this kind of comments onto your blog.  If you see a rude comment or one that is obviously spam on a blog that you follow then make the blog’s owner aware of the comment.

Further down the same page on your dashboard, you will also see a box entitled ‘Comment Blacklist’.  Here you can add certain words, the web address of a blog, email address or the Internet Protocol of a user who you do not want to receive further comments from.  Any comments then left from these users will automatically be marked as spam and be placed in your WordPress spam folder.

Trolls

If you are unlucky enough to find that an Internet Troll has decided to try and make your blog its new home, then just ignore it.  Whatever you do, don’t engage in any conversations with the Troll whether it be through comments on your blog or if they try and contact you through your ‘about me’ page or by any other means.  They will do all they can to get you to react to what they have to say and may even try and get some of your followers to react to any comments you may have approved or let through, but don’t give them the satisfaction of acknowledging them in any shape or form.  Consider removing all their comments and don’t allow them to upset you in any way.  They should soon get the message and move on.

Back Up

How would you feel if you wake up one morning and find that all the content on your blog had disappeared?  It’s a nightmare thought, so be kind to your blog and make sure you back up its content on a regular basis.  I recently wrote a post on how to perform a backup of the content of your WordPress blog which you can find by clicking here.

Anti Virus Software

Make sure you protect the home of your blog by ensuring you have updated anti-virus software on your computer.  If hackers can get access to well-known websites, then they may be able to get access to your computer and gain access to all your information, including that of your blog.  You may not know how to delete your blog, but hackers may well know how to, with just a few clicks of a button, once they’ve gained access.

Whatever you do, continue to enjoy your blogging experience.  Although attacks on our blogs are happening all the time, your anti-virus software and the software used by WordPress will deal with threats without you even knowing about it.

What about you, is there anything you’d like to share with us on how you protect your blog from unwanted attention and attacks?

Hugh's Workspace Blog Hop

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© 2015 Copyright-All rights reserved-hughsviewsandnews.com.

169 comments

  1. Excellent post, Hugh, as was your post on backing up our websites. The backup was so easy to do, and your suggestion to put it on a thumb drive is a good one. Thanks so much for posting on these topics ♥

    1. Hi, Colleen. When I first got my Apple Mac, I was shocked there was no signs of any anti-virus software on it. However. Apple reassured me that I didn’t need any as it’s all built in and is updated everytime you switch on the computer. They said I could install some additional anti-virus software if I wanted, but I never have. I’ve had an iMac since 2011 (I’ve updated iMacs a few times) and have never encountered any problems. So, short answer is ‘no’ you don’t need any. Hope that helps? 😀💛

      1. Absolutely. Thank you. I used a Mac notebook back in the 90’s and loved it. I can’t wait to go back. By the way, I still need to send your copy of the HSC. I have been editing and trying to get that done for Marje. Almost there and I will pack up books and hit the post office. Whew! 😀 ❤

  2. I’ve had a couple of negative comments on my blog that I marked as spam as you suggest. Funny, I felt guilty about doing that but felt it was necessary. Glad to see you and others do the same thing.

    1. I have no problem if the comments are written professionally and they cause no insult but, like you, anything that comes through that is just a general attack on me or another blogger personally (or contains any swear words) then I will delete.

    1. I’d never heard of Wordfence before. After reading about it, it looks like it’s aimed at those who self-host their WordPress site. Is that correct? I think that having up to date anti-virus software on your computer and the other defences WordPress also supply (such as Akismet) also go a long way in helping to protect our blogs.

  3. Sorry to hear about your experiences. I’ve mostly had spam that has been picked up. I totally agree with you about trolls and comments. I’m wondering about this too with the new blog, Hugh. So far I’ve allowed people who’ve left previous comments to leave others but I’ll see. I wonder about the backing up thing. I have done it a few times, but as I was moving to a different blog I created a document for transferring over, and only a minimal part of the posts was actually there once transferred, so I’m not sure how well the process works (I guess it might depend on how much content there is). Most of my posts I write first but yes…it’s a problem. Happy New Year.

    1. Hi Olga, congratulations on the new blog. I’ve been over to take a look and have signed up.

      I’ve only heard of three people who have lost all or some of their blog content, so it taught me to back up my blog at least once a week. The file that WordPress send is only valid for seven days so it’s a great reminder to perform a backup at least once a week.

      Happy New Year and all the very best with the new blog, writing and many more new novels.

      1. Many thanks Hugh.. I transferred the whole of my blog to WP in 07.. with little problem when my other blog provider ceased to be.. They did the whole thing painlessly… I do have one question if it is not asking too much trouble..
        My little PC ‘s memory space is rather full, despite my attempts at clearing it of photo’s ect.. If there is not enough memory to hold the blog could I transfer directly to an external hard drive which I use?

        1. Yes, you can transfer it to a hard-drive. However, the WordPress backup file is only valid for seven days. That is how they encourage you to do a back-up at least once a week. My advice is to delete the older file as soon as you do a new back-up. That frees up space and you’ll only have the one back-up file on your hard-drive.

  4. Hi, there.

    Thank you for this list, it was really helpful.

    As far as odd/attacking comments, I’ve been fortunate enough to not experience that. I do moderate comments, though, so every comment that’s posted has to be approved by me first. I like that method just fine.

    I’d thought about doing a backup, but didn’t really consider it too much until now. Since I have instructions for how to do it, I’ll be backing up my blog now.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Juana, thanks so much for your comments.

      I am so glad you are now backing up the contents of your blog. Since publishing this post (and a post giving the instructions on how to do the backup), I’ve heard from three bloggers who told me that they had lost most of the content of their blogs and had wished they had backed their blogs up. It’s rare that losing everything from your blog happens, but backing your blog up at least once once a week is a big safeguard.

      With best wishes to you for 2016.
      Hugh

  5. I am sorry to hear that you’ve been on the receiving end of nasty, attacking comments, Hugh. It must not be pleasant at all. I too have received my fair share of bad comments and trolls. They go on a commenting rampage, being rude to me and judging who I am, and attacking other commentors on my blog too. Immediately when I discovered this, I put them to the comment blacklist. At one point, I even got threatening emails from some of them which I ignored. They moved on eventually.

    Stating a different opinion in a non-argumentative way is one thing, and like you I don’t mind these comments, valuing their input. I often wonder why some like to troll blogs. Maybe they have time on their hands. Maybe they are jealous. Maybe they feel strongly opinionated about what we’ve written. Or a combination of all of these.

    Just backed up my blog again 🙂

    1. Hi Mabel, I too am sorry to hear that you have encountered Internet Trolls. You certainly did the right thing by ignoring them. It’s the best defence against them and they usually soon move on. I’ve no idea why they do what they do other than that they may have something against the person they are targeting because of one of a number of reasons (like in your list). They are very sad and angry creatures who should be isolated and ignored. It’s just a shame we can’t get rid of them altogether.

      I value all comments and have no problems in somebody having a different point of view to me. However, they should always comment in a professional and non aggressive manner. When that happens then I have no problem in engaging with them unless they become abusive further down the line. I would then delete all their comments and add them to the comments blacklist.

      Very pleased to hear you are backing up your blog. Very good work there 👍

      1. It really is such a shame some take the time to try to bring down others. Here on WordPress, there is such a supportive community and each blogger is usually very encouraging of the other. There is so much we can get out of supporting others.

        A lot of the time I welcome comments on my blog that completely disagree with what I’m saying. That always adds such diversity to the topic we’ve presented – we learn to see things from another perspective, and so do readers who read the comments.

    1. I think just about everyone would be devastated to wake up and find that their blog had disappeared. Hope the backup worked out for you. Don’t forget to perform backups as often as possible and to delete any previous backup files.

  6. Some great advice Hugh, as always.
    I did have one weird comment once, but then I’m weird so I don’t know whether it was me, or them.
    Seriously, there are some sad people out there. x

  7. ***knock on wood- I haven’t had any bad encounters but I try to be cautious anyway. You never know, right? Thanks for another great advice post, Hugh! 🙂

  8. This is a great article– and I’m SO GLAD to see that I’m not alone in dealing with an unwanted troll or two– Always nice to be reminded that there’s strength in numbers!

    1. Thanks Marje, and am very pleased to have been of some help. Thank you very much for reblogging and sharing the post to all your followers. I hope they find the advice as useful as you do. I’ve enjoyed writing these posts and they seem to have been very popular with the blogging community.
      Best wishes,
      Hugh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.