Securing WordPress Against Botnets Hacking Attempts Worldwide On WordPress Sites

There’s a surge of hacking attempts through botnets buzzing throughout the world this past few days and host providers are scrambling to strengthen their defenses. If you have a wordpress site, you should level up your security too as it’s wp that’s being in the hackers focus today.

I too received a couple of emails from 2 different hosting providers I use, one of which is lunarpages, informing me of a recent onslaught of hacking attempts focused on wordpress websites all over the world now, and how to secure wordpress better. Although this is no new thing as these hacking attempts happen year round, there just seemed to be a surge these days and they’re centered on wp sites.

securing wordpress

If you used wordpress, chances are, you have email in your inbox telling you of this ongoing attack.

Anyway, they all advised everyone to be vigilant and not to take security for granted. If you’ve been hacked before, you’ll know what I mean.

Yes, I once ignored this kind of advise before, resting on an innocent thought that no one would have any reason to hack my site. That only the big sites are being actively attacked. No way Jose. We aren’t dealing with little insecure would be hackers here. What’s making all these attacks are bots… software that automates all hacking actions and attempts. Thus they can work 24/7, no rest at all. And more importantly, they don’t differentiate between big wbsites or small insignificant one-page sites. They devour everything in their path like a hungry lion that’s been genetically engineered to behave both like a lion and a hyena.

Lunarpages did notspecify how they handled the attacks but Fatcow revealed that they choked traffic to the login pages. The attack was temporarily stumped. The downside to this however is that legitimate wordpress owners’ IP may have been blocked as well from accessing their dashboards at least during the first 3 days starting Thursday.

What we can do

While hosting providers levelled up their security fences, we as webmasters are left with the responsibility of setting up the first line of defense.

  • We are advised to change our passwords every 90 days. And not just any password. We should employ strong passwords that are not listed among the passwords being feed to hacking bots in their nefarious attempts.
  • password protect your login page. This effectively adds an extra layer of protection for your websites agains these hacking bots.

    This methods can be done manually or through a wizard (if its available in your cPanel).

    Manually, you can follow the steps outlined on this page.

  • Install wordpress security plugins.

Additionally, if you haven’t installed them yet, then install two very essesntially security plugins for your wordpress site as discussed in this post.

How to Download Youtube Videos to Your iPhone Without PC or Jailbreaking

Now, I could download youtube videos to my iPhone without need of jailbreaking or without using the PC.

This is a very short blog entry as I just found out how I can download youtube videos to my iPhone without using my PC or jailbreaking the phone.

I’ve grown somewhat disappointed with my iPhone after I found I can’t directly interact with my PC. A windows PC is not necessarily friendly to an Apple device, and vice versa.

I found that my PC can’t even recognize my iPhone when I connect it using the USB cable that came with it. It can recharge while it’s plugged to my laptop, but it’s nowhere in the explorer. With this setup, the iTunes app I installed naturally couldn’t find my iPhone either.

So, I still don’t have any music on my iPhone now.

Luckily, I found that without need of jailbreaking or using any other device or pc, I could download videos from youtube for later viewing. At least now, I could listen to music through their videos.

And this was made possible by the mc-tube app which has a free version. For my purposes, the free version is more than enough, I suppose.

The youtube video below elaborates on this matter more in-depth.

You can check out the video in YouTube here.

My Kids Love Oz The Great and Powerful

My kids loved Oz the Great and Powerful and enjoyed watching the movie. They even asked that we buy the DVD of the movie.

There’s nothing like seeing your kids having a great time watching a movie made specially fo them.

oz the great and powerful movie

The whole family watched the movie Oz the Great & Powerful. It was a movie we were all eager to watch since the movie’s ads went live. The kids had pictures with them standing in front of the big cardboard standees a couple of weeks ago, after we watched another movie – Jack the Slayer. The kids enjoyed that too, although Shaniah Niles admitted to being scared of the giants.

James Franco looked perfect for the role of Oz. He does seem to radiate, at first glance, of a selfish man who is full of himself. Only rarely do I ever disagree with the caster’s choices. With this one, I would agree.

The movie kicked off with a setting in the past when Thomas Edison probably just rocked the world with his ideas and inventions. That’s who Oz wanted to be, after all.

It’s a movie of deception against deception; of evil vs the masterful use of trickery and implementation of some ‘new’ technology.

Even after good wins over evil, Oz stills continues to play his deception.

“Your secret’s safe with us”, say his newfound friends.

oz the great and powerful nice movie

Only a hero with a character like Oz can pull that off. But of course, I’m no expert movie critic. I hear that some critics think that the actors fell short of their expectations, especially as they compared this to the movie back in 1939 which they seem to imply as one that cannot be surpassed.

I don’t know about them critics but as far as I know, the kids loved it. And this is a movie for kids after all. With movies like these, I let the children judge whether it’s a good watch or not.

Thus, I deem Oz the Great & Powerful – an enjoyable movie to watch. You can find the DVD of Oz the Great and Powerful in my favorite movies below.

Deceiving the Enemy of Productivity

Here’s another method for getting productive results for your efforts – productivity by deception. This is one method we procrastinators should use if we ever want to get going with whatever we need to do.

Productivity is always an ‘in’ thing regardless of what business you may be in. Whether you’re working for Donald Trump, or for a startup distributor, or you’re sorting mail in the mailroom, one’s performance is based on how you maximize the use of your time for maximum productivity.

Even when you work for yourself, where you own your time, you’re still bound to discover that efficient time management can boost your productivity and give you more time to do the things you love to do.

Before I go further, a word of warning. I’m not talking as an expert here. I’m talking from the standpoint of someone who has the same need for constant reminders about the advantages of sticking to a productive routine in order to meet expections – mine or others – or perhaps even to do better.

I found that the usual way I do things is not necessarily a bad routine. Normally, I don’t really lay out a complete plan before embarking on some things. I also still have not mastered myself inspite of my desire to improve my focus. But I saw that some folks who are or can be considered successful in their present life practice the same things I do and have the same weaknesses I have.

Jeff Goins’ Productivity by Deception

Well at least that’s what Jeff Goins of jeffgoins.com is doing. He’s a published writer and is deeply involved with the ‘Adventures in Missions’ non-profit group. After reading his chapter in an ebook from Problogger.com called Blog Wise, I found that I’m not alone after all in my hither-thither approach to things.

Besides having to force himself to follow established productivity methods like time chunking (e.g. Working in 30-minute increments), Goins proposed a method of productivity he calls Productivity by Deception which makes sense as far as I’m concerned. There’s still hope for people like me after all.

In his own words:


“Another thing I do is I create an enjoyable context,” he reveals. “Like last night I downloaded the Mumford and Sons album, and I made myself a carafe of really good coffee, and I was like ‘I have to do something I don’t want to do, so I’m going to create the most enjoyable context possible. I’m going to listen to music. I’m gonna drink coffee. And I’m gonna sit down and I’m gonna do it. And I’m gonna set aside this much time to do it.’

“And for me, the CD, which is like 45 minutes, was my egg timer, and when that was up I was done – whether or not I was actually done with it. I was done.”

The way I understand it is that the trick is to trick yourself into thinking that a particular job is enjoyable. If not, then at least make the environment comfortable and less work-like. I am definitely adding this to my list of techniques for overcoming self-sabotage.

That, in my case, should work pretty nicely.

The enemy that blocks me from doing cool stuff and being productive is me myself. Tricking the enemy into cooperating by bribing it with what it loves is the best measure it seems.

I’ve got to make sure to personally thank Jeff Goins the next time I meet him for sharing this simple trick. Ooops, I forgot I live on the other side of the globe. But, who knows? I just might get to bump into Jeff one of these days.

Now, I’m off to read the other chapters of the Blog Wise e-book. Goins’ chapter is not the first chapter but I somehow found myself going there directly and discovered that he’s one cool guy. Now, off to the other cool folks’ chapters.

Scarcity Samurai WordPress Plugin 50% Discount Launch

Scarcity Samurai is a wordpress plugin which allows you to take advantage of the principle of scarcity to prod your readers to decide within your chosen time frame to buy or not. The fear of being left out is in-grained in the human psyche. Marketers ‘in the know’ has been taking advantage of this for years.

I had the opportunity to test this brand-new Scarcity Samurai wordpress plugin last week in my blog and found that it works exactly just as its authors claimed. I suppose there’s little room for doubt when it comes to products created by the maker of the successful Market Samurai software.

Firstly, the visible feature of the plugin is the countdown counter that you can fix either at the bottom or top of the visible page.

This counter, even when you don’t elaborate about it on the page you put it on, without doubt creates a feeling of urgency in the reader. It is a perfect complement to the scarcity principle which has been effectively used for years by businessmen who understand human psychology. Thus when you imply in your copy to the readers that the price of your product will stay at this low price for, say, only 24 hours, the Scarcity Samurai (SS) countdown counter will reinforce this reminder and invoke the innate ‘fear of being left out’ in the reader. And you can bet he’ll take action quickly, often favorably.

scarcity samurai screenshot

The plugin also gives you the option to redirect to another page once the countdown is over. You can check out a test page I quickly drafted up when I tested this plugin. This test page utilizes the ‘evergreen scarcity‘* type of counter as opposed to the really one-time counter. And be sure to wait until the counter runs out so you can see its redirect action. Click here to check it out.

Scarcity Samurai is Not Just a Counter

Here’s where most, if not all other counter plugins are left in the dust by Scarcity Samurai.

SS can be configured to synched with your autoresponder so that as it counts down to a specific day, it can fire up a series of mails to be sent to your subscribers at specific intervals up to the end of the countdown.

At the moment, the Samurai team says it works with Aweber. The next update would probably make it work with the other autoresponders soon. Speaking of updates, I hope they ‘ll also give users the option to choose the size of the counter bar.

So, check it out now. I hear they’ll be offering huge discounts for a limited time. The video on this page will tell you more about this awesome Scarcity Samurai wordpress plugin.

*Evergreen Scarcity – is a counter that triggers everytime a user visits a page.
Fixed Date – a counter that has a specific lifespan.
And both these have either multi-page or single page campaign types.

Language Patterns Used By Sales Marketers in PDF and Videos

Yes there’s a system to the maddening blur of sales pages that try to capture your attention for as long as possible in order to court you to take a course of action of their choosing. The adverts you passed by today uses this system.

I got ahold of a pdf file about language patterns or pattern language that are being used repeatedly in sales by marketers to plow their way through the minds of buyers with minimal resistance.

The more I get myself exposed to squeeze pages and sales pages by online marketers, the more inclined I am to believe that there is indeed a science behind their system. That their copywriting skills do not rest only on perfect grammar but also with skillful use of language patterns proven effective to convince or persuade readers to commit action according to the writer’s intent, which of course is none other than to buy what they’re selling.


By the way, I’ve posted about magic words sometime ago when I first realized that there are indeed patterns or some kind of formula that copywriters are using. Check it out in this post: Magic Words That Enticed Me to Buy.

The ebook authored by George Hutton focuses on the discovery made by Richard Bandler and John Grinder some years ago that eventually became the basis of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Bandler called these language patterns ‘linguistic presuppositions’ where the mind is tricked into accepting something by virtue of a pre-supposition or series of pre-suppositions.

Covert Hypnotic Sales Language Patterns

First off, it explores the power of ordinal numbers, complex adjectives, pseudo cleft sentences, repetitive verbs and adverbs, factive verbs and adverbs, and many more.

With skillful use of these language patterns, you can make readers believe that you are an authority in your field, or imply that lots of people are recommending your product for its value. It maximizes the use of the mind’s tendency to fill the missing pieces, and lowers its defenses as the writer pushes his wares for sale up front. You can say it’s a method of reaching out to the buyer at the subconscious level.

You can consider these language patterns as some kind of weapon that, when put in the wrong hands, can wreck havoc to mankind.


This reminds me of another post I wrote when I found myself really kind of disgruntled at some marketers who are really into this for the money alone, without thought of the buyers’ satisfaction. Here it is: Limited Copies: Hurry!

After reading the ebook, I found myself browsing through several squeeze and sales pages online to point out phrases or paragraphs that actually made use of hypnotic language patterns. I now understand why businessmen sometimes have to hire copywriters to draft up their sales pages instead of making it themselves.

I have began appreciating sales pages as I now recognize the process as an art or a science. I no longer look at it’s writing as simply coughing up a few paragraphs describing a product using glowing superlatives and asking people to buy it now. It also follows that I now look at copywriters in a different light.

I guess every marketer who consciously wants to increase his sales should be armed with the knowledge of persuasive language patterns.

To know more about persuasive language patterns for hypnotic sales power, go here. Not an affiliate link. Or, you can take a couple short minutes to watch a video below closely related to this subject matter.

Are you familiar with hypnotic sales language patterns or do you recognize these patterns in ads or sales pages used by online marketers?

Click Here! or here

How to Display Content of CHM Help File That Does Not Display Content Pane

Have you encountered this issue where your .chm file, or more popularly known as a help file, does not display its content like it’s corrupted or something? Here’s something I found somewhere which will let you access its content properly.

Here’s another experience I had just recently, this time, about a Help file in .chm format that won’t display its contents. If you’ve followed my blog even for a little while, you’ll know that I save my experiences with any problems, trivial or not, that get solved into this blog for future reference.

This post is going to be a quick and short one because the solution happens to be equally quick and short. In fact, if you’re in a hurry, you may jump to the solution by scrolling below, or clicking here.

CHM File Won’t Display Correctly

I downloaded a jQuery Help chm file and when I try to access its contents, it only shows something like the image below.

chm file wont display correctly

I thought I must have downloaded an incomplete file, but when I tried asking around in the forums, I realized that several other folks have experienced this too. Turns out this has nothing to do with corrupted files or incomplete downloads.

So, withour further ado, here’s the solution that I got from some helpful guys who did not hesitate to share their knowledge to us poor folks who would never have found a clue how to get over this problem.

Solution

  1. Right click on chm file, then click Properties.
  2. Then, Click on the ‘Unblock’ button. That’s the button just above the bottom ‘Apply’ button, and just below the ‘Advanced’ button, all within the ‘General’ tab .
  3. unblocking chm file

  4. Click ‘Ok’. This time, when you right-click the chm file and click ‘Properties’, you’ll no longer see the ‘Unblock’ button.
  5. chm file now unblocked

Now, you can access your downloaded CHM file and it will display its contents on the content pane.

chm file displaying properly

Learning jQuery Free Online

Hey, I’ve started partaking of some introductory lessons on jQuery from a free online online course. Don’t sneer just yet. I just might be able to complete this course through to the end.

I loved HTML at first sight. Then I realized its limitations and started learning PHP. And then, just recently I fancied learning jQuery and found some free resources online.

how to learn jquery free onlineWhen I say I learned PHP, I do not necessarily mean I mastered it. I learned just enough to be able to amuse myself as I tweaked my themes and played around with the innards of some plugins in my blog.

Now that I am embarking on learning jQuery, it goes without saying that I may not necessarily be aiming for mastery. Maybe, just enough to be dangerous when I find myself in the midst of jQuery code.

Some folks say that I must learn javascript before starting on jQuery. But leave it to my non-conformist nature to just go ahead anyway and dive into jQuery without benefit of a javascript background. Maybe I’m wrong but I have this understanding that jQuery is supposed to help make me jump ahead with javascript coding without starting from ground zero.

learning jquery online for free

I landed on a resource website called Codecademy.com which offers free online courses like Web Fundamentals, jQuery, Javascript, Python, Ruby, APIs, etc.

I’m now almost done with part 2 of the jQuery Course. That means Parts 3 to 6 are still waiting for me to be devoured soon (if the motivation holds up). In part 2, I’ve learned about functions, selectors and some functional jQuery coding.

If you’re expecting passive learning here, you’d be surprised. You can’t effectively go ahead with the next chapters without typing in the proper codes in the jQuery code box. Kind of reminds me of my Trigonometry class instructor back in high school who has this nasty habit of giving us a short quiz after every lecture session. And here at codecademy, if you make erroneous codes, you’ll be reprimanded with an ‘Oops, you need to insert…’ remark. Well, they were not joking when they said ‘Interactive’!

Though, I’m yet at the early stages of the online course, I know that the entire online course wouldn’t make me a jQuery wizard afterwards as it doesn’t really cover everything. That’s why, this early I have started gathering other resources to complement my learning.

I have, for instance, the following digital info files in my jQuery folder:

  • Head First jQuery
  • jQuery Cookbook
  • jQuery Succinctly
  • jQuery Documentation PDF
  • jQuery & jQuery UI Documentation

Youtube is in no shortage of jQuery tutorials too. There’s this channel called LittleWebHut which also offers lots of video tutorials, e.g. HTML, Inkscape, etc.

Why Learn jQuery?

Take a look at this site. Click on ‘News/Events’, and then click on the links at the left side of the page. I just love Ajax!

Or, take a peek at dibusoft.com. Click on one of the direction arrows on the picture frame on the upper right of the page. If you like the effect, click it again and again until your forefingers get sore.

But then again, those are just some effects that can be seen immediately on the surface. JQuery can do lots more and takes off where HTML (or PHP) stops.

HTML and PHP just aren’t enough especially when you want to keep up with the Joneses in the webworld. Interactivity is the in thing now and, I supppose, will remain that way forever.

Some guy in a forum said that he traipsed away from javascript when he found out that some users intentionally disable javascript in their browsers. On closer inspection, I learned that those paranoid users actually constitute only around 2% of all users in the US. Other countries have even lower statistics than that. What’s up with these guys? Do they prefer page load waiting time over ajax?

And why the heck would I worry about the preferences of 2% of US readers? Wait, a yahoo page says that 6,000,000 readers compose the 2% of users among 300,000,000 readers who visit their site each month. Ok, that’s one humongous lot of readers.

Well then, when I become the greatest jQuery programmer in the world soon, maybe I’ll just have to design my websites so that javascript-phobic users can still get satisfaction from my sites. But surely, the rest will get the best experience in their browsing when javascript is enabled, like the way I am awed at masterfully designed sites with expert use of proper javascript.

jQuery Badges
Here are the badges I’ve earned so far @ codecademy

VIDEO: JavaScript & jQuery Tutorial for Beginners

SEO Gaming of Google SERPs Continues

The advances that Google made over the past few months did not deter the money-makers from going ahead with their schemes. And that’s because they still get to find out the patterns and filters that Google set in place through their bots. But can Google eventually stop seo gaming?

Although the Google algorithm changes, e.g. Panda, Penguin, etc., stunned the gurus who preach about how to to game the google serps, it feels more like a gaming pause than a stop that Google envisioned.

Indeed my inbox turned a different shade for a few days. But shortly after that, my inbox went abuzz with a vengeance with subject lines from marketers going electric with promises to soar back up the serps in 10 days or so, etc.

SEO Gaming continues

Whether these promises have meat or not, I think people are gobbling them up like crazy precisely because these are the times when they needed new directions the most as they are essentially facing blank walls and needed a way out quick. And the gurus, whether legitimate or scam artists, are scrambling to pounce on this hunger. If war is good for business, confusion in the online world is good for business, too.

So, ever since google set up filters to identify legitimate backlinks from spam links, here comes the masters boasting of having found out loopholes that allow anyone to build backlinks that remain under the radar of Google’s filters.

They also talk of things that actually make sense like when they advocate that content is indeed king. And yet, in the same breath, they launch into another pitch about the awesomeness of a software that spins your good content into a thousand readable versions. And not only that, it automatically submits these to article directories.

Google is not that clean either in these areas. They have developed this feature called ‘Disavow’ which allows webmasters to wash their hands off of some dirty seo they’ve done in the past. The way I see it, this is still SEO gaming. And from the inside, at that.

Naturally, the gamers, more often than not, are the first ones to pounce on this opportunity to clean up their tracks. By definition, anyone who desires and takes action to put their sites up in the top serps are gamers. That includes just about everyone who has a website. But just as there are people who are more adventurous, so are there webmasters who are more aggressive at seo gaming than the rest.

Google is still far from perfect

I think the only act a webmaster can do that wouldn’t be considered ‘dirty gaming’ is when they put real valuable content on their sites, because that is the only thing Google really wants in a website after all.

But of course, no matter how advanced Google’s bots have become these days, these bots still couldn’t sense ‘good content’. That’s why they look to other sites to see if they are ‘endorsing’ those sites via backlinks. And this has been a doorway for gaming ever since Google started using this method. And since Google is still using it, the gaming thus continues. As soon as their new tweaks and filtering in this area are detected, the gamers adjust accordingly.

And when Google started checking up on social media sites, e.g facebook, (and even created their own Google+), the gamers flocked and juiced them out for what they’re worth.

Google aims to be able to give search results that give value to the searcher. That is, results that satisfy the searchers. After the changes, I however can see, every now and then, some crap pages that still slips through the filters and thus get in the top serps. If not crap pages, there are pages that are not neccessarily exact or appropriate to the search terms.

A quick test, for instance, revealed that half of the first page in google for the search term “how to change ink cartridge hp deskjet 3050” does not show the searcher how to change or replace an ink cartridge for the hp deskjet 3050. But somewhere in the 10th page, in position number 113, is a page that is as instructive as that in position number 2 of the first page. Among the pages that don’t contain instructions to replace ink cartridge, and thus don’t give value to the searcher, is an amazon sales page. The printer’s actual online manual which contains a whole section on how to replace the printers ink cartridge should be number one, but currently sits on number 4.

I’m sure you too can find examples of these instances where you don’t really get to be satisfied at google’s results. But then again, google robots, and all of the other search robots are not perfect and we’ll just have to accept that fact if we don’t want to get a migraine headache.

Can Google Eventually Stop SEO Gaming?

So, the question is ‘can Google ever stop the seo gaming game?’ I’d say, never. But for a while they can always make it difficult for the gamers. I appreciate though the respite I get during these rare times when my inbox gets a rest from over-active seo marketers.

Negative SEO – (Revisiting Matt Cutts)

I Like This Hansel and Gretel Story Better

I definitely like this version of the story of Hansel and Gretel. The movie continues where the children’s tale left off. They became witch hunters.

We watched Hansel and Gretel a couple of days ago and went home certain that I definitely like this story better than the one I heard when I was a kid.

I know the original story by heart because back in the 3rd grade, I played Hansel in our school play while a cute girl (who’s a doctor now) played Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel grows to become witch hunters

Of course, the original story is only a small part of the new storyline in the movie because this one continuous where the original left off. But even with that alone, I would still consider this a better story because the mother and father are, after all, not necessarily evil. They only had to leave the children in the woods to protect them from death in the hands of the villagers.

head witch muriel in hansel and gretel movieThe movie shows a lot of ugly evil faces and, of course, unlimited blood and gore. More often than not, I would stay away from movies of this type, but this one turns out to be an exception of some sort. I didn’t seem to find the blood and gore too offensive. Or, is it just me levelling up to tolerate seeing blood and gore now that I’m older?

I love it that they cast Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) as Hansel and Jean Grey, err Famke Janssen, as Muriel.

hansel and gretel witch hunters screenshot

The movie is super fun to watch. Don’t mind the guns that don’t seem to fit the era of witch-burning hypocrites. But come to think of it, if guns were already available in those days, it would really make any legitimate witch-hunters’ job easier. And those steel strings sure makes for a fun way to slice overspeeding witches into small pieces.

I think I’m going to buy a DVD (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) of this movie as I think this one passes my criteria for highly re-watchable movies. I wouldn’t recommend it for children viewing though. That’s why only me and my wife watched it.

“Some people will say that not all witches are evil. That they’re powers could be used for good. I say burn them all!”

Do you know that the line above created some very interesting and funny reading as it created a thread of seemingly endless debate on religion, atheism, witchcraft, etc. Check it out here.