Ways To Protect Your Blog

I have been trying to restore my blog traffic. I don't know if I've covered all the bases yet, but I can't just sit here and twiddle my thumbs while someone steals what I've been trying to build since 2009. 




I already lost all my blog posts in 2013 and had to start over. I didn't let that stop me. And though this time around has worn me out, and at times I just wanted to give up, I won't do that.

Blogger Forums (Nitecruzr) has been very helpful in directing me as to what to do. I had to go to Godaddy and change up some DNS numbers, etc. But he responded quickly to help me, and I am very grateful.

Here is his personal site, but he is often on the blogger forum helping as well. On his personal site, he gives advice that can help you with things of this nature, like I've been going through.

Here are some other things I was told to do by Nitecruzr via Blogger Forums:

1) If you have third party Gadgets added to your sidebar, such as the code for BlogTopSites, or the code for Free Online Users, take it off. I had them both, and BlogTopSites was where I first noticed that my URL was redirected to an Italian blog.

2) Don't ever add the winter snow to fall on your blog or any of those things. Some people like to have snow falling in winter on their blogs. Don't do it!

Apparently every time we are adding third party gadgets, we are opening ourselves up to having something bad happen. 

Here is my advice:

Change all your passwords often. Don't give the same password to two accounts. 

I am going to "unlink" any accounts that link back to my blog. I just now deleted my Twitter account. That person, or persons, who has been getting a free ride to traffic from my blog cannot get a free ride if I delete the accounts they are getting traffic from. 

If you don't know if you have stagnant accounts with social media or any other place that has your email account, I would start writing down possible places you might have registered, then just left it dormant. And I would delete that account if you aren't using it. I am doing the same.

For instance, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, Digg, any account you might have opened on the spur of the moment and then forgotten about. 

Blogger does not allow duplicate content. If you are also publishing your posts to, say, Facebook, that is duplicate content. You may or may not get penalized for it. But why take the chance? It must be unique content, from what I just read on the Blogger rules.

Separate your blog from social media accounts. That is my advice. Things can't get so out of control if you minimize the places where your blog is linked.

Facebook allows you to sign in to all kinds of accounts, and if we're in a hurry, sometimes we might allow that. Don't do it. I went to my Bloglovin account, and looked at my Settings, and that was allowed. I had to change it. 

I suggest going into all your social media accounts and seeing what is checked. 

If something at all seems amiss on your blog or someone else's, please let them know. We must help one another.

There are horrible thieves in this world. There is nothing we can do about that. It doesn't matter what platform you are on. If they target you and know what they're doing, they will do it. 

I hope you can learn from what I'm going through.


About phishing

A phishing website or message tries to trick you into revealing personal information by appearing to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank, social network, or even Google. If you receive a suspicious message, do not provide the information requested. We've included some tips to help you recognize phishing and keep your account secure.
Think before you click
Pay close attention to sign-in screens.
Cyber criminals can use links in emails, tweets, posts and online advertisements to direct you to fake sign-in screens, where they can steal your password. Only sign in to your account when you are certain you visited the real site directly. Check the Internet address to be sure.
How can I recognize phishing?
You should always be wary of any message that asks for your personal information or messages that refer you to a web page asking for personal information. If you receive this type of message, especially from a source claiming to be Google or Gmail, please don't provide the information requested. Google will never send unsolicited messages asking for your password or personal information, or messages containing executable attachments.
Messages or websites phishing for information might ask you to enter:
  • Usernames and passwords
  • Social Security numbers
  • Bank account numbers
  • PINs (Personal Identification Numbers)
  • Full credit card numbers
  • Your mother’s maiden name
  • Your birthday
What should I do when I see a phishing scam?
Most importantly, never reply to suspicious emails, tweets, or posts with your personal or financial information. Also, don’t fill out forms or sign-in screens that link from these messages.
Most email providers, including Gmail, allow you to report suspicious emails and phishing scams. To report phishing in Gmail, click the drop-down arrow next to “Reply” and select “Report phishing.”
***
If anyone has other tips to keep us safe, please put them in the comments.

31 comments

  1. I have learned so much through this - I just hate that it has been at the expense of Cozy Little House... :( There is so much that I have to learn about blogging - I tend to be too trusting. I'll never understand why people can't leave well enough alone... Here's to you, Brenda - I just KNOW you'll bounce back from this, stronger than ever!

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    1. Thanks Heather! My sun is smiling at me. So I have to smile back. I can't let this ruin things for me.

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  2. Thanks an awful lot for all those useful tips!

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  3. The phishing attempts are amazing...they look very real! I had one a week or so ago in my email supposedly from Paypal saying they were going to close my acct....go here and verify such and such. Hit the link and it LOOKS as if it is Paypal but since I'd already seen similar mails in the past from Amazon and Chase, none of them real, I went to Paypal directly, logged in, and found where to submit the Spoof Email to so that they could track them down.
    So if anyone reading this ever gets an email like that don't fall for it ! : )

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  4. I'm thankful that my IT hubby has educated me on so many online scams, and yet, they keep coming in so many different guises. It's dizzying! Thanks for the advice. I've used Nitcruzr's advice many times. He's so very helpful to us Blogger bloggers!

    For keeping track of passwords, I recommend LastPass. They help you keep track of all your passwords and you can create new ones at the drop of a hat. My hubby recommended them to me and I love it! You only have one password to remember (your master password). Everything's encripted.

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  5. Thank you so much, Brenda, for all this information. Blogger has an option where you can post from Blogger to Facebook. Is that not a legal post? I have been using it for about a year now.
    I am so sorry that you have had to go through so much crap with all of this. xo Diana

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    1. Well, I thought it was all right too. But then I read on one of the Blogger forums that it should be unique content and not duplicate if we're sharing it with other places like social media. I really don't know!

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  6. Nitcruzr helped when I had no idea how to disassociate my blog from Google + Very helpful blogger! Thank you for the update and information.We need to help each other. There are just some mean people out there.

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    1. I like to never got my blog extricated from Google+ and it about drove me crazy! I can't figure out Google+ so just leave it alone!

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  7. So thankful for Nitcruzr and you who are so willing to help others! So sorry you have had to go through so many issues with your blog Brenda and so happy you aren't giving up! You are a trooper, such an inspiration!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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    1. Well, I sat here earlier today and a few tears fell. Then I thought: what good is that going to do? I'm not letting these cheaters do me in!

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  8. Well, I am having issues with Google+ myself. In fact, I my comments are deleted from here after I hit the publish button...repeatedly. Hang in there, Brenda.

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  9. Ditto for me about Google+. I'm going to bookmark the link to Nitcruzr and LastPass. I do change my passwords, but probably not often enough. I just hate it that the Italian thief did all this to you!

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  10. As always, you have such useful advice for the rest of us. I wish it wasn't trial by fire and at your expense Brenda.

    I have snow falling in winter in my header, At least I did. I can't imagine why/how that would be a security threat, but I'm about as tech savvy as a snail so I'll just heed your advice and scratch it next year.

    I'm bookmarking this and I'm going to take the time to delete some accounts and change some passwords. Thank you!

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  11. Thank you for all your advice. Sure is upsetting what they have done to you.

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  12. I'm so sorry you are having to go through all this, Brenda ~
    It makes me glad I've never joined FB, Instagram, or Twitter, and I will be deleting my never used accounts with LinkedIn & Pinterest.
    Bless you for your sage advice ~

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  13. Brenda, YOU told me more in this one post than I would have ever found out on my own! Thank you so much!!!
    I'm so sorry this happened to you and I hope it never happens again. You're a doll for helping us, too.

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  14. Brenda, I am glad that you were able to get some help. He has helped me out, too! He was so helpful when I got hacked. It makes a lot of sense that the add ons are vulnerable...on WP it's through the plug ins that most hacks occur. I hope that your traffic returns ASAP!!

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  15. Thanks for sharing all of this, Brenda. I had never even considered the possibility that someone could steal another blogger's identity or re-route their blog traffic. I'll be much more careful now. I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. At least now you know why your traffic has been down and can hopefully get to the bottom of it. Best wishes.

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  16. Sorry you've been going through this, Brenda...what a pain. I haven't had to deal with any problems except for someone who stole my profile photo (why?!) and used it for their own on Pinterest. Luckily, someone who knew me, saw it and I could report it. It took me a couple of weeks just to get that fixed.

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  17. I just clicked on the Chico's ad on your sidebar but it did not take me to the website. So, I tried the Home Depot ad and that link worked. However, when I came back to your blog neither ad appeared on the sidebar. Could this be a problem?

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  18. Wow, I am so sorry to hear this happened to you. Some people don't care who they hurt or how, I am glad you are not letting them defeat you though. Hang int here and be strong!

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  19. Brenda & Nanadiana, here is a post from nitcruzr that may answer some questions about the blogger/fb debacle. http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2015/04/combining-blogger-blog-and-facebook-wall.html?m=1
    Brenda, good vibes sent your way for your traffic returning.
    -Mary (yaya)

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  20. Brenda & Nanadiana, here is a post from nitcruzr that may answer some questions about the blogger/fb debacle. http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2015/04/combining-blogger-blog-and-facebook-wall.html?m=1
    Brenda, good vibes sent your way for your traffic returning.
    -Mary (yaya)

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  21. This is all very helpful! I am having this problem, too, with an old blog URL that I DELETED over a year ago. I have actually disconnected myself from all social media but Pinterest and Google+ long ago, but I am concerned about that G+. I periodically go through and remove a lot of unwanted followers. I hate to get off it, because it is a good way to catch other blog posts, etc., that I might have missed along the way. I have the controls set as high as they will go. I have seen Nitecruzer and wondered who that was. Thanks for the link to his site.

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  22. I hate this has happened to you, but THANK YOU for putting all this useful information out there!!!

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  23. Whenever I feel like throwing in the blogging towel, it's always due to frustrating technical issues. The bad-guys who hack into the system just set everything else in motion for a series of major headaches.

    Keep filling us in!

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  24. Thank you Brenda! I have been reading this series of posts with great interest. Big blogs are a big target and it's easy to get compacent. I just want to do hassle feee blogging! I have taken your advice and made things a little more secure and will be paying more attention. So sorry for your blog trouble. Thanks for spreading the word.

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  25. Thank you for this wonderful information! I can't believe people would go through the trouble to steal someone's else's work and income. But it has been going on for years in so many other forms, I suppose the internet makes it easy to do! It's crazy because all of the ways to "grow your blog" include linking to any and every social media platform available! Makes me crazy! I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this!!

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you! However, if you are a no-reply commenter, I cannot reply via email to your questions or comments.

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