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January 19, 2009

Security and Hacking: Protect Thyself and Thy WordPress Blog

WordPress Security Tips and TechniquesThe front page of CERT/CC, the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute and cyber security experts, looks back at 2008 as the 20th anniversary of the Morris worm, sometimes called the “Great Worm,” which crippled the Internet in 1988. Created by Robert Morris, now an associate professor at MIT, it was one of the first computer worms to infect the brand new Internet, exploiting known vulnerabilities and causing millions in damages. It also was the first conviction in the United States as part of the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Years ago, a friend of mine worked for Boeing IT and taught many company workshops and training programs that began with an amusing lecture on “Safe Computer Sex.” She taught fellow employees to take care when flipping floppies to avoid transferring computer program infections across the network. How far we have come from those days.

As our dependence upon the web increased with email communication, spammers, hackers and attackers spread evil through your email inbox. Now, they are attacking our websites, social media tools, and web browsers.

Microsoft announced recently security issues with the Internet Explorer web browser and the dangers of visiting websites that could exploit that security vulnerability. Many warned to not use Internet Explorer until it was patched and updated.

Google created the Browser Security Handbook to help people and developers understand the security issues facing web browsers and the steps to take to protect individuals and web applications.

As mentioned in the last article in this series on web and blog security and hacking, Security and Hacking: The State of WordPress Blogs, WordPress, Movable Type, and other popular web services are not immune from security hacks or vulnerabilities. read more

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November 4, 2008

Hack Your Brain for a Better Life, and More Productive Blogging

MRI scan of the headI saw a link to 15 Ways to Hack Your Brain For A Better Life, and since I’m a productivity maniac I gobbled down the article. It is basically some advice on how to get happier, smarter, and more balanced thanks to things you do to keep a balanced and fresh mind.

The advice is sound, and it also applies to bloggers, especially us full-time ones. Our profession is a mental one rather than physical, which means that the only part of our bodies that get exercised, and again, are our fingers tapping away at the keyboard. Sure, one might say that we’re using our brains all day long as well, but personally I think that is a load of crap, and the fact that we’re staring at monitors for prolonged periods of time probably hurts us more than we’re gaining by wrapping our minds around this and that. read more

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