This evening I opened up my mail service and discovered that I had eight hundred and sixty-three mails waiting. Now, this may be quite normal for some people, who have a far greater degree of popularity – or are truly hated – but rather out of the ordinary for me. I usually manage to get through the day with ten or twenty at the most, including the few services that I have subscribed to. These mails, however, were not just friendly chit-chat or anything similar, but warnings.
Firstly I have to say that I do take my Internet security seriously. I don’t just wander about the cyber-world naked and open to all who want to see what I have seen, check out my footprint or read what I have read. The same with this blog: I take the protection of several years work very seriously indeed. One of the first things that I did was change the sign-in name from admin to something else – I think that can be done easily now on WordPress but, back then, you needed a plug-in to do it. My password is very strong – a good mixture of characters, numbers and symbols – and changed regularly. I also have Wordfence installed – admittedly the free version, but that’s all I need – which checks out spam, security breaches, software changes and attempts to gain entry to the web site.
Photo Source: Joaquin Corbalan – Creative Commons
My settings on Wordfence were also very simple, but effective. Someone could try to log in to my account here five times before being blocked – when they got the log in name or password wrong – and the block remained in place for thirty minutes. You’ll notice that this is past tense, and for a good reason: someone, whether man or machine, tried a few times and I found out about it only because of a missed check mark. With one of the latest updates I failed to mark the box telling the software that I don’t want a mail each time someone is blocked.
Now here’s a bit of Math for you: attempt to log in incorrectly five times and I receive a mail. This evening I received 863 mails. Just from blocking.
Done the Math?
Now you can see why changing the admin name on WordPress to something else is good, why having a strong password is good, and why having good security software installed is good.
Think about it, if you really must!
- Viktoria Michaelis.