My WordPress Site Has Been Hacked – WHAT TO DO?!?

Chrome Warning

Google Chrome indicates that your WordPress site “contains harmful programs” or “contains malware” when any page is opened. This means that Google has crawled your site and found embedded code that could cause harm to the passing web surfer. Your site has been hacked by someone who has changed files to meet their malicious intent. The hacker may have done it using a trojan plugin or may have gained access to your wpadmin or ftp account.

What Should You Do

There are some free WordPress plugins available that will scan and fix malicious files. The following sections provide more detail for this list of Things to Do:

  1. change your webserver ftp password
  2. change your wpadmin password
  3. delete unknown WordPress Administrator users
  4. install the plugin Anti-Malware from GOTMLS.NET
  5. install the plugin Wordfence
  6. run the Anti-Malware scans and Address Issues
  7. run the Wordfence scans and Address Issues
  8. address any issues
  9. notify Google of your changes

Run the Anti-Malware scans and Address Issues

  1. run the WP_Core Quick Scan
  2. run the Plugins Quick Scan
  3. run the Themes Quick Scan
  4. run the Complete Scan
  5. choose ‘Fix Issues’ if the scan identifies a threat
  6. repeat over several days to ensure the threat does not reappear.
  7. if threats reappear, pay attention to plugins or themes that reappear and disable then delete those
  8. clear the quarantine created by the Anti-Malware plugin
  9. delete any plugins that WordFence indicates as no longer supported

Run the Wordfence scans and Address Issues

  1. turn on ‘scan themes files against repository versions for changes’. Visit wpadmin > Wordfence > Options
  2. turn on ‘scan plugin files against repository versions for changes’. Visit wpadmin > Wordfence > Options
  3. run ‘Start a Wordfence Scan’. Visit wpadmin > Wordfence > Scan
  4. browse the Scan Summary and validate the scan results.
  5. view the New Issues and address each one as follows:
  6. Allow Wordfence to Repair any core files that are identified as changed. Unless you are changing WordPress core code, you don’t want custom files.
  7. Allow Wordfence to Delete any unknown files identified as containing malicious code. If it isn’t in the inventory, your site won’t need it.
  8. If you modified a theme (example: changed a style.css file), indicate that Wordfence should ignore this issue.

Notify Google

Register your site in Google’s WebMaster tools. Visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dashboard
Check the WebMaster Tools Security Issues tab. Follow the instructions to tell Google to remove your sit from their list.

Conclusion

Your site has been hacked. Using the 2 free plugins Anti-Malware and Wordfence, you can scan and fix files that now contain malicious content. Mission accomplished!

Move From Vonage To Ooma

Ooma is a ‘free’ phone service that can replace your landline phone. Ooma provides everything you need as your home phone. The free VOIP service provides simple basic features as well as an upgrade option. The low cost Premier service ($10/month) provides capabilities that compare nicely to Vonage – a well established VOIP provider. Here, we’ll compare costs with Vonage and look at how to convert from Vonage to Ooma. We’ll save a fortune in the process! It’s time to switch.

The Basics

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is a telephone technology that relies on an internet connection to operate within your home. So, if you have an internet connection, you are able to install VOIP phone service. All you need is the device to connect to your internet connection, a landline phone (even a 1985 Trimline will work), and VOIP Service (like Ooma, Vonage, or Magic Jack}. When you get VOIP Service, you choose pick a phone number in any US city of your choice. If you move, your phone number and device and service goes with you to your new home. VOIP lets you ay goodbye to local phone service.

The Costs

Since nothing is ever free, as Ooma proclaims their service to be, let’s break down the costs. Just like we’ve learned not to ignore shipping when it comes to purchasing online, we must not ignore taxes/fees when it comes to phones. The initial cost of the device plus taxes and fees are the difference between free and a $100 investment plus $5/month.

Ooma provides a nice detail of costs at http://www.ooma.com/rates/
I just converted from Vonage to Ooma. My Ooma service costs me $15/month for the Premiere plan including taxes/fees. Here are the entry costs:
* home device: $100/one time – get  the Ooma Telo on SALE for $89!
* phone service: $0/month
* phone taxes: $5/month
* phone# port: $40/one time
* optional monthly premiere service: $10/month

Compare these prices to Vonage VOIP service. The Vonage North America phone service that I am migrating to Ooma costs me $40/month.
* home device: $0
* phone service: $27/month
* phone taxes: $12/month

My savings are $25/month = $300/year. Frankly, I could do without the Ooma Premiere service at $10/month, but I will try it for a year since they offered a free phone# port with a year of Premiere service. A good comparison of the Ooma free service versus the Premiere service is available at http://www.ooma.com/premier/ if you click the Compare button.

Another cost is moving the current phone number from Vonage to Ooma. This is referred to as ‘phone number port’. Ooma charges $40 to port a phone number from an existing service to Ooma. Once you establish your Ooma service, you fill out a simple form to request the phone number port. The advertised duration is 3-4 weeks and you will need to maintain both your Ooma and Vonage accounts during that time. My phone number port took Vonage 10 days (7 business days) for Vonage to complete. If you don’t need to port a number, then you get to pick a phone number from a limited inventory of available phone numbers. This option is free. You get to choose any city in the US then pick a phone number that Ooma has available.

Generally, the Ooma Premiere features and the Vonage North America features are comparable. The phone quality is terrific in both services, so that is not a consideration.

Installation

Installation of Ooma is remarkably simply. The device comes with an easy to follow page of instructions. Generally, the steps are:

  1. register Ooma Telo device. Log onto the Ooma site and fill out a few pages to register your device, pick a phone number, and set up your account.
  2. plug in your device. Connect Ooma Telo device to Power and connect device to your home router. The device will connect to Ooma’s servers.
  3. plug in your phone. Connect a phone to the Ooma Telo device. At this point, the phone is functional. Call a friend. Call your cell phone.
  4. (optional) request a phone number port. Login to your Ooma account and fill out the simple request to move your phone from Vonage to Ooma.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve saved $300/year by moving from Vonage to Ooma. You won’t be sorry in the least.

Upgrade your Smart Phone with Straight Talk BYOP

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4

It was time for a smart phone upgrade so I looked into the Straight Talk Bring Your Own Phone Program. It was a bit challenging but it was very successful. Now, I have a much more capable phone, 4G service, and service that is still one-half the price of the plans from the big three carriers. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is an amazing phone with a 13MP camera, also a front-facing camera, GPS, super-fast quad-core processor, and easy to use Android 4.4. Combine that with 4G service from Straight Talk via AT&T or T-Mobile and I am more ready than ever to go mobile.
… Read More!

Straight Talk Smartphone Comparison

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4

Straight Talk by WalMart now has nearly 30 smartphones available – using every available operating system – Android, iOS, and Windows. One phone is even available on the Verizon network. With a phone starting as low as $59.99 plus the lowest monthly rate around of $45.00 per month, there is a smartphone in your future.

If you already have a smartphone, you may be able to benefit from exiting their Verizon, Sprint or AT&T $90 to $100/month plan and go to Straight Talk at 1/2 the monthly cost.
… Read More!

Try Reconnect

Recently I started using a product to try to address the tinnitus – ringing in the ear – I was experiencing. Tinnitus is confusing. The doctor says that I have tinnitus because I have a small amount of hearing loss. And, I say that I have a small amount of hearing loss because MY FREAKING EARS ARE RINGING. So, make the ringing stop and I can hear again.

How did I get here

I complained about the ringing to my doctor. So, off to the ENT specialist. I took a hearing test. The result of the test is that I can’t hear the low pitched tones. Personally, I think it is because my ear is ringing. I am convinced if the ringing stops, then I can hear the tones. But, NO. The doctor says “when did you first notice you have hearing loss”. Well I guess just now. Which comes first? The ringing, or the hearing loss assessment? Tinnitus has no cure. You have to learn to ignore it. That’s what the doctors say. Well, I’m not OK with that.

Options

A few months ago I began using Reconnect from Institute for Vibrant Living – IVL. You can get it directly from IVL for about $40/month here:

Reconnect
  • Visit Reconnectat the Institute for Vibrant Living web site
  • Use Savings Code HEALTHY1 for a buy 2 get 2 deal in December
  • Try Coupon Code FREESHIP for free shipping (can’t be used in conjunction with above code)
  • buy more, save more.

The marketing advertising – which I take with a grain of salt (what’s that mean anyway?) – indicates that the founder of IVL created the product to address his Meniere Syndrome. He says “I no longer have the vertigo problem and the ringing in my ear is much less than it used to be.” Well, that’s quite an endorsement. Reconnect has 15 ingredients believed to help your hearing. I like the “Halts Ringing” claim.

Results

I am six months into this product I have certainly noticed that the ringing has diminished! I’d say the ringing was finally tolerable at about 50% less than some awful nights. I’ll take it!

Samsung Galaxy Proclaim Accessories Round 2

make your own skin

The first few accessories we’ve accumulated for our Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Proclaim include 3 chargers, a protective case, a stylus, and a bluetooth headset. Next up are some more advanced and robust accessories. Everything evolves and so will my Proclaim. I love it a lot and I can make it even better.

Let’s look at a custom cell phone case, a bigger memory card and a holster. Or, if you want to browse a giant list, here’s a list of over 50 items for the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim at my favorite cell phone accessory discount retailer. By the way, the Samsung Illusion I110 is the same model phone … but sold by Verizon instead of Straight talk.

make your own skin

First up, a custom case for your Proclaim. For $12.99 reduced to $5.99 you can have any photo applied to a case. Imagine a picture of your spouse, child, significant other, pet, landmark, sports logo, replica tattoo, or absolutely any other photograph applied to your phone. For best results, edit your photo to about 900 x 1500 so that it fits the shape of the Samsung Proclaim.

picture of a phone holster

Next, a phone holster that attaches to my belt and the phone snaps into it for easy access. It is only $1.39 marked down from $19.99. What a deal. The phone is safe and secure and ready to draw from the hip with the next important ring! No more fumbling thru your pocket.

picture of solar charger

Next, a mini solar/wall charger for $17.99 discounted to $10.99. This amazing device can charge your phone from a wall outlet, a PC (USB), or from the sun! It even has a LED flashlight for some reason. Plug it in until it is fully charged. Then take it on the road with you. It even has many connectors so you can connect just about any device. Make sure you charge the device from the wall the first time for 15 hours to get the battery fully charged. The size of the charger output (current) determines how fast the battery will charge the phone. The current in milliAmps (ma) is the output power from the battery to the phone. The capacity in milliAmpHours (mAh) determines how long the battery will last on a full charge – so if you draw 300 mA and your battery capacity is 1500 mAh, you battery will charge the phone for 5 hours (5×300=1500). There are several sizes available including:

More Useful Items

Here are several other items that will become useful.

  • a replacement battery. If your phone no longer holds a charge very long, the battery may need replacing. Note that turning on the GPS or turning up the display brightness cause the battery to drain quickly.
  • a higher capacity microSD card. If you love music or photos on your phone, you may like a huge memory card.

References

Examine these other pages for more detail on Samsung Galaxy Proclaim and accessories. When shopping, remember that the Samsung Illusion I110 by Verizon is exactly the same as the Proclaim (s720c) by Straight Talk.

Improve Your Laptop With A Solid State Drive

Picture of SSD

Improve your laptop performance with a Solid State Drive (SSD)! The best way to boost your laptop performance is to add a 2nd drive – a new all digital drive that has no moving parts. So, I’ll walk you through the steps to add a new SSD while keeping all your existing files.

There are 3 components that determine your laptop’s performance – CPU speed (e.g. 2.0 GHz), the amount of working memory (e.g. 4GB memory) and the disk drive speed (not size) (e.g. read/write speed). The most important of these is disk drive speed – not memory nor CPU although of course they also become important. Most people believe that the CPU is the most important component – certainly, that’s what Intel wants you to believe so that’s what is marketed to us. Lately, you can get a new Solid State Drive that has no moving parts and the read/write speed increases 4 fold which dramatically increases your laptop speed.


I’ll add an SSD to my business laptop to see what kind of performance gain I can achieve. We’ll spend under $200 and get great improvements!

Ingredients

… Read More!

Android Multitasking

photo of Samsung Galaxy S 3 phone
Android robot

The ‘multitasking’ feature advertised on Android phones is often misunderstood. So, it’s time to take a closer look.

All versions of the Android OS have a multitasking feature. Generally, open any app and use it. When you switch to another app, the previous app moves to the background where it stays running. You can then switch back to your previous app instantly. Android automatically manages apps running in the background, but you can influence them also.
… Read More!

Samsung Galaxy Proclaim Accessories

Now that we’ve all got ourselves a Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Proclaim running on the Verizon network, we’ll need to protect it, feed it, and make it even more versatile. We’ll need 3 chargers, a protective case, a stylus, and a bluetooth headset. If you’re really using that phone, you might also like an external battery for charging on the go.

For under 4 bucks, start with a set of 4 accessories for Samsung Galaxy Proclaim (Verizon). This 4pcs combo pack includes a Solid Color Case + Screen Protector Film + Stylus Pen + Case Opener.

The rubberized cover is slim but provides protection in case you drop it – many colors are available – just follow the Amazon link above and browse. The film over the face plate protects the screen from scratches. The stylus helps for those with big fingers that find it rough to type on the virtual keyboard.

For 3 bucks, next up is a set of chargers for home, car, and computer. The Proclaim uses a common Micro USB port so these chargers are inexpensive and readily available. Plus they are reusable among other devices. You may already have a few. You received a home charger with the phone, but you’ll need another when you travel and some other spares. The USB charger is nice if you want to grab a charge off of your laptop. The car charger is a must have – just put it in your console for when you need it.

If you’re driving, you’ll need a hands free headset to make phone calls. The Samsung Galaxy Proclaim has either a bluetooth capability or you can even use the microphone jack with a wired headset. Choose the one that you like the best. There are literally thousands of options. With bluetooth, you have a range of about 30 feet. With a wire – well, you have a range of the length of the wire – so, you’ll certainly have the phone in your pocket. Some headsets like the Kinivo BTH220 Bluetooth Stereo Headphone can double as both a headset (for phone calls) and headphones (for your music).

Go big with a $40 Anker 10000mAh rechargeable battery. It will charge your phone about 4 or 5 times before this battery needs a recharge. Don’t bother with the other little battery chargers that give you 2 more hours. It’s great for that weekend when you’re biking or camping and you want to make sure your phone works so you can take pictures. Make no mistake, this thing is bigger and heavier (just a little bit though) than your phone so you won’t likely want it in your pocket. But it easily fits in a purse or backpack. Go big when you’re not at home.