Earlier this week, Ars Technica ran an article about CMA Communications, a rural ISP that, for a time at least, began to display banner ads on all websites a customer visited. This move angered customers, who already paid for their Internet access, but it also was earning the attention of webmasters who were having ads injected into their sites, often covering up existing ad spots.
Though CMA Communications appears to have abandoned the project, it brought site manipulation to the limelight in a major way. It was the first time an ISP, supposedly an impartial intermediary, was interfering with customers’ Internet traffic for the purpose of injecting ads.
But just because CMA has stopped doesn’t mean that your site gets to your visitors exactly the way you intend. Unwanted site manipulation has been a problem for webmasters for some time and it may get a lot worse.
Though most bloggers know to check their theme on multiple browsers and devices, all of that tweaking and fine-tuning may be for naught if intermediaries, either with or without user permission, alter your site and give them a different experience.
So what are your visitors actually seeing when they come to your site? The answer may be more complex than you may realize. Read More
Imagine sitting down to your computer one morning and opening up your blog. However, instead of finding your homepage your admin panel staring back at you, you instead see a bright red warning screen telling you that malware has been detected on the site and you are advised not to enter.
The realization quickly sinks in that, if you are seeing that error, so is everyone else trying to visit your site. You begin to hurry and try to figure out what happened but quickly realize that your site has been compromised and, if you’re even able to log in, you have a very big mess to clean up. Worst of all, when you’re done, you have to apply for reconsideration with Google and other security companies and then wait 12 hours or more for the warning to clear off.
It’s a painful process and, in the best of circumstances it can ruin an entire day and, in the worst, it can destroy an otherwise healthy site.
Still, it is an all-too-common occurrence on the Web. Bloggers learn too late that their sites are vulnerable and are left to clean up the mess an attacker leaves behind. That mess could be as simple as adding malware to the site, inserting spam links into the theme or defacing the site but in some extreme cases, it can go as far as to delete everything the blogger has done.
To help keep you, your visitors and your site safe(r) from hackers, you need to make sure your server is secure. Fortunately, it isn’t very complicated but failure to spend the time and energy today can be very costly tomorrow. Read More