Are You Using ‘ADMIN’ as Your User Name? If Yes “Danger, Danger Will Robinson”


Changing Your User Name Can Help Protect Your Blog

If you are still using ‘admin’ as your user name in your blog login then imagine that robot from the TV series Lost in Space warning you of danger. Now your name may not be Will Robinson (The young boy in the series) but imagine that you hear that robot calling your name. I did the other day when I signed into my blog.

I knew that there was a danger in not changing that user name but I got lazy. I have sat through webinars, telesminars and ever read that using ADMIN as your user name could make you a target for hackers! It is so true and I have been hacked more than once.  So I resolved to change my user name and I survived the task.

The Easy Way I Changed My ADMIN to Another User Name

I REPLACED MYSELF. I was listed as the ADMINISTRATOR for my blog with an ADMIN user name. I signed in ,with what I hoped would be the last time, with that oh so obvious ADMIN. Then I tried to delete myself as a user. DUH, it would not delete me because I was signed in. Ha Ha. So I had ADD A NEW USER then sign out and sign back in as the new user. Then, and only then, could I delete that unwise user with ADMIN as the handle.

Ok, here are the steps:

1. Sign in with your existing user name and password

2.  Create a new user with the same role ADMINISTRATOR.

NOTE: I had to use a different email address because each user has to have different email address

3. Log out of your blog

4. Log in again but this time as the new user.

5. Delete the old “admin” user and assign all posts created by that user to your new user. The system will ask you what you want to do with the posts and links owned by the “admin” user. When asked what to do with the posts and links owned by the “admin” user, select the “Attribute all posts and links to” option, choose the new user from the drop down list, and click “Confirm Deletion”.

Once the user is removed, you have the option to change the new user’s email address if a different one was used to create it. Oh, and be sure that when you choose that new user name that you do not use your name. That is just toooo easy for the energetic hacker.

Let me know when you change that user name!


Do You Mean To Say That Your Personal Info is Sold Online? How Do You Get Rid of it?

I remember the year that I was scheduled to have a rather invasive,yet common surgical procedure. So, in my search for information I joined a group of women who already had the surgery or were preparing for the procedure.

This online group requested your date of surgery, name etc. The networking was great and information was rich. It was all women who had “been there and done that,”

Well, I must say I was surprised two years later when I Googled my name and my membership in this organization surfaced. Oh, my, It is a good thing that I have even done presentations and shared the fact that I had this surgery. But suppose I had not? Suppose I was a very private person?

I know you are probably saying well, I should not have joined an online support group. That’s true but this was way before my blogging days. I just did not know any better.

The memory of this entire episode of discovery all came back to me when I read a note  from Beverly Mahone, founder of Boomer Diva Nation. She informed us that a cousin of hers had written a post on how to get rid of  your personal information on online databases.

Well, this is one of the best posts I have read on the subject. It is a well written jaw dropping piece of work. You can tell that the two of them are related, Beverly is a Journalist and her cousin has a background in Stock Trading and Online Investigations.

Read and take action on this powerful piece of work regarding online privacy and what YOU CAN DO!

Help! Hacked and Held Hostage

One of our favorate and most popular sites was hacked and now we feel like we are held hostage. We are holding some good stuff that cannot be shared right now. I believe everyone reading this feels the same way about their sites. Even if you are the hacker who did the crime.

What did we do wrong? Was this evil act preventable? Ok, here are the details:

One evening, last week, while reviewing mail I saw a message from someone I did not know. We were both online during a teleseminar and she decided to check out some of our blogs. I will forever be grateful for her alerting me to this horrid fact, she told us that her security software gave her strong warnings NOT TO TRUST one of our sites.
I immediately called my husband and we went to the site in question. We actually could get into the dashboard on Safari because Internet Explorer and Firefox blocked us.  We are thankful that we had more than one browser to use.

Well after getting to the dashboard we keyed in the word “noscript” into the search bar under MANAGE posts. Low and behold some funky script was there in the code view of the site. You did not have to be a code expert to see stuff was there that had nothing to do with making the fonts bold or inserting a picture. In other words it was rather obvious that something was wrong.

Now let me stop here and say we got help when we did some google searches. We came accross one site that shared their experiance being hacked and what they did.

The post is called “Has your blog ever been hacked?” at 1:00 in the morning we said “YES”

Then we followed the steps shared in his other post called “Malacious code found on your blog.”

I had just gotten helped from a wonderful virtual assistant named Chris Taylor. He gave me additional tips.

What is our status now?

Well we resubmitted to Google for approval of the repair. We are waiting for them to unblock the site.

What warnings do we have for you?

1. Get rid of the admin admin passwords you automatically get with your wordpress blog. Change it. Actually, it won’t hurt to change it often.

2. Have someone, or ask your host to help you, change the htaccess to your site. You can read sites and forumns where webmasters post and you can learn a lot by listening. Check this one out.

3. Post often. We had slowed down on posting to this site. NOT GOOD

4. Get an email for each of your blogs like, support@yoursitename, or webmaster@, admin@ etc

Why? Because when we went to google’s Webmaster Tools they said that they send emails to addresses that are not like rosie@mysitename to let you know that there is a problem with your site. Anyway, go and spend some time in Google’s Webmaster Central.

5. Check to see if someone you don’t know has subscribed to your site. Just go to Users. We saw several names there and deleted them all.

6. Update your site if you are still hanging on to version 2.3. There have been more hacking opportunities.

7.  Ask questions, seek help. Look now for things you can do to reduce the hacking of your site. Treat it like your home.

Finally, we prayed. Why? because we feel that hackers can be evil. Anyone who kidnaps your site just ain’t good.

We welcome any and all suggestions and comments. This has been and continues to be a learning experiance. And believe or not some good came out of it. We upgraded the site, activated a backup plug in and a few other tidbits.

Ray and Rosie

Splogs, Spam, Spings, Scraper Sites and Sanity

Splogs  and scraper sites are places that I have too often found my articles and posts  with intrusive links and ads. Today I found out what they were and what can be done about them. So below are several definitions  of splogs, spam, scaper sites and some posts from bloggers that may help you keep your sanity.

From Wikipedia:

Spam in blogs (also called simply blog spam or comment spam) is a form of spamdexing. It is done by automatically posting random comments or promoting commercial services to blogs, wikis, guestbooks, or other publicly accessible online discussion boards. Any web application that accepts and displays hyperlinks submitted by visitors may be a target.

Adding links that point to the spammer’s web site artificially increases the site’s search engine ranking. An increased ranking often results in the spammer’s commercial site being listed ahead of other sites for certain searches, increasing the number of potential visitors and paying customers
Splogs are blogs where the articles are fake, and are only created for search engine spamming. To spam in blogs, conversely, is to include random comments on the blogs of innocent bystanders, in which spammers take advantage of a site’s ability to allow visitors to post comments that may include links.
Sping is short for “spam ping”, and is related to fraudulent pings from blogs using trackbacks, called trackback spam. Pings are messages sent from blog and publishing tools to a centralized network service (a ping server) providing notification of newly published posts or content. Spings, or ping spam, are pings that are sent from spam blogs, or are sometimes multiple pings in a short interval from a legitimate source, often tens or hundreds per minute, due to misconfigured software, or a wish to make the content coming from the source appear fresh.

A scraper site is a website that copies all of its content from other websites using web scraping.[1] No part of a scraper site is original. A search engine is not a scraper site: sites such as Yahoo and Google gather content from other websites and index it so that the index can be searched with keywords. Search engines then display snippets of the original site content in response to a user’s search.

In the last few years, and due to the advent of the Google Adsense web advertising program, scraper sites have proliferated at an amazing rate for spamming search engines.[1] Open content sites such as Wikipedia are a common source of material for scraper sites.


Here is a great definition and article from Techtarget

Now you know when you are bothered by keying in those funny looking words when you go on some sites? Especially if you go to the RSS via Feedburner? Well, I finally appreciate it. It is called CAPTCHA It is one of the good guys because it attempts to catch those nasty splogs.

IPA: /?kæpt??/) is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. The process usually involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. Because other computers are unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human. (Wikipedia)

Some suggest that Google may benefit from sploggers….

A recent blog posted about the possibility of some political blogs that were splogs.

Finally, my sanity solution is to know that splogs can be reported. You know clicking on that flag in blogger or reporting to google. Perhaps more but something can  be done. I did not know when I first started blogging and became upset when I saw  it from a google alert on my articles but now I do.  Read this post from lorelle.wordpress on helping to clean up splogs.

Can anyone suggests plug-ins that can help protect our blogs?

Oops, almost neglected to put a category on this post, when you see posts without categories they can smell like a splog.

Spam: Where it Came From, and How to Escape It

By: Beka Ruse

In 1936, long before the rise of the personal computer, Hormel Foods created SPAM. In 2002, the company will produce it’s six billionth can of the processed food product. But that mark was passed long ago in the world of Internet spam.

* Who Cooked This!? (How did it all start?)
* Why Does Bad Spam Happen to Good People?
* Stop The Flood to Your Inbox
* Stay Off Spammed Lists in the Future
* Think You’re Not a Spammer? Be Sure.
* The Final Blow

Who Cooked This!? (How did it all start?)

The modern meaning of the word “spam” has nothing to do with spiced ham. In the early 1990’s, a skit by British comedy group Monty Python led to the word’s common usage. “The SPAM Skit” follows a couple struggling to order dinner from a menu consisting entirely of Hormel’s canned ham.

Repetition is key to the skit’s hilarity. The actors cram the word “SPAM” into the 2.5 minute skit more than 104 times! This flood prompted Usenet readers to call unwanted newsgroup postings “spam.” The name stuck.

Spammers soon focused on e-mail, and the terminology moved with them. Today, the word has come out of technical obscurity. Now, “spam” is the common term for “Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail”, or “UCE.”

Why Does Bad Spam Happen to Good People?

Chances are, you’ve been spammed before. Somehow, your e-mail address has found it’s way into the hands of a spammer, and your inbox is suffering the consequences. How does this happen? There are several possibilities.

Backstabbing Businesses
Businesses often keep lists of their customers’ e-mail addresses. This is a completely legitimate practice and, usually, nothing bad comes of it. Sometimes though, the temptation to make a quick buck is too great, and these lists are sold or rented to outside advertisers. The result? A lot of unsolicited e-mail, and a serious breach of trust.

Random Address Generation
Computer programs called random address generators simply “guess” e-mail addresses. Over 100 million hotmail addresses exist – howhard could it be to guess some of them? Unfortunately for many unsuspecting netizens – not too hard. Many spammers also guess at
“standard” addresses, like “”,
“”, and “”

Web Spiders
Today’s most insidious list-gathering tools are web spiders. All of the major search engines spider the web, saving information about each page. Spammers use tools that also spider the web, but save any e-mail address they come across. Your personal web page lists your e-mail address? Prepare for an onslaught!

Chat Room Harvesting
ISP’s offer vastly popular chat rooms where users are known only by their screen names. Of course, spammers know that your screen name is the first part of your e-mail address. Why waste time guessing e-mail addresses when a few hours of lurking in a chat room can net a list of actively-used addresses?

The Poor Man’s Bad Marketing Idea
It didn’t work for the phone companies, and it won’t work for e-mail marketers. But, some spammers still keep their own friends-and-family-style e-mail lists. Compiled from the addresses of other known spammers, and people or businesses that the owner has come across in the past, these lists are still illegitimate. Why? Only you can give someone permission to send you e-mail. A friend-of-a-friend’s permission won’t cut it.

Stop The Flood to Your Inbox

Already drowning in spam? Try using your e-mail client’s filters – many provide a way to block specific e-mail addresses. Each time you’re spammed, block the sender’s address. Spammers skip from address to address, and you may be on many lists, but this method will at least slow the flow.

Also, use more than one e-mail address, and keep one “clean.” Many netizens find that this technique turns the spam flood into a trickle. Use one address for only spam-safe activities like e-mailing your friends, or signing on with trustworthy businesses. Never use your clean address on the web! Get a free address to use on the web and in chat rooms.

If nothing else helps, consider changing screen names, or opening an entirely new e-mail account. When you do, you’ll start with a clean, spam-free slate. This time, protect your e-mail address!

Stay Off Spammed Lists in the Future

Want to surf the web without getting sucked into the spam-flood? Prevention is your best policy. Don’t use an easy-to-guess e-mail address. Keep your address clean by not using it for spam-centric activities. Don’t post it on any web pages, and don’t use it in chat rooms or newsgroups.

Before giving your clean e-mail address to a business, check the company out. Are sections of its user agreement dedicated to anti-spam rules? Does a privacy policy explain exactly what will be done with your address? The most considerate companies also post an anti-spam policy written in plain English, so you can be absolutely sure of what you’re getting into.

Think You’re Not a Spammer? Be Sure.

Many a first-time marketer has inadvertently spammed his audience. The first several hundred complaints and some nasty phone messages usually stop him in his tracks. But by then, the spammer may be faced with cleanup bills from his ISP, and a bad reputation that it’s not easy to overcome.

The best way to avoid this situation is to have a clear understanding of what spam is: If anyone who receives your mass e-mails did not specifically ask to hear from you, then you are spamming them.

Stick with your gut. Don’t buy a million addresses for $10, no matter how much the seller swears by them! If something sounds fishy, just say no. You’ll save yourself a lot in the end.

The Final Blow

The online world is turning the tide on spam. In the end, people will stop sending spam because it stops working. Do your part: never buy from a spammer. When your business seeks out technology companies with which to work, only choose those with a staunch anti-spam stance.

Spam has a long history in both the food and e-mail sectors. This year, Hormel Foods opened a real-world museum dedicated to SPAM. While the museum does feature the Monty Python SPAM Skit, there’s no word yet on an unsolicited commercial e-mail exhibit. But, if all upstanding netizens work together, Hormel’s ham in a can will far outlive the Internet plague that is UCE.

Beka Ruse fights spam as the Business Development Manager at AWeber Communications. Ad tracking, live stats, and a strict anti-spam policy: Automated E-Mail Follow Up From AWeber.

Boomers-Protect Yourself Online-Part 3

It does not matter how safe some of the blogging software may be many boomers are still wary of doing anything on the internet. A recent article in Consumer Reports for September, 2007 shared 19 ways to stay safe online.

I am going to share seven(7) of those points with you. 

1.  Make sure the firewall in your computer activated. (Turned on) 

The operating system or software in your PC and Mac has built in security applications. In addition, turn on the online protection provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) For example, MSN, AOL, Comcast, etc. are ISP providers.


  1. Set your operating system and security software so it will update automatically.


I have often ignored the warnings to update or renew my security software. This is not a good idea. Although you may be busy and rushing on the computer be sure to take time to do this important task.


  1. Upgrade your computer and browser


Consumer reports suggests that we upgrade from lower versions of windows, explorer, firefox etc to current versions. The current versions have more security protections.



  1. Use public computers with care.


Do not use public computers at libraries, hotels etc., to do your financial homework.


  1. Never respond to emails asking for your personal information.


Do not get scared of that official looking web site. When they ask for your social security number, passwords and other personal information I just send it to spam.


  1. Watch what you download.


There are a lot of free games, utilities and other goodies that may be useful but full of viruses. Consumer reports suggests only downloading from well know manufacturers or trusted sites such as ,,

This is a very important point to remember when you have children and grandchildren who love to download stuff on your computer.


  1. Report  phishing.


Before I give the summary here you must know what this strange term phishing means. I like the definition that Wikipedia gives:

In computing Phishing attacks use both social engineering and technical subterfuge to steal consumers’ personal identity data and financial account credentials. Social-engineering schemes use ‘spoofed’ e-mails to lead consumers to counterfeit websites designed to trick recipients into divulging financial data such as credit card numbers, account user names, passwords and social security numbers. Hijacking brand names of banks, e-retailers and credit card companies, phishers often convince recipients to respond.Ebay and PayPal are two of the most targeted companies, and online banks are also common targets. Phishing is typically carried out by email or instant messaging., and often directs users to give details at a website, although phone contact has been used as well.  Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation user training, and technical measures.

So if we are careful and stay informed we can stay safe online.


Boomers-Protect Yourself Online-Part 2

Just in case you did not see this comment I decided to repeat it as a post. I am hoping to get more stuff from experts like the Digital Defender. So security experts if you are out there, and I know you are, please send me articles to post with clear language us boomers can understand. Thanks so much

Here’s a tip for online protection for your email address. Spam “robots” scour the internet with automated spiders used to collect publicly posted email addresses from websites around the world. To avoid having your email address end up on a “CDROM with 600 million email addresses for only $99.00!” just use this tip:

When posting your email address publicly use a format that cannot be easily parsed by an automated spider. Here are a few examples:
Speaker AT(removeme)

Note that I left out the “@” symbol. Thats because my email hosting company will forward mail to anyone@ mydomain.

If you do not subscribe to that type of forwarding service you can include the “@” sign safely. When the spider collects this address from a publicly posted location, it will not be a emailable address.

Hope this is helpful!

Mike “America’s Digital Defender” Lattimore
email:speaker AT
Who’s Watching YOUR Computer?

Boomers-Protect Yourself Online-Pt.1

It is true there are some real sneaky scams online. It is the fear many of us as Boomers have when it comes to the internet. Nevertheless, we can protect ourselves.

This month’s issue of Consumer Reports gave a great overview of some common swindles and some prevention tips. I will share part of them today and another part later.

Do Our Homework!

It is harder to be taken advantage of if we do our homework. Consumer reports suggests the following:

  • Always check out the license, reputation and references of any company or individual before we do business with them
  • Give up the dream of GETTING SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.
  • Trust our gut when something smells fishy.

2 Common Scams

  • There is a problem with your bank account.

You may get a message by email saying there is a problem with your bank account. Often you are asked to give your online password to a phony email account or web site. Consumer Reports indicated that that one recent e-mail “security alert” claimed to be from Bank of America and directed online users to “reconfirm” their a count information by going to a fake Bank of America Web site and entering their online banking ID and password.

  • “Help me move millions” unsolicited emails

Many of us have already gotten these emails. Now I notice they say catchy phrases in the address line like “God Bless you”. It is an opportunity to share in a percentage of millions of dollars that a supposedly government official is trying to transfer illegally out of a foreign country in return for bank account numbers or some other identifying information.

The best thing we could do is “Just Say NO! I also send the email to SPAM in my email service.

Many of us are just putting our toes in the water of doing things online. Now my grands want me to Blog? Ha! But it can we done with safety and security. We will just learn how to do it and keep our eyes open.

Source: Consumer Reports-September 2007

Pt. 2 will cover Identity Theft.

Do you have some online protection information you could share?