May 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to our May 2014 Great New Zealand / Net Action Tourism Web Marketing newsletter.

In this newsletter:

  • Pharma hack on WordPress and Joomla Sites
  • Heartbleed Bug
  • Have Google Forget You
  • Google Cracks Capthca Codes
  • Make your website “perform” for you

WordPress and Joomla Pharma Hack

We know of several sites that have been hit with the Pharma Hack, which can affect WordPress, and Joomla sites. Bad plugins, dodgy themes and outdated versions of WordPress or Joomla can increase your risk.

Malicious code is hacked into your WordPress or Joomla installation that makes Google display your results as viagra and other pharmaceutical titles. It creates many additional bad virtual pages.

(Please note, henceforth called v**g*a so this email does not end up in your spam filter)

eg

can buy v**g*a uk – Your Site title
www.yoursite.co.nz/?info=can-buy-v***ra -uk

three tabs v**g*a Your Site title
www.yoursite.co.nz/?info=all-three-tabs-v***ra

Buy Purchase v**g*a Over The Counter Without Prescription …
yoursite.co.nz/location.asp?loc=42

We know of one site with around 20,000 of these malicious and non existent pages listed by Google.

The malicious code is very hard to find and may be present in up to 50 files (or more) on your site. Removal of the code is hard because it is hard to detect where it actually is.

Clean up of your site may involve de-indexing it in Google or reinstalling your site completely from a backup.

Only search results are affected, your actual site pages are not compromised. But if Google thinks your site is hacked, they may penalise it anyhow.

In order to see if your site is affected, go to Google, and in the search box, type “site” followed by a colon, then your domain name followed by a space, then “v***ra ” and finally hit the search button.

eg site:yourdomain.co.nz v***ra

To minimise any disruption if you do get hacked, make sure you or your developer has a recent, restorable backup of your full site installation.

Did I say? Make sure you or your developer has a clean backup!

And as in recent articles, make sure you have secure passwords!

If you have been hacked, get in touch with your developer in the first instance.

Some more information is available at http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/pharma-hack or search for “Pharma hack”

Heartbleed Bug

Another security risk is the recent Heartbleed bug, which extracts login information from your computer.

The best protections against this are software updates, especially for Internet Explorer, and as above secure passwords. Change them now if they are not secure!

http://www.netsafe.org.nz/what-is-the-heartbleed-bug-and-what-do-i-need-to-do-about-it/

Have Google Forget you?

Google, Facebook and other online organisations hold a great deal of information about you.

In Europe, courts have ruled that people have the right to have their information forgotten by Google, Microsoft and other online organisations.

Mostly so far it is people getting negative information forgotten (removed), but maybe it means in the future you will have the right to have everything about you forgotten by providers. At the moment, anything you tell or upload to Facebook, Google and others is with them forever.

Did you read the terms and conditions when you signed up?

Drunken photos – too bad, your grandkids may like them! Or not?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=11254610

Top level Domain names .nz

.kiwi domain names are now available but we don’t have any further information about when the new .nz domains will be available.

If you want to acquire a .kiwi domain, contact your current domain registrar

Google Cracks Captcha Codes

You have seen the distorted “captcha codes” that you enter to prove you are a human when making an enquiry or similar on a website. Google themselves use them on their site.

But when they photograph your house for their Street View on Google maps, they need to read street numbers etc. So they have developed the technology to decode distorted images of house numbers and words – similar to captcha codes. So they have now developed the technology that would allow spammers to get around the Captcha codes designed to prevent spam!

Ironic if it reduces security on Google’s sites as well!

Does Your Site “Perform” for you

We are constantly working with website owners to help ensure that their websites really “perform” for them.

That is much more than just having a site that works technically. Firstly, it needs to be found by users on the Internet. And when users do get to the site, it is about ensuring that they have a great experience in order to encourage them to “buy”.

Our work is hard to explain in a few words and there is a large range of tasks that we do for clients.

When did you last look at, or change anything on your site? Can anything be improved?

There is a difference between “websites”, and “websites that perform”!

If you get in touch with us, we will take a look at your site and tell you what we think we might be able to help you with. No obligation, but tourism sites only please.

Please contact us at any time with questions about your listing or anything else Internet related.

Best regards

Ron, Judie, Sue & the team at
Net Action Ltd and Great New Zealand
07 866 3929