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-Has Your Site Been Hacked and Infested?

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Has your website been hacked and infested with links and malware that doesn’t belong there or has it been ‘blacklisted’ for some reason? If so it can really be a nightmare cleaning it up and getting back your traffic and good reputation.

I know from experience because three years ago it happened to one of my ministry sites. I ended up having to spend several hundred dollars and a hundred or so hours to move the site to a new host to start over clean and flush all of the old infected files and databases. In the process I lost a number of posts and considerable traffic.

It all started one morning when I noticed that the Footer on one of my blogs seemed to go on forever with hundred of links to pornography and different business sites in Russia. Every time I erased the garbage it all showed up again the next day. Then I looked at my files and databases and found that they were infested with all sorts of stuff that had nothing to do with my website. My files and database had become a host for hundreds of sub-domains and I was paying for it all!

Worse yet when I tried to erase it all I found out that I no longer had control of my own files and couldn’t get rid of it. If that wasn’t bad enough the very well regarded host I had at the time refused to help me gain control and suggested I flush the whole site and start over.

I ended up taking their advise but first hired a tech group that knew what they were doing and duplicated my unaffected files for me and moved them to a new host. Then I rebuilt my blog post by post, transferred the domain, and then terminated and turned off everything at the old host. Lesson learned the hard way!

Now there are far easier ways to backup and restore a blog. But the focus of this post is how to monitor a site and keep it clean the easy way. First of all you can check your site anytime and see if there are any problems at:

Sucuri

Just go to their ‘test’ page and type in your domain and in a few minutes you will get a complete report for your site. The manual check is free but you can also hire them to automatically monitor your site and clean it up if any malware or hacks are found.

Here’s another service that will monitor your website and help you make it secure. They also offer several plugins for monitoring and securing a WordPress site:

WebsiteDefender                    *Top

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-1.5 Million Saved Through One Online Ministry in One Year

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Nearly 1.5 million were saved through Billy Graham’s online ministry in 2012. From the Christian Post:

Nearly 8 million people around the world heard the message of Jesus Christ in 2012 through an interactive online website operated by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and nearly 1.5 million of them said they prayed a salvation prayer.

On average, more than 4,100 people responded per day last year in response to the Gospel presentation on PeaceWithGod.net, the ministry said Friday.  …

Since the online ministry’s launch in May 2011, more than 9.27 million people worldwide have viewed Gospel presentations on PeaceWithGod.net and PazConDios.net, a Spanish-language version of the site that was launched midway through last year. Of these, more than 1.67 million have indicated that they have made a commitment to Jesus Christ, according to the ministry.

<Read the whole article>

Response: This news article really demonstrates the phenomenal potential for reaching a large number of people around the world for Christ in a short period of time with a minimum of cost through Internet ministry.

Here’s a link to one of their ministry sites: PeaceWithGod.net            *Top

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-Happy New Year- A Good Time to Pray

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Happy New Year- 2013!

It is a good time to begin the year right with a prayer for peace around the world.

Remember to pray for the peace in Jerusalem and in the Middle East. Also let’s remember to pray that the Iranian drive for nuclear weapons will somehow be peacefully resolved.

It is also a great time to pray for our economy which seems to be stuck in recession with all sort of folks (self appointed experts) warning that maybe the worst is yet to come?

Meanwhile, we have political leaders in Washington DC that seem to be more interested in pushing their own agenda and increasing their own political power above that which might be best for the country and the world. Let’s pray that this tendency will be turned around in 2013.

There are Christians all around the world being persecuted for their faith. Let’s remember them in our prayers. Just in the last week – Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was re-arrested and taken from his family in Iran on Christmas Day, 12 Christians were killed by Muslim terrorists in Nigeria during Christmas Eve services, 41 Christians were arrested by the religious police in Saudi Arabia for having a Christmas party in a private home, a Christian man in Syria was beheaded by the Islamist rebels and fed to  animals, and 10 million+ Coptic Christians in Egypt are now facing a new reality of life under a newly approved radical sharia supporting Constitution.

It is also a good time to pray that revival will come to places all around America and that the American church will experience a new reformation of hope and finally stand up and bear the light and hope of the Good News of Jesus Christ to a darkening culture and people that desperately need good news and hope in their lives.

May God bless us all in 2013.                *Top           

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-Facebook Now Has a Billion Users Worldwide

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          (Image via CrunchBase)

Facebook now has over a Billion users which includes nearly half of all those on the Internet worldwide.  According to a LA Times article Facebook execs are shooting for the rest:

"We’re not a company that is just trying to add more people," said Chris Cox, Facebook’s vice president of product. "What we are trying to do is build a service that everyone in the world can use."

<Read the whole article>

It is amazing how the Internet has become a part of the lives of so many people in so little time. Here is just one social network that is now touching over a billion people worldwide in over a hundred nations. The fact that it has happened in only 8 years is really shocking.

From a Christian perspective: It has become the new ‘Roman Road’ that provides access to people in lands where missionaries are not even allowed to go. Now people can come to Christ and receive Christian and Biblical teaching on the Internet even if they live in countries like Saudi Arabia where Christian churches are illegal. The potential for using the Internet and social networks like Facebook for spreading the Gospel is astounding. It gives me real hope for taking the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ to every nation in this generation and for a world wide Christian harvest and revival.            *Top

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-Pope Benedict XVI Joins Twitter

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Apparently the Vatican got tired of all the pseudo pope accounts on twitter and launched a real one today: @Pontifex

According to Twitchy the hate messages have started rolling in and he hasn’t even ‘tweeted’ yet?

<See some of the messages from ‘famous’ jerks like  Roseanne Barr>

According to the Vatican, they intend to use the new site in order to answers questions? I think that is is rather obvious that the Pope himself will not be tweeting but a representative instead.

Good luck separating all of the junk and spam from those who are really seeking wisdom and understanding from the Pope.

Why ‘Pontifex’? Historically it has been associated with the papacy but has roots that goes back to pagan religious leaders in the early Roman Empire. I have always considered it to be rather assuming for a servant of God. However in looking at the original meaning of the word itself – "bridge-builder," maybe it is not such a poor choice after all for a twitter account for the pope.            *Top

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-Re: WordPress Jetpack

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What is Jetpack? A super plugin offered to self hosted WordPress blogs by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. At the present there are 23 different applications offered through the plugin. Some of these features have been part of the WordPress.com experience for some time but were not built into the program available for self hosted blogging through WordPress.org.

WordPress.com Stats is one of these Jetpack features that is automatically part of every WordPress.com hosted blog but has only been available through a plugin for self hosted blogs. Now the same plugin brings with it an option for activating 23 different features.

I must admit that when my WordPress.com Stats plugin was upgraded to ‘Jetpack’ I was somewhat confused by all of the different features that were all of a sudden at my fingertips if I chose to activate them. Unfortunately I really haven’t had the time to explore them all.

However I found an article from BLOGGINGPRO that does name the five best and evaluates what they actually do: “The 5 Best Features in WordPress JetPack

The 5 covered in the article are:

1. Jetpack Comments

2. Photon 

3. Notifications

4. Publicize

5. WordPress.com Stats

A very helpful article at least in understanding the uses of these 5 features from Jetpack.            *Top 

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