Gotta love the attention getting factor that any exclamation of “Zombies!” carries. The CDC even understands this one. They used an outbreak of flesh eating zombies to reach a difficult to engage demographic group with information about emergency preparedness. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this until I Googled “Fox News Zombies.”
And look at how successful Fox News has been shouting “Zombie!” every time they want to distract from their own brain eating activity; actually they use a bait and switch tactic and substitute “Liberal” for the word zombie… but hey, really this is Fox we are talking about and strictly truthful reporting on them would be out of character with spirit and tone of how they stick to “truthful” reporting and their eating of mainstream American brains.
And how could I possibly have a contemporary discussion of zombies and brain-eating without mentioning spammers and their other nefarious Romanian kin. You know the word discussion is problematic, because if you are not out there reading this, we are not having a literary discussion and I am spending an awful lot of time impressing myself with my own cleverness…. but I digress. If you do not know about Romanian IPs then you are a sweet innocent person in the blog world and I’m not sure I want to poison your rosy colored view of the world. Read on at your own peril.
To take care of such techno zombies who will eat your bandwith at best and steal your server in the worst of living nighmares, you ban their IPs. To accomplish this on a self-hosted WordPress blog:
Start at your WordPress Dashboard > “Settings” > “Discussion” and enter the IP in the box labled “Comment Moderation.”
Now this sounds easy, and it actually is if you know how to obtain the IPs of your blog or site visitors. One of the easiest ways to find the IP addresses of your visitors is to add a stats/maps plugin.
Start at your WP dashboard > “Plugins” > “Add New”, > search box, just enter what you are looking for such as “Visitor Maps and Who’s Online” and install and activate if you want to do so. This plugin gives your the IP address of your visitors. You then know which visitors have which IP addies and you can can ban them via comment moderation as mentioned above.
I’ve always found out what IP addresses were accessing my sites through Cpanel, but if Cpanel is a vague concept, or perhaps group of physicians or politicians deciding for women about how women should give birth, then you may need this brief tech digression.
The easiest way, for me, to figure out which IPs are accessing my site, is to gets stats from the server that hosts my blog. I do this through Cpanel. I also like to ban them from this level because if they actually are getting far enough into my blog to comment, they are still eating my bandwidth even if I do ban them from commenting. But I do not recommend this for the novice or the faint of heart. You will end up in a world of hurt if you do not know what you are doing.
So I am just going to list a few of the key ingredients you will have to have on hand if you are going to whip up a dish without spam.
WordPress I primarily talk about WordPress issues and how-tos when I talk tech, but many of the same practices I mention are equally applicable to other blogging platforms, only the details for how to implement those practices vary. If you use another self hosted platform via a Cpanel installation, you can probably get to the IPs in the same way.
Plugins Do Not, I repeat, do not add unverified plugins to your website. Check the details. How long has this person been around making plugins? What version of the plug in is it? Is it 0.1.2 or 1.5.9? Bigger is usually better. How many users have reviewed the software? If it is only three reviewers they are probably the maker’s mom and two friends. What do they say about it? Is the review detailed and does it refer to improvements over time in later versions? I am currently using the Bullet Proof Security Plugin. It is your choice to download and activate a plugin, I’m not recommending us of one, one way or another, and I soon may actually purchase site monitoring services from an interwebs security firm. But if you want to give it a go: Start at your WP Desktop and Go to Plugins > Add New, and in the search box just enter what you are looking for such as “Bullet Proof Security.”
And now to return to today’s theme of zombies. Zombies are such great allegorical vessels! This is the main reason I so adore the unfortunate undead. Only Godzilla rivals Zombies in mass cultural acceptance and symbolic adoption and adaptation of a cinematic character. (Say that 10 times, fast.)
Anyway, this “Z” post is the last entry for April’s A to Z Blog Challenge that I found out about through GBE 2. It has been a fun month, but May will be even better although I will not be posting every single day of the month. Can you hear my big sigh of relief?