How Protected Are You?

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If you have a WordPress website have you ever wondered just how protected you are from pilfering? 

I read an interesting article recently.  It reminded me as a web developer just how much I must focus on security for my clients’ websites.  There is no doubt in my mind that if someone is really determined to hack into a site, they will succeed.

But what I can do is make it a little harder for the general population to be able to sweep through my sites and steal all mine, or my clients content. Lets start at the beginning.  

How can I protect my images?  

Actually there is no for-sure way to protect images using HTML. You can make it difficult by uploading a piece of script that prevents users from right clicking an image. But this only works currently with Firefox and Internet Explorer and that may change in the future.  The other way would be to add a watermark to the image but if your images are concepts this may not be feasible.

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Shrink wrapping hides the image by letting the user think they are downloading the image when in fact they are downloading a blank.  You do this by putting the image in the background of a table and placing a blank image on top which is empty.  The following is an example of some code that one can use in a table but will only work in an HTML site and not a WordPress site through the Dashboard:

 

<table background=”myImage.jpg” cellspacing=”0″ cellpadding=”0″ border=”0″><tr><td><img src=”myBlankImg.png” width=”275″ height=”150″ alt=”image of padlock” /></td></tr></table> 

If you don’t want someone to steal your images and use them, don’t post them on the Internet.  That’s the honest truth.

So you are an artist,  you watermark your images.  You can also post fairly small sized thumbnails and ensure they are at a really low resolution so they don’t print well.  Don’t forget that important copyright stamp on each page of your website.  If you do discover someone has used your image illegally try first to ask them to remove the image from your site.  If they refuse your polite request, you can try going to their hosting service and getting their help.  If they are a reputable company they will help.  To find a host go to whois.net, type in the URL of the offender, and scroll down the information page for the hosting service.  Ask for the host service to help.  They will if they are a reputable company or organization. You can also report violators to the Google legal department.  

I use browser web developer tools.  These tools allow me to download every image off a website if I want to.  Not everyone knows this but any techie native does.  It’s just a fact of life in this digital world unfortunately.

 Can they steal my WordPress content?

 If you want to find out if your website is vulnerable for theft of your content you can type in your URL and then access the uploads folder.  Some WordPress developers divide the uploads folders into months.  I don’t do this as it makes it more difficult to find images I want to delete later on.  All you need to do in the URL bar is type  http://yourwebsiteURL/wp-content/uploads

If you suddenly find a list of files appearing you are vulnerable.  You should see a 403 Forbidden page if your site has been set up correctly.  You will need to go onto your hosting service.  If you are not that techie savvy, ask the hosting service to help you.  But you first need to show all your hidden files and then find your site’s .htaccess file in your public_html folder.  In this file you will need to add one extra line: 

Options -Indexes

And that is it!  If you have no idea what you are doing, have your hosting service do this for you.

More about SECURITY next week……

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