Author Archives: kevin

carbonite mac coupon

Carbonite for Mac Coupon: 10% Discount or More

Carbonite Coupon for Mac Users: If you have an Apple computer, backing up your files is just as important as if you had one of those uncool Windows-based computers. However, even though Apple is now a huge, popular brand, the only version of Carbonite that you can use is the Basic plan. Fear not, it’s full of features, and we have a new offer code so that you can get 10% off or more:


carbonite server backup

Which Carbonite Plans are Mac-Compatible?

Carbonite’s most affordable plan, their Basic Plan, is also Mac-compatible, so you can look cool, and be smart at the same time. Why risk losing all of those amazing photos, music, and other files when you can back all of them up from your Mac(s) for about $5 a month. (Speaking of photos being backed up, when you upload them to a service like Shutterfly, they are backed up as well.)

Here are a few key features of Carbonite’s Basic Plan for Mac:

  • Unlimited cloud space for your home or small business Mac computer
  • Automatically backup photosmusic, documents, application settings, emails
  • Customer support (based in America) is always available
  • Sync, share, and access your files from remote locations with their free apps

So, what isn’t automatically backed up with the Mac / OSX version?

Unlike on the Plus and Prime plans (Windows only) Video has to be manually backed up from Apple computers, as well as your OS operating system and software programs. External hard drives are also not automatically backed up with the Mac plan. There are also coupons for Norton security for mac here.

What operating system (OSX) is Carbonite compatible with?

If you have Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later, you can download and use Carbonite. (supported)

Anyway, the crazy weather that we’ve been having is just one reason why file backup on Carbonite’s cloud is even more important than ever. In fact, here in Pennsylvania we’ve lost power twice already this Winter. The worst part of it ended up being when they turned the power back on, as hundreds of people lost computers and appliances after the power surge. Could you handle starting from scratch after a power surge, or even just a spilled cup of coffee?

Carbonite Apple Computer / Device Owners: 10% Off Coupon!

In our house, we exclusively use Mac computers, so our iMac is automatically, and continuously backed up, and we can access the files from anywhere on our Apple MacBook Air. You can also download their free Sync & Share app so that you can have the latest version of all of your files backed up and accessible from anywhere with an online connection.

free spam plugins

Best Free Spam Plugins for WordPress? Try These 4 Top-Rated Comment Spam Filters

wordpress_spam_filter_jalapeno

Mmm… I’d like to moderate THAT Spam!

Spam is a major concern for every WordPress blog, and usually doesn’t arrive in delicious “Jalapeno” flavor in a toasted corn tortilla.

Spam is nasty and relentless. In fact, I have a blog that has never allowed user comments, and it still gets dozens of spam comments every day!

Anyway, you don’t have to pay to protect yourself from the mindless robots that want to destroy your peace of mind, (I’m rtt talking about Fox News anchors!) so here are a few of the best free anti-spam plugins for blogs:


akismet wordpress spam plugin

Akismet Spam Plugin

Download Akismet from WordPress.org

No serious post about blocking comment spam on WordPress sites is going to neglect Akismet. It comes standard on new installations of WordPress, and is used by millions of WordPress users; from beginner to advanced.

Features of Akismet:

  • Automatically checks and filters every blog comment
  • View every comment’s status history to see which were “spammed” by a moderator, or put in the “spam” folder automatically
  • URL’s are shown to reveal hidden or disguised links
  • See the number of comments approved by each user
  • Optional “discard” feature that sends obvious spam right to hell, without even saving it.

Akismet claims to stop an average of over 7 million spam comments an hour these days, which is pretty impressive.

Akismet Plugin: To Free, or Not to Free?

For non-commercial blogs, you can “name your own price” when you sign up for Akismet.

Just like any site that asks for a donation, people don’t usually pay, so let’s call that their free version. For commercial sites, they have plans starting at $5 a month with more features like online backup of your WordPress site included.

Regardless of which plan you go with, you’ll need to register on their site and get an Akismet API key to activate the plugin.

*Warning: If you try to put too many blogs under one free key, you’ll get flagged, and asked to pay!

Akismet plugin: free spam prevention for your blog


spam shield free wordpress plugin

WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam

Download the SpamShield Plugin at WordPress.org

Just like the others, SpamShield is an anti-spam plugin that blocks comment spam, trackback spam, and spam in your contact and other forms.

A WordPress Spam Filter with No CAPTCHAS

People can get annoyed when you ask them to read and retype those sometimes unintelligible characters called, “CAPTCHAS” to prove you aren’t an evil spam robot.

The problem? It’s not user-friendly, and I can’t tell what those characters are half the time. When I get an error, it makes me wish i never even tried to comment.

How the SpamShield Filters Works

SpamShield recognizes that spam comes at you from both robots and humans. The plugin works like a firewall, blocking the robot spam, then identifying the spam sent by evil humans with an algorithmic layer consisting of over 100 filters.

This filter works quietly in the background, so most of the time you won’t even have to think about the junk that’s being thrown at your blog. It deletes spam instantly instead of adding it to the comments queue, which wastes time and space.

Without thousands of spam comments in your WordPress database, your blog won’t be slowed down.

Trackback Validation and Spam Filtering

SpamShield’s trackback filter compares the client IP address of the incoming trackback against the IP address of where the link is supposedly originating. If they don’t match, it’s instantly zapped as spam.

Free Spam Filter: Personal or Commercial WP Sites

This plugin is free, and if you like it, you’re welcome to make a donation. See site for WordPress requirements and more info.


wordpress zero spam filter plugin

WordPress Zero Spam: Free Plugin

Download Zero Spam for free at WordPress.org

Another easy to install, maintenance free plugin to block spam is “Zero Spam.” They promise to “make blocking spam a cinch” and a spam-free site with no CAPTCHAS for users to type in to prove they arent a robot.

Here are some great features of the plugin:

  • No CAPTCHA for users to type in
  • No spam comment moderation queue
  • Uses javascript to block spam registration and comments
  • Gravity Form, BuddyPress, and Contact Form 7  support
  • Automatically blocks spammy IP addresses
  • Optional comment / trackback logging in case you really care who’s spamming you
  • Free plugin

Although this is a relatively new plugin, I see nothing but praise for it online, and on WordPress.org, there are still no negative reviews. (Out of 40 reviews) It’s developed by an impressive team of WordPress developers, so let’s assume they’ll continue to update and offer plugin support for some time.


anti spam no captcha wordpress

Anti-Spam Plugin by CleanTalk

Another “install it and forget about it” free spam-blocking plugin with no CAPTCHA  to consider that they bill as, “maximum protection against spam bots.”  Not only does the filter stop new spam comments, registrations, and contact emails, but you can also check existing comments to quickly find and delete spam comments that are on your site.

Offers spam protection for:

  • WordPress & JetPack comments
  • WordPress, BuddyPress, bbPress, & WooCommerce registrations
  • Contact form 7, Formidable Forms, JetPack contact form, Gravity Forms, and WooCommerce Review forms, as well as custom contact forms in WordPress

They also offer weekly reports, technical support, and a free mobile app to control the anti-spam filter for your website(s)


Need to remove existing WordPress Comment spam?

Most of these anti-spam plugins were designed to filter incoming spam, but what if you have 1500 spammy comments sitting in the queue? This isn’t good for your database, and might even affect the performance of your website.

There are some spam removal plugins that specialize in cleaning out your queue so you don’t have to waste your time moderating a huge number of comments.


Need a Comprehensive Security Solution for Your Computer?

Nasty robots and evil people target more than just your WordPress site. Protect yourself against viruses, malware, online attacks, and the latest spyware with Norton Security. Here’s a coupon for $20 off popular Norton software including AntiVirus.

Need secure online cloud backup for all of your files? Take 10% off all 1-year Carbonite plans here. (apply offer code)

shared ip address seo harm

Yahoo & Bing Dropped Your Website? The Dirty Truth About Shared Hosting

One day I noticed that my site wasn’t showing up on Yahoo when I searched for “Chairman Meow.” I knew that was a red flag, so I tried a few more search terms. Still nothing. Then, I checked my other sites under the same account. All of them missing. It didn’t take me long to realize that my site(s) had been dropped by Yahoo and their partner Bing.com, and something weird was happening.

I’m not part of any paid-linking or “black hat” SEO schemes, and I don’t really do anything “shady” online, so why was my site dropped by Yahoo?

Has Your Site Been Dropped By Yahoo / Bing?

Try doing a search for your domain name on Yahoo.com. If you don’t see your site come up, you may have been dropped. If it has, you’ll likely see your Facebook page, or an obscure page or two from your site might turn up in search results instead. So, was your site unfairly dropped?

If you’ve been paying a guy in the Ukraine to do your SEO work, or send out spam emails by the thousand, you probably aren’t an innocent victim. Your site was probably dropped for the same reason they throw certain characters out of bars and NASCAR events. However, if you play by all the rules, consider taking action immediately to get back in search results.

Site Dropped for No Reason? Your Shared Hosting Plan May Be to Blame

If you’re paying under $50 a month for hosting, (like most of the masses) you’re on what is called, “shared” hosting. With hosting companies like GoDaddy, your site is on a server with hundreds of other sites, all with the same IP address. (the unique 11-digit number /address of each server) When one of the sites on your server starts behaving badly, Yahoo / Bing will likely block the whole server.

That means that your blog about “knitting patterns” and “photos of kittens” will be penalized because it’s on the same server as “DonkeyPorn.xyz,” because to Yahoo, you look the same!

Oh, no! What Other Sites Are on My Server / IP Address?

shared ip address blockedEver sit on a wet, sticky public toilet seat? That’s how I felt when I took a look at who else I was sharing a server with. There were hundreds of sites, and a few stood out as being shady. Clearly one of these dirty sites was the culprit, and to blame for my site being dropped.

You can do a reverse IP lookup online to find out who you are “in bed” with here. Just type in your site domain:

In my case, I got a message saying:

“It appears that the web server located at 123.456.78.910 may be hosting one or more web sites with explicit content. The web sites in question are highlighted in red below. There is a possibility that all of the web sites on this web server may be blocked by web filtering software. Search engine rankings for these web sites may be affected as well.”

Still in shock, I called GoDaddy to inform them of this news. “Do you realize you are hosting my website with a bunch of porn sites?” To which they replied that they have no control over what people put on their websites, and don’t have a screening process. What?!

Contacting Yahoo / Bing for Re-inclusion?

You might have better luck finding a personal email address for Taylor Swift than a helpful contact email on Yahoo.com. Before trying to contact them, I suggest you try to fix the root problem first. Paying for hosting on your own “dedicated” server is expensive and can cost $200+ month. So, to separate yourself from these bad actors, try getting a dedicated IP address.

Buy a Dedicated / Static IP Address

If you use one of the big hosting companies like GoDaddy or HostGator, adding a dedicated or “static” IP address to your hosting plan should be easy, and cost about $6/month. You should be able to log-in and do it yourself, and the transition should be simple. Contact your hosting company with any specific questions if it’s not obvious.

Contact Yahoo through Bing Webmaster Tools

Once you have a new IP address, you can either wait and watch search results, or contact Yahoo / Bing to tell them what happened. Yahoo’s customer support is notoriously bad, but since their merger with Bing, they offer webmasters a nice set of tools and help through Bing Webmaster Tools. It’s an easy sign-up, and let’s you look under the hood at how Yahoo / Bing view and index your site.

If you need to contact them, signup for Webmaster Tools, verify your site, and go to “Bing Webmaster help and How-to,” and click under “getting help & support” on “webmaster support.

bing yahoo contact site dropped

 

In my case, (not knowing why my site was dropped) I went through this process backwards and contacted Bing first, before getting a new IP address. They actually responded 2 days later. Within a week they confirmed that my IP address was being blocked due to spam originating from another site on my shared server.

Here’s the response from Bing Microsoft Customer Support
We highly appreciate your patience as we review this matter together with our Product Group. My name is Jenny and I will be providing you with the status of this Service Request.

We would like to inform you that the webserver that your site exists on is blocked by our bots due to Spam and the whole IP was crushed…

My Site Started to Reappear On Yahoo Search Within a Week

Bing webmaster support quoted that it would take “a week or two” to be back in search results, and as I type this, my site is slowly trickling back onto Yahoo search results a week after getting a dedicated / static IP address. This whole fiasco has lasted about a month so far!

Don’t Risk Bing Dropped By Yahoo / Bing; Get a Dedicated IP Address for SEO

Google doesn’t see to block entire IP addresses the way that Yahoo / Bing does, but getting dropped by Yahoo /Bing is serious. Together they account for a significant 29% off search traffic.

In my opinion, anyone maintaining a website or blog should have a dedicated IP address. It’s cheap insurance against being dropped because of the actions of someone else online. It’s also included with an SSL certificate, (which gives your site an “https:” url) and a layer of security if you collect information or take payments. If your site or blog is run on WordPress, consider managed wordpress hosting from a specialist like WP Engine Hosting.

creepware security online

New Creepware Threat: Security Software Protects Your Computer

New Security Threat: Remote Access Trojans, aka “Creepware” – (Please share this!) As if there weren’t enough potential security threats against your Mac or PC computer, a new spyware virus called, “creepware,” has emerged.

Why should you care about creepware? It literally gives hackers full remote access and control of your computer, without you knowing. It can quickly get installed when you download something online, or even from links on social media sites like Facebook. Here’s a video from Norton:

creepware computer virusPretty creepy, huh? While some attackers may want to get on your computer to steal your music and look through your photos, one common practice is to take over your built in web cam, and literally watch you remotely through your own computer!

You know that laptop that your daughter left on after doing her homework? With creepware, it’s as good as a window right into her bedroom for any number of creeps to look through. I’m sure most men wouldn’t want to be watched while they are online at night (doing important research of course) either. Yikes!

In a recent episode of Shark Tank, one of the inventions was a little plastic blocker that you can slide over your web cam, which is a good start. (I’m sure a post-it note would do as well) For more comprehensive protection, consider software from a top name in internet security like Norton or McAfee.

WHAT DOES CREEPWARE DO?

  • Send abusive messages or spam from your computer
  • Steal your passwords
  • Open web pages, and spread the creepware / spyware to others
  • Cause your computer to crash

HOW CAN YOU AVOID CREEPWARE?

  • Use an updated date antivirus / internet security software
  • Only download files from trusted sites
  • Don’t use “torrent” file sharing sites, like those that allow you to download free music or movies
  • Keep the shutter of your webcam covered if you aren’t using it, and beware of suspicious activity with your webcam
  • Backup your files online with a service like Carbonite (get offer codes) (coupon available)

It’s a good idea to have a comprehensive, 360 degree solution to viruses and trojans for your computer and devices. Because these creepy threats are always evolving, so is the software to protect against them. That’s why you should always make sure your software is updated regularly. Need an incentive? We have the latest coupon codes for Norton software, including Antivirus and Norton 360 on our site!