Hacker's Calling Card

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A local organization contacted me this week in a panic. Their Joomla CMS website had been hacked... AND the hackers left their calling card.

Hacker's Calling Card

Joomla Security Tips

Below are some tips to help you secure your Joomla CMS site. This isn't an exhaustive list, but taking these steps will certainly make it more difficult for hackers to break-in and infect your site.

  • host your website with a reputable hosting company
  • make sure your host is using the latest version of PHP
  • keep your Joomla core and extensions up-to-date
  • make sure all your extensions are:
  • delete unused templates
  • disable the Joomla generator tag
  • move your Joomla tmp folder outside of the root folder
  • set your permissions properly: 644 for files and 755 folders
  • your configuration.php file should be unwrittable - permission: 444
  • set PHP register_globals OFF
  • enable open_basedir
  • disable_functions = show_source, system, shell_exec, passthru, exec, phpinfo, popen, proc_open
  • block typical exploit attempts with local Apache .htaccess files
  • make sure all passwords are at least 12 mixed alphanumeric characters and contain no common word phrases
  • do not use standard Admin user
  • disable anonymous FTP
  • password protect your Joomla Administrator directory
  • install a Joomla CMS firewall extension

Back-up, Back-up, Back-up,

Remember no website is 100% hack-proof so make sure you back-up your site after each update so that if it is hacked, you're able to roll back to the latest clean version.

For more information check out the Joomla Security Checklist documentation.

Posted in Website Development

Joomla wins 2015 Best Free CMS Award

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Congratulations Joomla!

CMS Critic - a CMS directory and resource website - had very strong competition in the Best Free CMS category with 116 great products like Drupal, Joomla and WordPress in the running.

On January 12, 2016 they announced the winner for the 2015 Best Free CMS Award: Joomla! CMS

Joomla receives 2015 Best Free CMS Award


Call me biased, but I'm not surprised. A big congratulations to everyone in the Joomla Community for a job well done!

Posted in Joomla

The Art of Losing...

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Sunset and Goodbyes

I came across the poem "One Art" the other day and found it quite poignant.

One Art

By Elizabeth Bishop; 1911–1979

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.


Loss is not easy, especially that of a loved one. Over the course of life I've discovered a way that helps me abide the unexpected, needless and inevitable losses: to not hold on too tightly to anything or anyone no matter how precious, and with a little faith humbly let go, believing that by the grace of God even loss can serve great purposes - most astounding to me being the paradisiacal transformation of one's heart.

Posted in Jen Unplugged

In the Creative

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I hauled my drawing supplies out of the storage shed today - something I've been thinking about doing for a few months.

Back in 2003 I'd picked up the book Drawing for Dummies wondering if there was anything to my elementary school habit of doodling. After working through the first 88 pages, I couldn't wait to put what I'd learned to the test. Grabbing an old National Geographic, I found this photo of a Koala bear in a eucalyptus tree and gave it a shot. I'm pleased with how it turned out... I did embellish the smile a little.

Happy Koala Bear - 2004

Happy Koala Bear by Jen Duguay

As you can see I didn't quite did finish it. This was my first and only attempt at drawing. Life came knocking at my door as life often does, and along with a few other creative outlets, I temporarily put my new pencils and sketch pad aside to navigate through more pressing matters.

Fortunately, like the seasons, life moves on, we grow, and priorities shift. Today, I look forward to discovering myself anew in the creative - that mysterious quality which hints to the image of God we all bear - and finding a healthier balance between work and play.

Posted in Jen Unplugged

10 outdated web design trends

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web design

Website design trends move at neck-breaking speed. This is due to the rapid advancement of technology, and a new generation of users who are extremely web savvy, described by some as having short attention spans and evolved expectations of instant gratification. The truth is, we are all becoming conditioned to function this way in an attempt to keep up with our fast-paced world. This evolution has greatly influenced our website design strategies.

Additionally, as the eternally restless creative types, website designers like to try new things and go where no man has gone before. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

To better connect with our users, we've had to make a huge shift from "look at these cool effects" to masterfully blending technology, psychology, art and science. This new design strategy is at the core of "User Centered Design" and "User Experience". Both focus on the users' expectations and quality of website experience, and strive to come up with new and innovative methods for capturing and maintaining a visitor's interest and loyalty.

While much can be said about the myriad of design elements required to produce a compelling website, there are a few really easy tell-tale signs that your website is out-dated and ready for a refreshing makeover.

Posted in Website Development

Continue Reading

Peace of Mind

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Boston is one of my all-time favourite bands. I only need listen to any one of their CDs if I want to retreat to a heavenly place. How that works is still a mystery to me... somehow their powerful and colourfully layered guitar riffs, strong vocal harmonies, and penetrative lyrics about life and love always whisk me far away from the static and complexity of life.

This morning I put on Boston's debut album, cranked the stereo, closed my eyes and found myself as I'd anticipated, in a place where I'm able to make out the whispers of my heart, and reconnect with the faith that sustains me, knowing that if I look ahead at what Hope promises is yet to come - far beyond today's noise and distractions - and cling tightly to everything I believe in, I find moments of what I seek.



Peace of Mind - Boston

Now if you're feelin' kinda low 'bout the dues you've been paying
Future's coming much too slow
And you wanna run but somehow you just keep on stayin'
Can't decide on which way to go
Yeah, yeah, yeah

I understand about indecision
But I don't care if I get behind
People livin' in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Now you're climbin' to the top of the company ladder
Hope it doesn't take too long
Can'tcha see there'll come a day when it won't matter
Come a day when you'll be gone

I understand about indecision
But I don't care if I get behind
People livin' in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...

Now everybody's got advice they just keep on givin'
Doesn't mean too much to me
Lots of people out to make-believe they're livin'
Can't decide who they should be

I understand about indecision
But I don't care if I get behind
People livin' in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead. Look ahead...


Posted in Jen Unplugged

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