Robots dot text

Robots dot text (robots.txt) is a really interesting, conflicted, frequently disrespected – but useful – little file. Its intended purpose is to give me control of how bots visit my site. Depending on the bot though, my robots dot text directives might be obeyed, ignored, partially obeyed, and/or interpreted in different ways.
robots dot text

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Bad Bot Honeypot

Jeff Starr of Perishable Press offers what appears to be an excellent, free Blackhole for Bad Bots. Unfortunately it does not work with all cache setups, and I use some pretty crazy aggressive caching to boost site speed. I have not been able get Jeff’s plugin to work for me. I decided to make a very much simplified, less automated version, that will require an ongoing bit of my time but hopefully will thwart naughty bots.

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Cloudflare Access

Back in January 2018, Cloudflare introduced a new service, Cloudflare Access. As is their generous habit for many of their features, CF even made it available on the free tier. CF describes Access as “a perimeter-less access control solution for cloud and on-premise applications”. Basically, Access lets me host internal applications on the Internet, where use is controlled, authorized, authenticated, and encrypted. For the end user, it works very similar to two-factor authentication. But it all happens on Cloudflare’s servers.

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Cloudflare Firewall Rules

Cloudflare announced the introduction of firewall rules on October 3, 2018. Surprisingly, five firewall rules are even provided on the free plan. By comparison the Pro plan provides 20 firewall rules. Unlike Page Rules, additional firewall rules can *not* be purchased. I get five, that’s it – but as we will see a single firewall rule can do a bunch of different stuff provided that the final action is the same. Pretty generous of CF, I think, seeing as I use only their free tier.

Cloudflare Firewall Rules

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2FA

Two factor authentication (2FA) is an extremely strong security measure to keep bad guys, gals, and bots from hacking into my important accounts – WP admin, email, registrar, cPanel, and so on. And … I’m just not a fan.

2fa

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cPanel and FTP security

I take numerous precautions to prevent malicious logins to my WP admin account. None of which will do me a bit of good if my cPanel or FTP accounts get hacked. I don’t even use FTP. On those infrequent occasions when I need to transfer files, I use my cPanel file manager. I would disable FTP completely – except that I can’t find a way to do it. I also can’t find a way to obfuscate cPanel or FTP login, add a reCaptcha, limit login attempts, or add a security question. Very strong passwords are a good start, but I hate relying on just one lock.

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