Can you believe this?
Yesterday evening I was using my laptop and my email program, Eudora, was acting up. For some reason it freezes up when I visit websites that have flash on them. So I rebooted my computer in order to get my email to work properly again.
When I rebooted my IP address must have changed. I’m with Rogers.com and my IP address can sometimes change each time I log on to my computer or I might have the same IP for weeks or months on end. Usually this doesn’t cause any kind of problem for me.
So I’m working on my computer, checking my mail and I try to moderate some of the comments that have come in on the blogs that I maintain. I can’t do it.
I got an error message stating that my IP has been marked as spam and blacklisted. I was given a Key that I can use to solve the problem myself, but of course that only resulted in an error message. The other option I was given was to write to the moderator of the site. In other words write to myself?
I didn’t clue in right away as to what the problem was. I tried going into my WordPress admin section to see if I had added the particular IP address that I seemed to have been assigned by Rogers to the WP ADMIN Options Discussion section. Nope. It wasn’t there. I’d only blocked a few IP addresses on my home and garden blog and no others.
Naturally by this time I’d been trying to solve the problem for at least half an hour and I was starting to freak out a little bit as I had at least 7 sites that I could no longer moderate comments on! I also assumed that I wouldn’t be able to write a new post either.
I eventually logged into my web hosting account and opened up the file manager in C-Panel. I checked to see if any new files had been added that I hadn’t placed on the server. I also opened up PHP MyAdmin to check my sites databases to see if I could remove the blocked IP. I did find the blacklist and determined that it was from my Bad Behavior plugin. I tried to remove the blocked IP address from my MySQL database and then I rebooted my computer again.
Uh … now I couldn’t even log into any of the blogs that I maintain on my feverishthoughts.com domain. I didn’t bother to try any of my other domains as I assumed they would also be affected.
By this time I’d probably wasted an hour and a half and comments were piling up and I had posts I needed to write. I was getting frustrated.
The best solution I came up with was to go into my hosting account and change the name of the bad-behavior plugin folder in order to deactivate the plugin on the sites in question.
It worked. I could now log into my sites and moderate comments, create posts and so on.
However I no longer have the wonderful spam protection that I got from the Bad Behavior plugin.
I’ve been using Bad Behavior for about a year and it’s been wonderful. Just turn it on and it automatically blocks spam before it even gets into your comment moderation list. Prior to using Bad Behavior I was sometimes getting 400 to 500 comments spam messages each day on some of my busier sites!
There is a way to edit the whitelist file and I suppose I’ll have to do that sometime today as I’m still assigned the same IP address that caused all these problems yesterday evening.
The only other spam protection that I use on my blogs is the built in Akismet plugin that comes with WordPress. Up until now that combination has been sufficient. I may look into also using Spam Karma.
Have you ever had your own IP address blocked by your spam protection software?
If you are using Bad Behavior it was updated today. Yesterday the creator of the Bad Behavior plugin moved servers and accidentally decommissioned an old blacklist that he thought wasn’t being used by Bad Behavior anymore. Unfortunately it was and many users of the Bad Behavior plugin found themselves locked out of their own sites as a result.
The plugin has now been updated to version 2.0.11 and it should resolve the problem. I’m about to update this plugin on all my sites now.
I’m thankful that the plugin creator was so quick to resolve the problem that he inadvertently created. I’d be lost without my Bad Behavior plugin protection. Yes, that’s just how good Bad Behavior really is – try it for yourself.