Starting a blog is not an easy task. You need to come up with a great idea, give it the perfect name, create an attention-grabbing design, and draw in an audience to enjoy your masterpiece. Now that your blog is set to go, what are you doing to protect it?
Security is often at the back of our minds, but with hackers looking to steal your data and the information of your visitors, you need to be diligent. When it comes to protecting your blog, it is much more important to be proactive than reactive. Here are some tips to keep your information out of the wrong hands.
The Importance of Protecting Your Blog
It is of utmost importance that you protect your precious blog at all costs. Hackers can use just about any form of personal information to inflict harm on you or your readers. A stolen social security number can be used to take out high-dollar loans that could bankrupt the victim. Even an email address can be sold on the black market or be used to send out email scams.
A data breach can also be very damaging to your brand and reputation. Customers and readers know about the risks of identity theft, so if they feel threatened while using your site, they will go elsewhere. You can even be sued by a victim of identity theft if you didn’t have the proper protections in place to prevent it.
On top of all that, if your website is known for having security issues, you could also take a hit on the search engine listings. Sites like Google make it a point to list the most helpful websites on the first page, and if your site poses a threat, your listing could suffer. With all of this said, there is no point in putting your heart and soul into a blog if you are not going to protect it.
Protecting your website isn’t something that you have to think about 24-7, as long as you put the proper protections in place at the start and keep them up to date. It all starts with a secure password. They should not be easy to guess and should include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Passwords should also be updated at least once every couple of months.
Next, ensure that you have all the necessary protections in place that will stop hackers in their tracks. This starts with antivirus software and weekly scans that will determine if any malware or viruses have been uploaded onto your system. If any are found, eliminate them on the spot. You will also want to have an active firewall that analyzes all data that goes in and out. Make sure that all of these protections are updated to the newest versions because the current packages will protect against new threats.
Another way that many bloggers are securing their work is by implementing an SSL connection on their websites. In essence, this “secure sockets layer” immediately encrypts any new data that goes from your customer’s computer to yours, so even if the information is stolen, it cannot be read by hackers. Instead of just showing “http,” a website that has SSL protection will have “https” at the beginning of the web address. Having that in the web address is a sign for readers that your website is safe to visit and enjoy.
Avoid Common Dangers
While lack of a proper firewall can allow hackers to easily access your website, they also have a slew of creative tactics that they use to get in through a back door of your blog. One of the most common threats that accounts for 91% of all cyberattacks is the phishing scam. In essence, this is an email that looks to be legitimate but will typically include a link or attachment that, when clicked or opened, can unleash malware onto your system.
A phishing email is often sent by what appears to be a figure of authority like the bank or the IRS and is meant to create a sense of panic in the recipient. Even though they appear to be from an authority, a typical warning sign is that there are often many intentional misspellings in the message which are meant to trick the email filters. As a blogger, you may get excited when you see an email from a stranger with an offer to help boost your website or provide a helpful service, but you must be cautious and delete strange emails immediately.
The great thing about being a blogger is that you can work from anywhere as you write new articles or promote your business on social media, but dangers lurk out in public as well. If you often connect to the Wi-Fi at your favorite restaurant or coffee shop, you must beware of “man in the middle” attacks, which are essentially a fake Wi-Fi account that will directly attach to your internet connection. The best way to avoid this threat is to speak to the owner of the establishment to get the real network.
Most Importantly: Have a Plan
The best thing that you can do is have a plan in place before and after a data breach occurs. Think about the hacking methods discussed above and get the right protections. Keep in mind that misplaced data may not only be the fault of a malicious intruder; it could also be internal.
For instance, as COVID-19 continues to force many potential customers to stay at home, online shopping has seen a considerable boom. If you are getting an influx of orders, then you must have a system in place to ensure that you are shipping out the orders and any communications properly so you are not sending one customer’s personal information to a stranger. More orders also bring an influx of credit card numbers. You do not want those stolen so update your protections.
Finally, no security plan would be complete without a plan of action if a data breach does occur. As a responsible entity, you should inform any infected parties that they have been impacted and suggest remedies like canceling cards or contacting their bank. Then you will need to update all passwords and login credentials to something completely different. Finally, restore all necessary information from your backups.
Becoming a successful blogger is no easy task, so the last thing you need is someone to take it all away. Implement these few important security steps now so you can focus on the success of your blog.