Webmaster-Success is a site I consider to be an excellent resource for bloggers and others looking to try to improve their skills when it comes to new blogging ideas or blog monetization. Readers might want to check out this post on how even the small things can matter greatly when it comes to online marketing.
The most vital thing to maintaining a quality blog is to make sure that the security is up to date. There are hackers of all types looking to make a profit from exploiting your blog or readers. If any data is stolen or if your blog is taken over, you can consider your hard work wasted. You need to be able to protect yourself, yet many bloggers make simple mistakes that leave them open to attack.
Here are five of the most common security mistakes that bloggers make:
Not Protecting Themselves on Public Networks
Many bloggers make the major mistake of blogging while they are using a public network. This is a problem, as nearly all of the public networks are unprotected. Hackers take advantage of this fact by setting up shop in a café or public building with a small device attached to their computer that can intercept anything over the network. “Anything” includes your financial information, your blog’s account info, and your readers’ information. Public networks are a potential disaster waiting to happen.
The only certain way to protect yourself while using a public network is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a service that will connect your device to an offsite secure server using an encrypted connection. This encrypted connection acts like a tunnel that all of your data can pass through, not allowing hackers to get even a single look. It will even mask your IP address so that you will not be subject to surveillance while you work. With these and other important benefits, such as getting around regional restrictions and government censorship, a VPN is probably the single best investment you can make in your blog’s security. To make the best choice out of the VPN services available, you will want to read some reviews on VPNs that will protect your blog.
Not Protecting Their Computer
Your computer is the front door to your blog. There is a strong likelihood that you have cookies or commands to automatically login to your blog when you open the page in your browser. You also likely have some sort of reader information or records on your computer that you cannot let anyone else see. If your computer were to be compromised in any way, then you can consider any blogs you have compromised as well.
Bloggers need to realize the importance of the basics of internet and computer security. They’ve heard this many times before, but strong passwords are a pillar of security. Similarly, a strong security suite program is an essential defense against many online threats. Most importantly, you need to make sure that you are using common sense and good judgement whenever you are online. There are many scams and tricks out there, and you can’t let even one get to you.
Keeping Their Community at Arm’s Length
The community that forms around your blog is an absolutely vital part of the growth of your blog and your blog’s security. Not only are they your best resource, but they are the one thing that could potentially help keep a small problem from becoming a large one. Your regular readers are the ones most likely to let you know about ongoing and potential problems, and the worst thing you can do is not encourage or otherwise alienate those readers.
Try to foster and encourage a strong community on your comment sections and on social media. It will keep readers coming back and recommending your posts to their friends. It will also deter hackers, as blogs with strong communities give off the impression that they are well protected. The advantages to engaging your readers far outweigh the cost of time.
Using the Wrong Plugins
Not everything that calls itself a “security plugin” is something that will protect your blog. Many plugins are simply malware that will take control of your blog or steal its info, and many more will intentionally leave open backdoors that will let hackers gain entry. If you aren’t sure about your plugins, you are better off deleting them.
There are some plugins, such as WordPress and WP Security Scan, that have good reputations and will help you with your site. They might have premium options, but even the free versions are well worth it and will help your blog in protecting itself from many threats. When picking out plugins, just remember that there is always a catch if it sounds too good to be true.
Not Having a Backup
There are many stories out there of the average blogger who does everything right but loses everything on their blog because there was an anomaly that wiped a server. These bloggers did not have a backup, forcing them to start their blog from scratch all over again or search around for fragments of their blog to reload over a long period of time. This costs days of time and a good deal of resources and is greatly dismaying to the readers of those blogs.
Do not be one of those bloggers. Even if it isn’t a hacker that is causing problems, something will occur to your blog sooner or later. You need to have a backup plan. It is probably best to store all of your blog’s files on an external storage device that you can safely lock away and update every few days. Some would recommend cloud services, but those can be notoriously unreliable; there have been plenty of stories about data breaches in the past. Whatever you choose, transfer the files and rest a little easier.
Protecting your blog isn’t always easy, but it is absolutely necessary. If you know bloggers who are making any of the above mistakes, tell them what they could do differently. If you are making any of these mistakes, then there is still time to fix them. It is only a small investment, and the dividends are high. Thank you for reading, and I sincerely hope that you are never the victim of a cyberattack.
Bio: Caroline Black is a writer and blogger who has been working for several years writing about blog and internet security. Her other main areas of interest include computer security, travel, tips for new bloggers, and new technology.