Your blog is a combination of your passion and your livelihood, and through the quality of your content, that shines through to your readers above all else. You put work and effort into it, and you hope that it will continue to grow its readership and put you on a successful track in life.
Yet some people don’t want that to happen or don’t care about your work. There are cybercriminals online who are willing to attack your blog and data just to make a quick dollar, spamming your email list and turning your blog into a cheap profit machine. You cannot let this happen for your sake or the sake of your readers. You need to defend yourself.
Here are some steps you can take to protect your blog and all of the time you put into it:
Know Basic Internet Security
Just as you need to be taught how to walk before you can run, you need to have the fundamentals of internet security down before you can properly take other steps to defend your blog. You need to make sure that you are taking every basic action possible on your browser, computer, and accounts.
There are a few things you can do right now. Make sure every password you use is unique and complex. Double check any security questions you have, and make sure no one knows the answer. You need to update your computer as soon as it prompts you, leaving no gaps in your security, and do the same for your internet security suite. Make sure you have an internet security suite. Finally, you need to personally do a basic checkup on all files and systems every few months.
Find the Right Tools
Depending on the platform you are using, there are a great many tools and programs available for you to help defend yourself and manage your blog. They can range from apps that will give you an extra layer of protection to more complex programs and patches that will fix up loopholes inherent in the system you are using. Try to find a good combination of programs out there, and see what works best for your blog. You can always change your mind and delete the programs if you don’t want them.
However, you should watch out as a great deal of scammers promise all sorts of amazing things for your blog. All they give you is malware. To prevent this, make sure that you search any tools that you are thinking of using to see if they are legitimate. If something looks too good to be true, then walk away and don’t give it a second thought.
Show Your Effort in Design
When you work on your blog, you obviously put the greatest attention to detail to your content. It is what keeps the readers coming back. It is what you put all of your time into researching and verifying. Yet it is important to note that, when novice hackers, spammers, and other cybercriminals surf the web looking for victims, they will be more likely to attack a blog with a lazy design structure than attack a blog that looks as though time was spent into putting up defenses for it.
While design rarely has direct effects on security, you need to capitalize on every advantage you have, even psychological advantages. This does not necessary mean a hard or iron-like look for your blog; it just means that you should have no holes or unfinished parts of your webpage. Make sure you finish and update that “About Me” section, for example. Make sure that you’ve updated everything and have regular content so that any potential hackers know that you are paying attention and will defend your blog.
Use a VPN
If you travel outside of your home to edit, create content, or even check on your blog, then you absolutely need a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a service that will connect your device over an encrypted connection to an offsite secure server. The importance of this is that, when you go out, you are incredibly likely to use risky public networks on which hackers can intercept your information using methods normal security measures won’t protect against. This leaves you with the options of using a VPN for protection, putting your data at risk of theft, or not using public networks.
A VPN, in addition to using its encrypted connection to protect anything you send and receive over a public network, will mask your IP address. This means that you have an added layer of all-important privacy as well, allowing you to not be bothered by those who want your location info or worse. The other benefit of this is that, since you can appear as though you are using the internet in a different country, you can bypass most regional restrictions and government censorship.
It should be noted, however, that not all VPNs are alike. Some are paid services, and some are offered free of charge (albeit with less features). If you are curious, you should try some of the best-reviewed free VPNs before you dive into a paid service. This way you won’t have to worry about whether it is a good investment before getting one. If you like the principle but want more features, you can always upgrade to a different one. Just know that any VPN is better than no VPN, so unless you get a fake one you can’t go wrong.
Protect Your Email
As much as you don’t want to let your blog fall into the wrong hands, your email address is just as important, if not more so. It is basically a gateway to any and all of your other accounts, and losing it can mean identity theft, in addition to being unable to access your important work.
Take all of the basic security steps mentioned above and make sure that when it comes to your email they are acted upon to the maximum of your ability. Keep a close eye on it, and don’t let anyone else even come close to accessing it. If you are truly security conscious, then you may want to consider getting another separate email address especially for blogging purposes. If you think it might help, try it.
Thank you for reading, and I hope that you follow these step to a safer and happier blog.
Isa Cox is a blogger and internet security professional writing on behalf of securethoughts.com, a leading website in the field of internet security and internet privacy where you can find reviews and guides to help you protect your blog.