Guest post by Cassie Phillips
If you owned a jewelry store, you’d want to protect your merchandise. You wouldn’t install flimsy locks on your doors, leave your store open and unattended, or forget to install an alarm system. As a blogger, your information is your merchandise, and your blog is your store, so you need to protect them just as you would any other stock and business. As such, you should make the following five security habits part of your daily life to protect your blog and your business.
Create and Use Secure Passwords
I’m sure you’ve heard this countless times, but strong passwords are essential to your online security. In order to protect your business accounts and information, you need to make sure you practice good password habits. Good password habits include:
- Never using words such as “password” or “admin” as passwords
- Never using your pets’ names, loved ones’ names or birthdays as passwords
- Using at least eight characters in each password
- Including lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and symbols in your password
- Never using the same password for different accounts
- Changing your passwords regularly (especially for your blog account)
- Never sharing your passwords with people, not even those you trust. They may inadvertently share your password through the websites or applications they use, and if their accounts get hacked, the hackers might find your passwords
- Using a phrase as a password because it’s long, hard to guess and easier to remember
Like most people, you probably have accounts on many different websites. This makes it much harder to keep track of all your passwords. If this is the case, you should consider using an application such as 1Password to store all your passwords securely.
Use Anti-Virus Software
When online security is mentioned, most of us immediately think of anti-virus software. Anti-virus software really is a must-have on any device that connects to the internet. It’s used to avoid, detect and remove malicious software (malware), such as computer viruses, keyloggers, spyware, Trojan horses and more. All of these pose a significant threat to your blog and need to be avoided or removed.
Some anti-virus software also includes other features, such as protection from phishing attacks, online banking attacks, and spam. Consider getting a product that has all these extra features to improve the overall security of your blog. Remember to update it regularly and scan your devices for viruses frequently. Don’t be tempted to shut it down even if it annoys you.
Use a Virtual Private Network
Another vital part of online security is using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). When you connect to the internet, you’re open to having your personal information stolen, hacked or having your activities tracked. A VPN will encrypt your internet connection and mask your IP address, providing anonymity that will protect your information.
Many bloggers use public WiFi to work at coffee shops and restaurants. If you use public WiFi, it’s especially important you get a VPN. Public WiFi is unsecured, and this means people with the right tools can eavesdrop on your online activities or steal your information. A VPN will prevent this and keep your blog’s information safe. Secure Thoughts has a VPN review to help you decide on the best one for your blogging needs.
Manage Your Blog as You Would Any Business
If you earn money from blogging, it’s essential you manage your blog as you would any other business. Don’t cut corners on security simply because you work from home or online. Start by always logging out when you’re not working on your blog because staying logged in is like leaving your front door open.
Another important way you need to manage your blog is by keeping all your software and plugins up-to-date. While plug-ins can add a lot of value to your blog, they can be a security risk if you’d don’t keep them updated. The updates usually fix any security vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to add malware to your blog or steal data.
Also be sure to moderate your blog as unmoderated pages are often targeted by hackers looking to post malicious links. It’s important to delete any comments that have malicious links to protect your blog and your readers. It’s also a good idea to delete any offensive posts, as they might upset your readers and stop them visiting your blog. Just be careful to avoid over censoring, as this will also alienate your readers.
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Other Good Practices
There are some other, more general security habits you should try to incorporate into your blogging routine. They include:
- Updating your social media privacy settings often
- Backing up your blog and all your other data regularly
- Not clicking on any dubious-looking links on websites
- Not opening any suspicious emails
- Using separate email accounts for your blog and your private life
- Going offline when you don’t need to use the internet
- Keeping your webcam and microphone switched off when you’re not using them
Your blog is your business, whether it generates large or small earnings. This means you need to protect it to the best of your ability, so it’s imperative you create and keep good security habits. If your blog is secure, you’re also more likely to draw more readers because people won’t be afraid to visit your page. This increase in traffic might increase your revenue.
Do you think we’ve covered all the important security habits bloggers need to make part of their daily lives? Please let us know in the comments below.