keep your blog secure

You learn template design, writing styles, keyword planning, best time to post, email campaigns, the dreaded FTP and so much more. Heck, you even learned how to code bold! (<b</b>). What started off as a hobby has taught you so much but definitely hasn’t been easy. Whatever platform you use, you may naively assume they are designed to keep your blog secure. Why would you even need to worry about it? With your beauty topics and 1,500 followers, you would never become a hacking target right?

Wrong. If you learn one thing when you start pouring your heart and time into what you love, it is how to keep your blog secure.

I am no expert. I am self-taught in SEO, blogging, design and more. I am lucky that I am a bit of a geek and a whizz on the old google. I became interested in online security in an unfortunate way.

In the past month, I have experienced three hacks. One at work, one to my amazon and one to a friend’s website. All by Russian hackers with alarming success. Is it the ability of the Russian internet state we should worry about or our lack of ability to keep ourselves, and our data, safe?

It seems slightly too coincidental that all of a sudden, I hear so many stories of people who have been hacked and have absolutely no idea what to do. Why should they? They have never even considered how to keep their blog secure other than changing a password every so often.

Then there are open source platforms like WordPress which presents a fair few security issues. The fact that they allow third parties to update plugins or themes means should someone fancy popping a bit of malicious code in there, bang – it ends up on your site (Pipdig anyone?).

I don’t want to alarm, but this wave of cyber-crime will escalate, potentially to cyber-terrorism. Whilst it might sound super dramatic, having your identity and bank details mind can have devastating consequences.

SO! With all that said, it is super important to keep your blog secure and your overall presence. The UK is not where it needs to be in terms of helping consumers protect themselves, so you have to do a bit of the work yourself I’m afraid. Here are a few tips to help keep your blog secure and minimise the impact to your overall web presence. Let’s go!

Protect your blog or website

It is worth spending a bit of time researching how to keep your blog or website secure. Despite what we have said about the security of third-party plugins, a lot of them are incredibly useful in protecting your site. The most important elements are:

  • Enabling a firewall
  • Install a security plugin (for WordPress something like Wordfence)
  • Protecting your login (ie using Recaptcha, using a strong password on your CMS, hosting and things like search console – making them all unique)
  • Limiting login attempts
  • Installing an SSL certificate (some platforms include these as standard ie Shopify).
  • If you know how to access your file manager within your hosting package, then it is best to keep your directories where possible. Contact your hosting provider for help with this.
  • Only install third party plugins of themes that you and your provider trust.

Use spam filters

Spam filters like Askimet help keep your blog secure from unwanted spammy comments but also saves the hassle and time of manually checking each message – they automatically go into spam and cheerio!

Use the back-up feature

Aim to keep your blogged back up as regularly as you can – ideally monthly where possible. That means should a nasty hack occur, you will be protected to an extent.

Keep your personal details… personal.

It goes without saying that the more data you keep online, the less secure your persona will be. Where possible, mine and remove details about yourself. A simple google will help with this. Where possible, don’t have things like your mobile number or address etc… easily accessible (think things like Gumtree etc…). Just keep things as private as you can.

There are many things you can do to keep your blog secure, these are only starter points to help you on your journey. When your blog becomes something more than what you do for fun, i.e. you regularly make money, sell items or get a large amount of regular visitors, it is time to treat your work as your business and protect it as such. There may come a time when you need to employ the help of professionals – be prepared for it – however these basic steps should help keep your blog secure in the meantime.

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