Setting up a personal or professional blog has never been easier given the number of advanced content management systems available these days. But although WordPress and other popular tools are available for use for everyone from novices to advanced computer-users, there are a number of security pitfalls that often escape new bloggers.
Here are five common mistakes:
Not Realizing the Risks.
Many bloggers don’t realize there are any risks involved with setting up a blog—but even if you do your best to keep your password a secret, you could find your URL hijacked for a phishing scam, or you might install plugins or themes that contain malware or spyware that infects you or your site visitors! Take some time to learn the risks.
Not Creating Secure Login Credentials.
We all want to use passwords that are easy to remember, but the easier your password is to remember, the easier it is to crack. The best passwords contain random strings of letters, numbers, and symbols; if you have a hard time trying to remember yours, think about using a password manager. And don’t use something like “Admin” for your username: it takes out half the challenge of cracking your login credentials, so that a hacker only needs to figure out your password rather than a combination of username and password.
Not Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
When you access the internet, your computer sends out your login details, along with other sensitive information like your browsing history, to the sites you use. Obviously this isn’t information you would want just anyone to get their hands on! If you use a VPN (and trust me, you want to use a strong one, with all the sensitive information about bank accounts and passwords that’s often part of our web history!), your cookies will travel from your computer to an intermediary server and then on to the site, and only you and the sites you access will be able to see your information. This makes it a lot more difficult for hackers to steal your account details and take over your site.
Not Using Security Plugins.
Whichever blogging platform you’re using, there are likely a selection of security plugins and extensions that are available to help you safeguard your site. These can help you with everything from searching for suspicious code in your chosen theme to scanning for malware to blocking bots from making too many sign-in attempts and more. Better yet, a lot of these plugins are free—so it’s well worth your time to do a little searching and see what you can find.
Not Using Safe WiFi Practices.
One of the worst mistakes bloggers make is not realizing the hazards of using public WiFi. Blogging on the go makes everything so much easier, but hackers lie in wait on many public WiFi terminals, just waiting to steal your information or load up your computer with malware. Or if you allow your device to connect to any open network, you could find that you’ve accidentally connected to a malicious hotspot designed specifically to grab your personal information. It’s not that you should never use public WiFi, but there are a whole host of dangers involved with using public WiFi that you should make yourself aware of.
Are there any other practices you use to protect your blog? Tell us about them in the comments!
About the Author: Cassie Phillips is a blogger for Secure Thoughts, a leading internet security website. Cassie writes about tools and software individuals, bloggers and even businesses should use to ensure online safety and data privacy.