There are two main reasons why people blog: self-expression and generation of income. In terms of the former, we treat our blog as our creation, or even a child, if you will. In terms of the latter, our blog is or valuable, if not irreplaceable, asset. Both approaches state it that a blog’s security is extremely important to a blogger.
The Internet is full of articles of advice on various aspects of blogging – writing, promotion, generation of income, but security is equally important. There are several reasons for that:
– if your blog gets infected, it will influence your blog’s performance in a negative way, thus disappointing your audience;
– this malicious software can at times replicate itself and infect the visitors, thus undermining the trust to your blog;
– once search engines and/or browsers find out that your blog is infected, they will mark it as such, and decrease your page ranking at best, or make your website invisible to their users altogether at worst.
Breach of security is definitely something that a blogger would like to avoid by all means. There are multiple ways how your blog can get infected and cause you all the problems mentioned above. In this article, we have collected six effective tips to avoid such a headache.
1. Keep Your Computer Safe
The easiest way for malicious software to infiltrate your website is through your computer. So, first of all, you need to remember to keep your hard drive nice and clean.
Pick an ultimate antivirus solution, run it regularly, and keep it updated at all times, as well as the rest of the software that you are using on your computer(s) and/or other devices from which you access your blog.
2. Choose Your Web Hosting Provider Wisely
The prices for hosting services may seem a little high to some of us. But a blogger needs to remember that hosting security is essential to the blog’s health. So, when picking a hosting provider for your blog, it is not recommended to just jump at the cheapest opportunity you find, because there can be a lot of possible catches.
Research on the reputation of different providers, as well as web hosting services and such. If necessary, don’t hesitate to address the support of the companies before making your choice (and if the support leaves you disappointed – shame on them, such a company should not be trusted).
Subscribe to a newsletter about web hosting and keep an eye on your hosting provider’s reputation.
3. Reset All Administrative Credentials
Most blog platforms generate an administrative account for you, where you are allocated generic username and/or password. Such generic credentials are an easy target for hackers.
Once you are in, create another account and give it administrative rights. Once done, delete the old administrative account.
Needless to say, you should always keep a close eye on the ones to whom you hand out administrative access. If possible, limit their administrative rights to only relevant ones. And if you stop cooperating with the person for whatever reason, immediately consider their administrative rights irrelevant and delete their administrative account without delay.
4. Keep Your Software Updated
We know that update notifications may be annoying, but there is a reason why they exist. Blogging platforms always have to tackle new security threats that arise all the time. And as soon as a tiniest of holes in security is fixed, they release an update. This is a more important reason for releasing updates than increasing usability and such (even though it may seem otherwise).
So, once you see that a new update for your hosting platform is out, install it immediately. Even if it may interfere with the functionality of some of the plug-ins that you may be using. Overlooking security issues will give you significantly more headache than operating your blog without your favorite plug-in for a day or two.
5. Back Everything Up
Should you someday suddenly find your blog infected with malware, you will need to restore the blog to its normal functionality as soon as possible. For this, you will need a back-up.
You can back it up yourself on a regular basis. If you do so, then make up a backup schedule and stick to it. Alternatively, you can get yourself a slightly more expensive hosting plan which includes back-ups.
Be warned, though, that some malware can sneak even into back-ups. So, it is strongly recommended to have at least two back-ups. An extra back-up can be done in services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.
6. Be Careful with the Ads
Recent time saw the increase in maladvertising as a new threat to the security of websites. Maladvertising is when hackers get access to ad network and use them to spread their malicious software. So, if you have banners or other forms of online advertisement on your website, you need to be very aware of that.
To avoid that, take your time and run a careful research on the ad network’s reputation and history before entering into a deal with them. Also, once the ad campaign is over, remove the ad from your blog immediately. Outdated ads are an easy target for ill-intended people.
Bonus Tip: You are probably tired of hearing about the importance of a strong password, and yet one cannot be reminded about it too much. Use all the tips for a strong password, avoid using the same password on all occasions, update your passwords regularly (about once in 3 months, for example). If possible, find a trustworthy password manager software and use it.
It is worth noting that the goal of this article was by no means to get you paranoid or freaked out. But you know what they say – you can never be too safe. Just take care of the security of your blog at all times, and remember about our security tips. It may seem stressful at times, but it is a far cry less stressful, than finding your precious blog infected with malware one fine day.