When people visit your blog, what is the first thing they notice?
Do they see an informative and/or entertaining site where they can spend a good deal of time and enjoy themselves, or do they see something more risky and haphazardly put together?
Hackers also see the same blog, and then some, so just how safe are your readers when they visit your blog?
Those nasty hackers are sizing up targets for collecting information,. They want your readers’ information, subscriber lists and the financial information of your readers – and they’re working to get it as you read this.
They also want to leave malware or links to malware on your blog for readers to follow. There are many threats out there, and you need to prepare your blog to protect your readers.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before feeling secure with your readers’ safety.
How important is your readers’ data to you?
Security starts with attitudes and habits.
You need to evaluate your priorities concerning your blog.
Your focus should be on creating quality content, of course, but there are other things that need to be taken into consideration.
While you are designing your blog, are you considering the ease of use of the website before any potential security concerns over exploits?
Are you more focused on reaching out to potential readers via social media?
Are you placing reader security above all else?
You have to make security your top priority.
If you aren’t considering the moral and ethical obligations you have to your readers, try to consider what you would do if you caught a virus from a website or learned that said website leaked some of your information all over the internet, intentionally or unintentionally.
You would never go back to that blog, and you would tell everyone you know to do the same. That is what you risk if you don’t make security your number one priority.
You risk the entire reputation of your online life and your blog.
Is your computer secure?
Your computer (or smartphone) is one of the main gateways to your blog. For that reason you are going to want to make it as secure as possible from all of the different forms of attacks out there.
All of the basics of online security apply. This includes using strong passwords, having an online security suite, avoiding potential malware and simply using good judgment when at the computer.
Remember that it isn’t just your privacy and security that you are responsible for anymore.
The other thing you should do is use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when you are administrating your blog. It is a service that will allow your computer or smartphone to connect to an offsite secure server that will handle your requests for you and mask your IP address.
The connection that it creates is also encrypted, protecting you from one of the greatest threats out there: hackers on public networks.
If you don’t have a VPN, then on a public network a cyber-criminal with a simple setup can intercept any reader data or account information that you send over the network, resulting in a major security breach.
This threat makes a VPN vital for most bloggers, but there are quite a few VPNs to pick from.
You need one that will not slow your connection down as well as keep you secure, and for that reason, you need to make an effort to read up on which VPNs are best. It might be a bit of a time investment, but the benefits of picking a quality product make themselves apparent quickly.
Is your blog secure?
There is computer security, and then there is blog security.
Blog security comes down to making sure that there are absolutely no holes or potential exploits in your blog.
You need to comb through every nook and cranny of your site in order to notice anything missing or anything incomplete.
This makes it all the more important for you to learn what is on your blog, so you can notice if anything is off.
If there are major problems upon inspection, you will have time to adjust or change things on your website.
You will also want to figure out what you want to do about the plugin setup for your blog.
You should know that most plugins are terrible, if not outright dangerous to use. Many are malware in disguise or leave holes for cyber-criminals to crawl in through later. These “security plugins” could lead to your blog being taken over, which is a worst case scenario for your readers.
Try to only use well-reviewed and popular security plugins and applications, as their benefits are worth the download.
As with computer security, blog security comes down to vigilance and common sense. If you have a healthy amount of both, your readers will be much safer.
Do you have a quality online community?
Your readers are your best resource, but you need to consider them in ways other than as a number or statistic.
Your most frequent readers and commenters, if they are invested enough, will let you know if there is a problem going on with your blog. They will be the ones you want to protect against negative commenters and trolls, as well as foster a community that will protect itself.
While you shouldn’t rely on your readers to do anything for you other than enjoy your content, a good environment will be a defense in itself and a boon to you, showing new readers that this is a safe website and that they will find support if they look for it.
Make sure to interact with your readers often and find opportunities to have them interact with each other. It will give an impression of community that might dissuade hackers from attacking your blog.
Readers will leave if they get the impression that your blog isn’t safe.
You can handle a mediocre post once or twice, but you can’t handle a single security breach.
Ask yourself the above questions and honestly answer them. Any problems that you have can be fixed with the right investment of time and resources, and this will create a framework for you to build your blog to become a massive success.
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