Writers and bloggers often forget about ensuring the cybersecurity aspect of their website or blog when they begin monetizing their hobby.
There couldn’t be a mistake graver than this. Especially if you sell products or services through your blog, you must, and I repeat you must, invest in a sound cybersecurity strategy and relevant products to keep away hackers and those with malicious intents.
According to the research findings, the average total cost of a data breach stands at $3.86 million. Staggering isn’t it?! We are sure you wouldn’t want to incur such magnanimous losses! Want to know more about such simple, practical yet inexpensive cybersecurity tips for bloggers, both amateurs and seasonal players?
1. Choose sensible, choose HTTPS over HTTP!
If you are a blogger who still runs his blog on HTTP and feels that your website is all safe and secure, allow us to burst your bubble! When you exchange information over an unsecured HTTP connection, the data is exchanged in plain text.
This means that anyone can read and intercept all such information. Sounds scary, right? So, fix it while you still have time by buying and installing an SSL certificate.
Put simply HTTPS = HTTP + SSL.
SSL or Secure Socket Layer refers to a digital protocol that ensures an encrypted connection for the in-transit information exchanged between the web browser and the client-server. This keeps your and your customers’ PII safe from the prying eyes of hackers and MiTM attacks.
Choosing the right kind of SSL certificate is as important as buying one! So, if you own a single domain blog that does not involve making purchases, then a DV single-domain SSL is the right choice for you.
However, if you own multiple domains and subdomains that need to be secured, get SAN SSL certificate that can secure up to 250 Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs), which vary from provider to provider. It saves your money, time and certificate management hassle. Simply said, it is a win win deal!
2. Employ VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks:
Bloggers and writers often prefer the comfort and convenience of logging in to their websites in a cafe while sipping their favorite latte using public Wi-Fi. While this may seem like a very convenient thing to do, it is an open invitation for hackers to crack into your website and steal from the data haven! So, to secure your data from those with malicious intentions, it is highly recommended to employ a VPN for such browsing sessions.
This encrypts the data that transpires on the Wi-Fi network keeping your browsing activities and PII hidden from eavesdroppers. You can either use the free VPN versions or invest in paid ones available at nominal rates.
3. Strong & Unique Passwords for the Win!
This may seem like a basic and an oft-repeated tip; however, research shows that 81% of data breaches result from weak passwords getting compromised. Bloggers often make the mistake of employing the same password for multiple accounts.
This is akin to digging one’s own grave, as hackers are well-aware of such tactics.
Avoid using the names of your loved ones, pets, cars or DOB as passwords, as these can be easily guessed from your social media accounts. Instead, use a combination of uppercase, lowercase letters, symbols, special characters and numbers to strengthen your website security.
You can always use a password manager to manage all your passwords if you risk forgetting them. Treat passwords like a toothbrush; change them at least after every quarter.
4. Update, Update & Update!
Updates are released for a good reason. Whether they are updates in your blogging software, hardware, phone, or antivirus, they come with the necessary patches to protect you from the ill effects of the latest bugs. Therefore, whenever you log in to the software, and it asks you to download the latest security update, resist the urge to click on download later!
However, it would help distinguish between hackers employing viruses posing as Flash or Windows Updates and the real deal. You have got to be smart about it!
Always know that legitimate software rarely sends updated emails or popups. They will only ask you to update when you open the software. To stay safe, choose the option of automatic updates and stay risk-free!
5. Employ the Principle of Least Privilege when Granting Access:
Writers and bloggers are often flooded with requests from new writers to contribute content on well-established sites. However, be prudent when granting administrators access to unknown people.
Employing the principle of least privilege will help you stay high and dry rather than risking it all by giving blanket access to every newcomer! The golden keywords are to remain alert always! For example, granting access to the payments page is not needed for someone who is probably just contributing a guest blog on your site.
6. Deploy Multi-Factor Authentication wherever possible:
MFA or Multi-Factor Authentication is the deployment of an additional layer of security such as an OTP sent to a registered number or on the registered email id, or a biometric mode of authentication such as fingerprint, etc. This serves to ensure that even if hackers crack your passcode, they won’t be able to access the OTP sent on your phone number.
On that note, we have emphasized six tried and tested cybersecurity tips for bloggers that will help them ace their blogging game like a pro and keep hackers away! The first and foremost step will definitely be to invest in the right kind of SSL certificate for your blogging website.
If you own a website that has multiple first-level subdomains such as payments, blog, product pages, etc., under the main domain, we suggest going for a wildcard SSL certificate.
A highly cost-effective measure, this saves you the hassle of managing separate certs as well! Besides this, one must also practice robust password hygiene, use VPN when browsing on public Wi-Fi networks and employ multi-factor authentication to cover all the chinks in their armor. Got more to share? Let us know in the comments box below!