10 Top Security Tips For Bloggers – A Guest Post By Cassie Phillips

Hi All, 

Happy to meet you all once again with an informative piece. 🙂

Today I am so glad to introduce our guest author Cassie Phillips.  She is a wonderful online writer who writes mainly about Internet Security, and how it relates to many different aspects such as travel, blogging, life, kids and various other subjects.  She also wrote several informative posts on Apps to help you manage our daily life.  She is one of the regular writer on “Secure Thoughts” one of the leading technology security information portals on the internet.

In this Guest Post she writes about 10 Essential Security Tips all bloggers make note of! 

Thank you Cassie, for your kind presence here with an informative post. 🙂

I appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts for my readers.  

We Wish you all the best for a wonderful time ahead of sharing your knowledge with your fellow beings.  

Keep up the good work.
For Philipscom Associates

signature

Philip Verghese ‘Ariel’

 

 

 

 

 

Over to Cassie…

 

Dear Philipscom Readers,

I am so glad to be here at Philipscom, and I’d like to thank Philip Verghese ‘Ariel’ for kindly allowing me to share this information with you! His blog is a great place to read about a variety of topics from an intelligent and interesting perspective. Bloggers can’t miss his recent article on the speed of your webpage

Whether you’re a blogging newbie excited to get your voice heard or an expert focused on your editorial schedule, it’s important that you don’t let your blog’s security fall by the wayside. Not only would a security breach be a threat to your source of income or favorite hobby, but you could also harm your beloved readers in the process.

 

10 Top Security Tips For Bloggers    

Here are ten tips to help bloggers keep their site secure:

bloggingtips

  1. Choose strong passwords.

This is the most basic security tip, but it’s as important as ever. Remember, you’re only as strong as your weakest link, so every single one of your accounts needs a secure password. Any one of them can be used to gather sensitive information or gain access to another one of your accounts.

Strong passwords will include a variety of numbers and upper- and lowercase letters, and avoid words from the dictionary and other meaningful combinations of numbers or letters (such as your birth year, for example). Of course, never repeat a password for more than one site.

Unfortunately, remembering a deluge of passwords can be a bit tricky, and writing them down or storing them on your computer is another fatal security mistake. Password managers are a powerful tool for making this feasible. This is a program that will save your passwords and automatically fill them in for you. Its database is controlled by one master password, meaning that you’ve shaved down the number of passwords you have to remember to a single one. LastPass, a favorite of mine, will also help you out by generating strong passwords.

  1. Change your username.                                                                                                                                                                                                  When you sign up for a WordPress blog, you will automatically receive “admin” as a username. Keeping that as-is is a huge mistake. If you don’t change it, you are giving up half the battle of hacking into your website. Criminals now only have to guess your password, effectively negating the service’s two-step authentication. Change your username to something unique, that’s almost as hard to figure out as your password.

The easiest way to do this is to create a new administrator account and delete the old one. You can also use a plugin or make the change directly in your WordPress database. For step-by-step instructions, check out this article on changing your WordPress username.

  1. Make sure to update.

Update your computer, update your browser, update your blogging software, update your phone, update your antivirus. Update everything, as soon as possible! Updates will often include fixes for security problems, and therefore neglecting to update will leave you open to all sorts of threats that already have solutions!

However, be aware of what exactly you’re agreeing to. For example, many phone apps will ask for additional permissions that they don’t really need in an effort to obtain your personal information. It’s also a common hacker tactic to disguise a virus as Windows Update or Adobe Flash.

How can you tell the difference? There are a few tricks. Legitimate software won’t usually send you an email about updating, and most programs will prompt you to update when you open it, rather than creating a pop-up reminder. To improve your chances of only agreeing to real updates, set your software to update automatically whenever possible. That way, you aren’t tempted to click on update pop-ups before you’re sure they’re safe!

  1. Be careful about public WiFi.

You might be the type of blogger who works best on the go in your favorite coffee shop, or maybe you’re a travel blogger on the road or in airports. But you need to know that public WiFi isn’t safe. A hacker signed onto the same network can see what you’re doing, trick you into downloading malware,  pass all of your data through their device before it goes on to its destination or even directly access your computer. Obviously, this is a huge security risk!

There are a few ways to protect yourself if you insist on using public WiFi. Make sure you’re using the “public WiFi” option in Windows, so that your computer knows not to trust the connection. Turn off sharing within your network, and keep your WiFi off if you’re not using it. Set your important websites to use HTTPS (which can be aided with the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension). Lastly, you should seriously consider using a VPN.

 

  1. Use a VPN.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN), works like a tunnel, taking your information from source to destination safely, and preventing others from interfering. VPNs have multiple uses, but most of them boil down to increasing security.

This means that if a hacker does manage to access your data, all they will see is encrypted information. Since hackers think like more familiar types of thieves, they are unlikely to even try to bust through this defense, and will move on to easier targets. Many VPN providers will also include anti-malware and/or anti-spyware measures in the service, adding protection to whatever anti-virus you’re already using.

Everyone should subscribe to one of the many VPN choices, but there are certain situations in which you really need one, such as when using public unsecured WiFi or handling sensitive data. If you truly want to keep yourself and your readers safe, you’ll want to use a VPN.

 

blogging tips 2

 

6.  Only use themes and plugins that you trust.

By using a theme or a plugin, you’re giving the developer permission to add code to your website. This could compromise the data of you and/or your users, or allow hackers to insert spam links, malicious code, and/or viruses.

If you don’t know and trust the source, don’t use it. How can you tell which themes and plugins are safe? If it’s in the official WordPress catalog of themes, it’s probably fine. Other reputable companies include Woothemes, Elegant Themes and StudioPress. Reputable companies will offer support along with their themes, so email or call them to find out how legitimate their business is before you install a new theme or plugin.

  1. Limit access to your site when networking.

Every blogger knows the value of networking. However, just because someone wants to write for your site, it doesn’t mean that they have pure intentions. Don’t give someone you don’t know access to your site. If you absolutely must (for example, if they’re going to be a long-term contributor), then don’t give them blanket administrator privileges. Be prudent.

  1. Don’t send usernames and passwords via email.

Even if all your guest bloggers are truly trustworthy, hackers aren’t. If that email gets intercepted, someone will have access to your site without your permission, and that can have disastrous results.

So how should you be sharing account information with your associates? You can tell someone to change their password as soon as possible after your email, but that doesn’t ensure that they will.

Here’s another reason that LastPass can come in handy. If two people have a LastPass account, they can share account information without fear. Once you have the extension installed, you can click on the “share” icon next to the site whose information you want to share. It looks like a couple of silhouettes. You then have the option of “giving” the recipient the password, meaning they will be shown the password, or “sharing” it with them, meaning they never see your password and LastPass signs in for them.

  1. Don’t open suspicious emails.

As a blogger, I’m sure you correspond with a variety of people. There’s nothing wrong with that, but make sure that your spam filter is doing its job. You should also avoid emails from names that don’t sound familiar, or ones that smack of common phishing scams.

If there’s a link in an email, always hover over it with your mouse to make sure the destination matches your expectations. If it’s an email from a business or service, such as your bank, open their homepage yourself instead of clicking on any links. This is a common phishing tactic. Be careful with attachments as well, even if they’re from people you trust, and scan them before opening them. Never reply to spam, even to unsubscribe.

You can also choose from a variety of security programs that will keep your emails away from prying eyes. For example, the free service Criptext provides multiple email security services, such as allowing you to unsend an email, encrypt the included text and find out where and when your emails have been read. Other services will detect and block viruses and spam, stem any accidental leaks of data, scan links and encrypt your information.

blogging tips 3

 

10.  Keep your PC safe.

There are three primary ways to keep your computer safe: use a firewall, use an anti-virus program and back up your data.

There are two kinds of firewalls: digital and physical. Everybody uses digital firewalls, especially since they come with Windows. However, if you want extra safety, you may want to consider using another firewall. Here’s a site with some firewall reviews. If you are interested in getting a physical firewall for your home or office, here’s some reviews geared towards small business owners.

The ideal anti-virus program will take care of any program or file that it deems harmful, while also remaining open to detecting new threats that it may not have come across yet. If you are unsure of what anti-virus is best for you, here are some choices.

If the worst happens, you’re going to want to have the data from both your computer and your website backed up. Not only can you retrieve nformation to return your life to normal, but you can use a backup as a security measure. By reverting to a previous save of your computer or site, you can effectively erase any viruses or spyware that make it through your security system.

Tell us about your experiences with internet security. What have you been doing to keep yourself safe? What worked, and what didn’t? Leave a comment below to help out your fellow bloggers!

Cassie image

About the Author: Cassie Phillips is an internet security expert and blogger. She’s passionate about helping blossoming bloggers learn how to keep themselves and their readers safe and secure. You can reach her via her page: HERE

 

NOTE:

Also please read the following related, informative article written by Cassie on Lorrile’s “WordingWell” Page: Security Tips for Freelance Writers and other #Entrepreneurs

 

Picture Source: Pixabay.com

 

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by Philip Verghese 'Ariel'

A Multilingual Freelance Writer, Editor, Blogger, Roundup Expert, Translator, Internet Marketer And A Social Campaigner. Manages different sites in English as well as in Malayalam. Born And Brought Up In Kerala. Now Based At Secunderabad, Telangana, India. Can Reach At: philipscom55(@)Gmail [.] Com twitter: @PVAriel Skype Philva6

46 comments

    1. Hello Chery,
      Good to see you here again 🙂
      Thanks for the first comment.
      Yes, Cassie did a good job with this post,
      I appreciate her for the time she took to present it well for the benefit of bloggers.
      Thank you for sharing your views at kingged as well. 🙂
      May you have a wonderful time ahead.
      Keep sharing
      Best
      ~ Philip 🙂 🙂 🙂

  1. […] more information, feel free to check out Cassie’s other post, 10 Top Security Tips For Bloggers – A Guest Post By Cassie Phillips. It’s pretty […]

    1. Hi Lorraine,
      Good to hear from you and about the post on Wording Well!
      Yes, I visited and posted my feedback, thank you so much for
      the kind mention of this post on your page.
      Yes, Cassie did a good job at both pages. Yes, security is an
      important issue here and we need to handle it carefully.
      Keep sharing
      Have a good day

  2. Among all, “Be careful about public WiFi” is the most intriguing for though I know about the tendency of being hacked whenever you are using a public WiFi. On the other hand, I’m not sure how hackers do it. So I want to know more to be MORE aware.

    I must comment that security measurements are significant. Our information, works and effort necessitate us to construct strong passwords, use only trusted tools, themes or whatsoever.

    Thanks for sharing this and for reminding us to secure our accounts.

    1. Hi Metz,
      Good to hear from you again,
      Thanks for your valuable visit and the insight.
      Yes, using public WiFi is a risky job, we need
      to be careful here. yes, strong passwords are
      a must and that can surely protect our pages.
      Yes, Cassie’s reminder is no doubt a timely one.
      May you have a wonderful time ahead
      Thanks for the comment at kingged too! 🙂
      ~Philip

  3. Thanks for such a comprehensive article, Cassie.

    I’m seriously considering a VPN because Australia’s ISPs now have to log and retain details of net usage (phone use too). I think this an invasion of privacy and hasn’t been shown to reduce crime. It will be easy to track down piracy. Those who downloaded Dallas Buyer’s Club through torrent sites etc are going to be fined. Originally the film company wanted $1000’s from each offender but they’re not allowed to charge this much.

    1. Hi Jenkins,
      Nice to know that the post is very helpful to you.
      Yes, Cassie did a good job with this post.
      I am sure the related post at Lorrile’s page
      too speaks volume.
      Security is the keyword here.
      May you have a safe time of blogging ahead!
      Best
      ~ Philip

  4. Hey Philip and Cassie,

    I am a newbie and I do a lot of work at the library so what you have said about public wifi has horrified me. I am so ignorant to things like this that I just jump on and do my thing. I guess I should have thought about it more. Will check into it.

    I just checked your number 10 – keep your PC safe and I have done everything you have listed. Phew because this security stuff I know is necessary but it just is not my field.

    I am so hopeless with opening emails – and that has been problematic for me in the past and costly I must say.

    This was a great eye opener for me thank you.

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Yes, i am also surprised to note that about the use of public WiFi
      In fact the 10 tips here are really worth noting.
      Thanks Rachel for your wonderful comment here,
      Sad to know about the email business! don’t worry, time will
      teach us all. Keep going
      Nice that this post taught you something extra!
      Keep sharing
      Good day
      ~ Philip

  5. Hi Cassie,

    Welcome to Philip’s blog and thanks for sharing on such crucial topic.
    You brought up some practically neglected but important point. People connecting on public wi-fi don’t seem to see the danger. Opening just any email seems to represent a little security issue but I worked in an office where over 10 PCs were down because a staff opened an infected email. A virus was then released on the entire local network.

    Thanks for sharing these tips Cassie and buddy Philip, what a wonderful think inviting Cassie to share with us 😉
    Enstine Muki recently posted…5 Actionable Tips to Explode Blog Growth and Revenue + ExamplesMy Profile

    1. Hi Enstine,
      What a pleasant surprise to see you here after a long time!
      Nice that you landed here again.
      Thank you so much buddy for the insight you brought in,
      Yes, as it is said the public WiFi thing is really an unknown thing to me,
      I am glad that Cassie brought out all those in this post. Yes, I am glad
      that she shared a lot of wonderful information on security here,
      So glad to note that tomorrow you will show your face on your wonderful plugin
      called MyCommentAuthors!!!! LOL
      So glad to note this again
      Keep sharing my dear friend
      May you have a wonderful and profitable week ahead
      Best
      ~ Phil

  6. Hi Philip Sir and Cassie Ma’am.
    Amazing informative post and I love the way you taught us to be careful with our blog security.
    I don’t know this, having a unique username does the trick because it can be found on a WordPress site apparently.
    It is easy to find out admin username from author URL.
    Overall, it was packed with information.
    Thanks for sharing these wonderful information at Philipscom. 🙂
    Have a nice day to both of you.:-)
    -Vashishta
    Vashishtha Kapoor recently posted…CB passive Income Review : Is it really worth a Try?My Profile

  7. Hi, Philip and Cassie,

    Wow, what an excellent job covering this all-important topic of security for bloggers. I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

    We can never ever be too careful, and having something horrible happen only once definitely brings this stark reality home.

    Your ten tips are spot on, Cassie, and I will definitely be spreading the word…

    Have a great day.

    ~Carol
    Carol Amato recently posted…Want A Successful Blog? Stop Doing These 4 Stupid ActivitiesMy Profile

    1. Hi Carol,
      Yes, Cassie shared a very serious subject in this post.
      A must read and to be noted by all bloggers. 🙂
      The ten tips shared here are indeed spot on.
      Thanks for the share
      Keep visiting
      Have a good day
      ~ Phillip

  8. Hi Philip

    Cassie nailed it with this post. Security is important and these days if you are not secured, you will be digitally deformed. So Cassie lists all the top notch advice that will keep every blogger safe on the internet.

    Thanks Cassie for an awesome info and thumbs up Philip for a great share

  9. Hey Cassie and Philip,

    There’s one thing I have experience in and that is blog security as well as network security. This was a great post and she was right on point!

    Probably my worst experience was working 18 hours straight at my job trying to get rid of a virus LOL.. that wasn’t fun but worth the experience. The most recent experience I had was dealing with malware on my blog. Slowly but surely my blog started to deteriorate which was a great indicator that I needed to purchase a security software. I got Sucuri and they were a great help!

    But yes internet security/blog security is very important. Especially after you put in a lot of work into your site. One of the worst feelings is being crippled because your site was compromised by a hacker. But if you follow these tips, then your site and computer will be a lot safer!

    Thanks for sharing Cassie and thanks Philip for having her!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Blogging Strategies: 6 Extremely Powerful Fail-Proof TipsMy Profile

  10. Hi Phillip/Cassie,
    To say that this type of post is useful is an understatement. It is highly recommendable for every blogger or Internet business. Internet security should never be down played. Every opportunity to increase the security of a website must be embraced!

    The tips shared are useful. However, the tip that really caught my attention more is the use Virtual Private Network or VPN as it is often called. I have never applied this tip before, and it seem to be the more effective security strategy than the other tips shared.

    Well, thanks for sharing this post and I am inspired to checkout the best VPN packages around!

    I left the above comment in kingged.com as well

  11. Hi Philip and hello casie,

    Really very good set of tips. I was also working on same idea which I postponed for some reasons.

    This is most important aspect for any blogger, security. As we have all our hard work and dreams on cloud, there is more possibility of being exploited by hackers.

    So along with all other things security is also the most important thing to be concerned about. Really useful tips, great to see you here casie and thanks philip for such a nice guest post.
    Susheel karam recently posted…How To Use Lite Mode On Xiaomi MIUI 7My Profile

  12. That’s a great article, Cassie!
    However, I would like to add two more points – one is you can password protect your admin directory and two, you can whitelist your IP address so that only you have access to the admin and login page.
    What do you think about that?

  13. Great post by Cassie. As a newbie blogger, this information was really helpful to me. I had no idea that hackers can disguise viruses even in an update. Now I would be more careful. Thanks again for sharing this Philip.

  14. Hi Philip, Hi Cassie,

    Useful information for bloggers and some tips are for non-bloggers as well. Security of our online accounts and identity should be a top priority for anyone online.

    I don’t remember worrying much about the security aspect of blogging while I was on Blogger. Two-step authentication and a strong password and that’s pretty much all I did for security there.

    On WordPress it’s different, I worry even after taking all the suggested measures to keep my blog safe.

    I don’t open links within emails unless I know the sender. If I really have to find out about a link, I simply search for the site, if it’s there great, if not…I leave it. I need to find out more about VPN and Criptext.

    Thank you both of you for this helpful post. 🙂
    Priya Sharma recently posted…Vacation Time!My Profile

  15. Great information I am not aware of all these things. I am using wordfence for wordpress security which is perfect but other things oh my god..we really need to be careful thank you very much for sharing such a useful information Cassie Phillips and Philip Verghese ‘Ariel’.

  16. Hi Philip, Cassie,

    What a detailed post on security tips.

    We need to keep everything about us safe especially our blogs. I never knew that I could be in danger when using a public WIFI but funny enough I always turn off sharing while using it.

    I’ve not thought of using VPN but from this post I think it’s the best way to keep safe from hackers.

    Thanks for sharing these spot on tips.

    Have a great day

  17. Hi Cassie,

    Your tips are right on point and need to be practiced by everyone. If I ever see a blogger that has “admin” as their name, I will shoot them an email or PM to tell them the dangers of doing that. Some new people just don’t know.

    When it comes to passwords, mine are so long and crazy and yes, I do change them frequently. I never used my computer in a public place. I have heard how that wi fi can get you into trouble, so why even bother to chance it?

    Most of all, when it comes to plugins, I am super careful. A long time ago I had too many and broke my blog. Lesson learned: less is more!

    Thanks for your great tips,

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Your Blog Is Your Business CardMy Profile

  18. Cassie and Philip

    Excellent article on security tips. I had no idea about what a VPN choice might be.
    I will share this valueable article and that will be my tag line as I don’t think that
    is very widely known information.

    So great reference list for security, something every blogger needs to know.

  19. I’ve thwarted my fair share of suspicious emails and activity on the net, but still end up with a computer virus every now and then. The extra tips are greatly appreciated!

    -Laurie

  20. Using a VPN is a great way to stay really secure. It’s important to be aware of your internet security to stay safe. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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