Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Blog on Social Media?
Your blog is a more valuable possession than you might think. It is linked to hundreds or thousands of subscribers and readers, and all of them have information that might be profitable to hackers or other data miners. You have a responsibility to protect them, and the best way you can do that is to protect your blog.
You also likely use social media to help expand the reach of your blog and bring in new readers you’d never get otherwise. This is an excellent decision on every level, but on social media lurk threats and opportunists you’d otherwise never have to think about. These are dangers that can absolutely be defended against, so long as you know what to do.
Here are some of the most important things to know when you want to protect yourself and your blog on social media:
Know Basic Computer and Internet Security Habits
The importance of knowing the most simple of tips and habits that people use every day to protect themselves can’t be overstated. You might be forgetting one or more of the following, so pay attention to these reminders:
- You need to keep your security suite and firewalls activated, and if you don’t have them, then you need to get them. Remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to security and that you need to update the software and your computer regularly so there are no vulnerabilities. Malware can easily lead to the theft of your private blog info.
- Don’t explore the internet and social media wildly looking for new places to branch out. Use a focused approach that won’t endanger your computer and thus your blog. You’ll run into fewer scams and entrapping websites if you follow the recommendations of others.
- Remember that privacy is your friend online and, except for calculated moves, you should try to remain anonymous as possible. Privacy is another layer of protection most people overlook; you don’t need to tell people things such as your address or current whereabouts, even on your social media accounts.
- Be careful what you download. No matter what protections you have, some really bad programs can get on your computer if you give them permission. The same goes for plugins and toolbars: don’t trust anything immediately. Such programs can take notes on your social media logins and steal your accounts once the info is sent to the “app” creator.
Beware of Public Networks
A danger that is particularly rampant among bloggers and social media professionals is data and account theft stemming from public network use. Hackers on these networks use simple “sniffing” programs that allow them to monitor and intercept all data that is traveling over a public network unprotected. This can include the account and verification information for your blogs and social media accounts. You can see where this road leads.
Your best defense for this particular kind of attack is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a service that connects you to an offsite server while encrypting your connection. Hackers won’t be able to see what you’re doing, you’ll maintain a hidden IP address (to stay private), and you’ll even be able to access websites and services that might otherwise be blocked depending on where you are. This allows you to communicate on social media (and watch Netflix when you want to slack off) no matter what country you’re traveling to for your blog.
Know the Types of Scams and Dangers for Each Platform
Each social media platform carries with it particular dangers and advantages. You won’t find too many dangers on Pinterest, but not too many blogs can take advantage of Pinterest like they can with Twitter or Facebook. You likely aren’t going to be using every single platform, so take some time to study up on your favorites.
It would take too much space to go over every single platform, but the shorter-form platforms such as Twitter are more likely to use malicious links to a malware-spreading website than other platforms. Facebook users need to look out more for scams and hacked accounts spreading bad information. Don’t trust anything that tells you that expanding your audience is easy or that for a small fee you can get hundreds of followers. It’s never so simple, and once they get you in their hands it can be hard to get away.
Don’t look up this information just once and leave it alone after that. Check every couple of weeks to see if new threats or scams have emerged. Not only will you be able to help yourself, but you’ll be able to help your friends and fellow bloggers as well. No one deserves to get scammed or hacked.
Have a Backup Plan
Never put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to your blog or the internet in general. Even if you are going to be the most secure blogger to ever walk the planet, new threats might arise that no one is prepared for, especially on social media where they can spread faster than the response. Make sure that you have a full copy of your blog or website stored offline (preferably on a flash drive or SSD drive) so that you can bring everything back online in the event of an attack.
In regards to social media, have multiple verification measures wherever possible and know the procedures for each website you use in case you get hacked. A quick and proper response will be the difference between an inconvenience and an account lost to you forever, along with a large number of scared blog followers. There’s help out there, but you need to know how to find it.
Proper social media use is a necessity to succeed in today’s online world, so going in head first is the right way to go. Just make sure to look before you leap, and to use the best tools and habits you can so your work doesn’t get stolen. Your blog is far too important to befall such a fate.
Do you have any specific concerns regarding social media platforms and potential holes that haven’t been patched up yet? Have you been attacked or otherwise harassed on a social media network when all you wanted to do was promote your blog? Do you have any other tips that can be shared with your fellow readers? Please leave a comment below and continue this important conversation.