Protecting your blog from a cyber attack
A guest post by Frankie Wallace.
As well as educating and entertaining the world, you, as a blogger, should also be aware of the risk of a cyber attack.
This is because if you use a computer, hackers can find a way into your system. The trick is being aware of current threats and taking the appropriate steps to prevent them.
So, before you write your next post, take a serious look at your system security with these tips and tricks.
Understand the risks
The last thing any blogger needs is a cyber attack. Especially if you have a new blog, and you are trying to get off of the ground.
Hackers can use any piece of personal information they can get their hands on to cause havoc. Even from simply collecting email addresses, hackers can use these to infiltrate the accounts of your subscribers and access their private info.
There are many different ways that hackers can access your website, usually through various social engineering attacks.
One of the biggest threats is phishing emails. These can look like legitimate communications, but typically contain a link or attachment. These, when opened, create a doorway for hackers to enter your system.
Phishing attacks are usually successful because they instil a sense of panic. This is usually through a fake email that appears to be from your bank, boss or some other authority. It gives the impression that you absolutely must click the link. Avoid falling for this trap by only clicking links or attachment from trusted sources.
Another successful hacking trick is water holing. This is the practice of attacking a specific group of people by directing a virus to a blog they regularly use. Once users log in or visit the site, the virus then spreads to them.
These are just a few examples of malicious cyber attacks. The trick is to prepare your blog so the attacks cannot happen in the first place.
Prepare your site
You cannot be expected to be aware of every potential cyber threat in existence. However, you can do your best to prepare your site for the most common ones.
Inform anyone who works on your blogs of the danger of phishing emails. Make sure everyone uses complex passwords that include letters, numbers, and special characters.
If you are really serious about security, you could become certified in cybersecurity to protect your site. You could take advantage of this and earn additional income by blogging about tips that others can use.
It is also necessary to have a backup system in place so your website and user data remain secure in the event of an attack. You can back up this essential data on a hard drive, the cloud, or with the help of a backup service.
Your backup plan is only beneficial if your systems work, so always maintain your servers and update your software whenever necessary.
You should also prohibit the ability of your followers to upload data onto your website, as this gives hackers the easiest route to uploading a virus. It’s okay to have a form where customers can provide their email and contact information, but be wary of clicking on any links they provide.
If you absolutely must allow uploads, whether for a contest or other activity, have those uploads diverted to a separate folder away from your site.
After a cyber attack
Even if you do everything you can, attacks still have the potential to occur. And if they do, you need to act swiftly.
You will want to educate yourself on the steps to restore your blog if you do become the victim of a virus or data breach. Go to your backups and restore and encrypt all necessary files so they cannot be copied.
Look at the logs created by your antivirus software. See where the hacks occurred so you can better fortify the holes. This software needs to be updated whenever a new version is available and have the program set up to do an automatic scan at least once per week.
You also want a firewall engaged to protect your system from external attacks.
If your blog is hit by a cyber attack and any subscriber information has been stolen, you should inform your followers immediately. Doing so will allow them to take the proper precautions to protect their own systems at home.
As a writer, your blog is your baby, and most will do anything in their power to protect it. Stay educated on current cyber threats, take the proper precautions, and your blog will stay secure.
About the author
Frankie Wallace regularly contributes to a wide variety of blogs and enjoys writing about health tips and politics. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho and is a recent graduate from the University of Montana.