What bloggers should know about cybersecurity
A guest post by Frankie Wallace.
How secure is your blogging business? Are you up to speed on cybersecurity?
Most people know about the newsworthy security breaches of major corporations such as Marriott and Target, but it is important to remember that even smaller companies can be targeted by hackers and scammers.
Luckily, being aware of potential cybersecurity threats is a good first step towards achieving the security your small business needs. This post provides some expert knowledge and helpful methods to prevent common cybersecurity threats.
The cybersecurity threat is real
Hackers are more likely to go after big companies which have huge amounts of customer data. This data includes credit card numbers, email addresses, even customers’ buying habits. Often the hackers gain access to this private information via extensive phishing scams and exploitation of weak passwords. However, big companies are not the only victims.
Hackers prefer to go for the easy money. Private information can also be gleaned from smaller businesses and even individuals, and this information can be sold to black market dealers or used to drain your bank accounts.
Some of the easiest ways that hackers breach small businesses is by taking advantage of those with unsecured devices and poor data backup processes. That is why so many are opting for cloud-based services to keep important data secure and accessible from anywhere.
So what does a blogger have on their system that hackers might want? First, they can steal your identity and use it to open credit cards. They can also mess with your taxes, and even get medical treatment on your dime.
And what about your work? You want to make sure someone doesn’t steal what you’ve written to try to pass it off as their own. Or worse, gain access to the backend of your blog and erase all your hard work.
Keep your equipment secure
Your start-up blogging business with a couple of employees under your belt needs you to keep your equipment and network secure.
If you share information electronically, work online on sites like WordPress, or go online periodically for research, you need to set your cybersecurity standards now.
The main gateway for a hacker is a password which is too simple. Make sure that everyone has complex passwords using a symbol and upper and lowercase letters. And remember to update them often.
Next, make sure every computer in your network has valid antivirus software. Many of these programs can be downloaded for free and installed in minutes. You can set it to detect certain viruses and scams. Remember to run a virus scan regularly and update the software whenever a new version is released.
Most importantly, it is imperative to keep aware of current hacker trends, to prevent being caught off guard by the latest scam. Hackers like to use email phishing scams to access your computer.
When you are emailed by your blogging clients, ensure their email address is the same as what you have on file. Check their email doesn’t have misspellings and grammar errors. And don’t open any suspicious attachments unless you know it is coming in advance.
Stay safe out on the road
The great thing about being a blogger is that you can do it from anywhere. However, threats can occur everywhere. So whether you are a travel blogger or you just like to write in a library or local coffee shop, it is essential to be aware of potential cyber threats while you are on the road.
One of the biggest threats when you are out and about is public Wi-Fi. Unfortunately this is usually insecure, making it easy for a hacker to get into your system and implement their viruses and spyware. If you absolutely must use Wi-Fi in public, try to use a private network or VPN which makes your location private and only visit websites that have HTTPS before the web address. The S stands for secure.
While you are traveling around, never leave your devices unattended. Also turn off your location sharing so criminals can’t tell when you are not with your device.
Before going on longer trips, update your operating system to most current protection. Finally, only use Bluetooth when you absolutely necessary, as this is another route hackers use to obtain and steal your private information and also your clients’.
How is your cybersecurity?
Everyone always thinks that cybercrime won’t happen to them, but the truth is that no one is immune to cybersecurity threats.
Heed these tips and keep your blogging business safe and 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.