infoTECH Feature

September 26, 2016

Security Becomes a Bigger Priority in Blogging Industry

As cyber attacks and threats increase, website security is becoming an even larger issue for businesses. And while bloggers tend to do their own thing and slip through the cracks, recent events have shown that even the smallest blogs need to take security seriously.

How Blogs are Stepping Up Their Security “Game”

All you have to do is ask well-known technology blogger Robert Scoble about the importance of security, and he’ll tell you just how serious this issue is.

One day, Scoble discovered that at least two months of his blog entries had been deleted by malicious hackers and replaced with perverted code that pointed to pornography websites. As a result, Google (News - Alert) removed his site from its index and he was left feeling exposed and embarrassed. 

As Scoble wrote in a follow-up blog post, “So, once this happens, how do you feel safe again?” The answer is you don’t. In an effort to avoid experiences like these, bloggers are buckling down on their security efforts and taking proactive stances.

Here are some of the things they’re doing:

More Frequent Updates

One of Scoble’s biggest issues was that he hadn’t upgraded his blog software to the latest version. This left him exposed to vulnerabilities. He also failed to backup his files, which proved to be another mistake.

“Bloggers are more into writing than into site maintenance,” security expert Denis Sinegubko says. “They do not always upgrade their blogs when security patches are available, leaving blogs vulnerable for a long time.” This is slowly changing, though. Blogging software providers are putting more emphasis on timely updates and their customers are paying attention.

Stronger Passwords

As you know, many hackers find their way into accounts via rudimentary methods. In the case of blogs, hackers will often try logging into admin accounts by using default passwords that haven’t ever been changed.

As bloggers become aware of this simple entry point, more and more admin account passwords are being changed. Many are even investing in two-factor authentication methods to double-down on security.

Meticulous Preparation

While some bloggers have web developers create blogs for them and then hand over the keys, this is becoming a less popular practice. Many bloggers have discovered that it’s actually fairly easy to take a DIY approach, and are benefitting from the hands-on nature of the process.

When bloggers are involved in the process of setting up, building, and designing their blogs, they get to see the ins and outs of what’s happening beneath the surface. This makes them hyper-aware of issues and gives them the opportunity to secure loopholes, should they arise. 

No More Public WiFi (News - Alert)

“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,” Internet security expert Cassie Phillips tells bloggers. “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.”

As WiFi becomes more ubiquitous in society, bloggers are being forced to learn more about the security aspects of public networks. As a result, many are choosing to forgo working in coffee shops, and instead opting for working at home under the protection of a private network.

Improved Security Solutions

Over just the past 12-18 months, numerous website security solutions have entered the marketplace. Bloggers are beginning to do their own research and adopting tools to prevent against malware infections and brute-force attacks. Some of the top choices include solutions like Sucuri, 6Scan Security, BulletProof Security, and Wordfence.

Website Security is Finally a Priority

It’s taken more than a decade of repetitive conversations and education about the rising dangers of cyber security threats to get people to listen, but it appears that website security is finally becoming a big priority – even for bloggers who tend to lag behind large corporate web developers.

This is a good sign for the IT industry and a bad sign for hackers. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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