If you are reading this, chances are you are a blogger who is just starting out or hoping to bring your website to the next level. A major part of doing so is understanding SEO optimization and all of the complicated procedures that involves. Yet you cannot become so eager that you forget one of the most important things about your website: its security.
There are plenty of cyber criminals who are willing to scam bloggers into thinking that they have the secret formula that will take you to the top of the SEO charts. On the other hand, there are plenty of websites online that you might stumble on that will be infected with malware that attacks your computer when you are just hoping to learn some new information. You need to know what to look out for when starting this online journey.
Here are some of the main things you need to know when you are trying to build your audience:
Don’t Forget to Protect Your Website
Before you embark on a quest to improve your SEO and get more readers coming to your blog, have you considered the security situation of that very blog? Unfortunately, most websites are woefully underprepared when it comes to cyber attacks and hackers, and it shows in the thousands of websites that are attacked every single day. Sometimes hackers aren’t even directly involved and use a program to automatically scan and attack weak websites, which could include yours.
Here are a few things that you should do to secure your website right now:
- Make sure that everything is up to date. Plugins can become vulnerable very quickly and you need to make sure that the platform you are using is fully up to date. Most updates involve an important security patch.
- Check to see what the community on your website is like. Do you get comments that are hateful or otherwise trying to include spam links? It’s best to clean up house first before looking outwards.
- Out of the plugins or scripts you do have, are there any that are security oriented? It might be a wise time to invest.
- Secure your account by making sure you have multiple verification methods and strong passwords that no one can guess. Do the same for your email as it is an easy gateway for a hacker to get control of your website (along with other things).
Be Careful When Travelling
In order to maintain your website and make it grow, you need to squeeze the most out of every minute of time you have. That means that you might be looking up potential keywords at the airport or while waiting for a friend to show up at a café. Unfortunately, the public networks you are likely to use will be unsafe due to hackers commonly intercepting data over those networks. The stolen data can include your website login info, financial data and just about anything else you send or receive over the network.
It is for this reason that you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you intend on working on your website outside of your home or secure office. A VPN is a service that will connect your device to an offsite secure server via an encrypted connection. This means that your browsing habits will remain anonymous no matter what network you use and that no one will be able to intercept your data. All you need to figure out is which VPN is a good call for protecting your website.
Scammers Are Everywhere
As someone looking to improve their SEO optimization, the most common threat you will have to face is scammers (or naïve fools) who think that they know the secret blood magic that goes into the algorithms of SEO. They don’t. They’re no different than the people that try to convince you that you can own a Mercedes by marketing lousy energy drinks or that you can own your own piece of the Brooklyn Bridge. They’ll promise you everything for a small fee, then fail to deliver the information you expected.
This simply comes down to remembering the basic tenets of the internet that “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” and “never trust anyone on the internet.” Everyone is usually in it for themselves and you should assume as much. If the advice is commonly found and rational, you should listen to it. Otherwise, you should take it with a grain of salt and find a way to verify it. Services and tools are the same way. Don’t look for a cheap and easy option. Instead, go with what is tried and true by other website owners.
Read also – 10 Secrets of all successful Blogs [Revealed]
Cautious Internet Browsing
No habit or tool is going to protect you if you go on the wrong websites in search of SEO tips or tools and download the wrong thing. Even visiting the wrong website can trigger the download of malware onto your computer, and it only goes downhill from there. You should practice these safe browsing habits when you are researching SEO optimization:
- Do not download anything from any website unless you are 100 percent certain of what it is. Anything could be malware or another malicious program in disguise, and getting it off of your computer is an extremely tricky (and expensive) business.
- You need to have a general idea of the websites you are going to visit. Ideally, they should be reputable with people you trust backing them up in at least some capacity. The blogger community is generally helpful when it comes to this, but immediately leave a website if you feel suspicious.
- If you are talking to someone online, don’t trust them immediately. See if there is a way to verify who they say they are and work from there.
- Always have a firewall and scanner on. Don’t turn your security off, and don’t listen to anyone who tells you to turn your tools off.
You need to take every step you can in order to make your website or blog as popular and relevant it can possibly be. That doesn’t mean you should slack off when it comes to your own cyber security, as just one attack or bad call can mean the destruction of all your hard work. Be cautious when online, and don’t always believe what you hear. Working on SEO is a lot of work, so don’t fall prey to an “easy solution” only to regret it later.
Have you had any close calls with scammers and other cybercriminals looking to take advantage of bloggers? Have you had any other security related issues when trying to build up your website? Please tell us what happened or let us know anything else that’s on your mind by leaving a comment below and joining the conversation.