Setting up and running a WordPress blog for the very first time can be super exciting. Unfortunately, it is tempting to get so caught up in building your site and posting content that you forget that there is the potential for threats to your site’s security and your personal safety. For this reason, you should understand exactly what it is that cyber criminals are after, and then you can begin to take steps to safeguard the security of your blog as well as your personal safety. Following are some important safety and security tips for WordPress bloggers.
What Are the Biggest Threats to a Commercial Blog?
If it is the integrity of your blog site that you are concerned with, the first thing you need to understand would be the biggest threats that can cause your blog to come tumbling down. Most often cyber criminals are savvy, but their threats don’t go viral. Typically the biggest threat to a commercial blog would be that the hackers are simply (although the ramifications are by no way simple!) looking to access your clients’ personal data or perhaps steal the intellectual property of your firm.
Hacking into a Client Database
Most often these cyber thieves are seeking some monetary gain. For example, when hacking into your client database, they could be looking for credit card information to use in fraudulent transactions or they could be seeking actually to steal a list of your clients along with their contact information to sell as ‘leads,’ posing as a leads generation organization. The bottom line is that cyber theft of a corporate database is usually for purposes of monetary gain.
Theft of Intellectual Property
Unscrupulous professionals often seek to ride the coat tails of companies and other professionals that have done the groundwork and are on the verge of some amazing breakthrough, often in technology. By hacking into that company or individual’s system, they often seek to hit the market first before the rightful owner to the technological advance can get off the ground running. It has been seen time and again where one company sues another for the rights to a patent that should have been theirs. Quite often this type of attack is either perpetrated by an insider or leaked to an outsider for personal gain.
Cyber Theft of Trade Secrets
However, it should be understood that cyber theft is not limited to the private sector. In the recent news over the past year, there has been much talk in regards to China’s cyber theft of trade secrets from the United States. While President Obama along with the support of Congress toyed with sanctions against China, the damage had already been done. Sanctions can’t give back what was stolen but are intended to prevent further attacks.
Safety Threats towards Individual Bloggers
Much like threats toward companies and even governments, individuals can be targeted as well. Sometimes it is for purposes of identification theft to gain access to financial accounts such as credit cards and bank accounts, but there is also the threat to the person’s physical safety as well. If a cybercriminal can access the blogger’s hard drive, it is possible to find all sorts of personal information like the blogger’s address, telephone number and even their place of employment.
Obviously, the blogger has Internet access to research, write and upload content so if careful attention isn’t given to preventing outside access to their Hard Drive, the hacker can do anything from taking control of the blogger’s computer to learning everything there is to know about that blogger. There are times when the blogger is stalked, and there is even potential for the hacker to inflict physical injury by stalking their prey.
It is frightening to think that there are people out there with enough IT knowledge to write complicated programs with the intent of gaining physical access to the blogger. They may be sick enough to carry out heinous crimes, but that does not negate their intelligence.
How to Safeguard Your Personal or Corporate Information
It is always recommended that bloggers should, for their safety as well as the security of the company they work for, install top-of-the-line Internet security to protect them from being hacked. Whether you, as a blogger, use Windows, Linux or Apple operating systems, there is Internet security software that keeps hackers out. You can find a good example of Internet security for Mac users here. This will help you understand that the cost is cheap, the software is easy to install and user-friendly, but it can save you an unlimited amount of money and help protect your personal safety.
Altogether too many individuals and companies fail to heed the warnings and by so doing leave themselves open to cyber-attack. If you have Internet access and maintain a WordPress blog, it is in your best interest to install those safeguards today. And as one final piece of advice, you may also want to create an alias when blogging. Hide behind your anonymity and security software. Truly an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.