This blog is a little out of the ordinary for my personal blog, but today my personal life and professional life are intersecting. By day, I am a technology manager, charged with supporting software applications, building technology solutions for complex business problems, and making sure those solutions are secure and our end-users are properly trained. By night, I usually blog about those random things in life that inspire me. Lately, that has been security.
As this is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), I have been running a campaign at work to raise end-user awareness about simple security tips to use at work and home, as well as posting information on social media under my personal accounts. As a member of the “Stop. Think. Connect.” global online safety awareness campaign, I use many of their materials for this initiative. And when I came across “Safety Tips for Bloggers” I figured I would share this week, as the theme is “Our Continuously Connected Lives,” hoping I could share some useful information with my readers.
25% of smartphone owners ages 18-44 say they can’t remember the last time their phone wasn’t next to them.
We have become a widely connected society. Never without our cell phones. Internet connected cars and appliances, fitness trackers and watches. The Internet of Things. After the mass Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack last week that disrupted internet sites, took control of cameras and baby monitors, no one should feel they are safe or immune from attack. Even bloggers.
In 2013, 65% of marketers blog (or plan to), but only 9% of companies were employing full-time bloggers.
Blogging can be a very personal activity, but some of the information shared can be used to gain access to online accounts; photos can be taken; sites can be compromised; and threats and harassing comments can be made. So with that in mind, here are a few Cybersecurity Tips for Bloggers:
- Think twice before you post. There is no delete button so even if you do delete a post, tweet, or comment, someone could have gotten a screenshot first.
- Limit what you share. Consider what personal information you share online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely, especially if, like me, you are just blogging for fun and this isn’t a job. Check your blogging service’s settings for search engines and visibility.
- Control the comments. No one likes a cyberbully or a troll. So if you can control the comments by reviewing before posting, that can prevent spam, malware links, and harassing comments.
- Consider going Anonymous. No, not the hacking group. If your blog is public, consider using a pen name. It was good enough for Mark Twain!
- Think about those pictures too. Your images can be easily stolen from the site. In 2012, 26% of identity theft victims were between the age of six and ten, so think about those pictures of kids too!
- Don’t believe everything you read. Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
- See something, say something. Report suspicious or harassing activity to your blogging service. Block users if you can. And report threats to law enforcement.
- Protect yourself. Use strong passwords. MyDogLikesFood is fair. MyD0gL1k3sF00d! is better. And don’t write them down in a notepad on your iPhone. Siri can open up that note for anyone who gets your phone. Consider using a password keeper site or app. My favorite is Keeper.
- Back up your data. As I used to say to my backup administrators: “You are only as good as your last backup.” There are a lot of good online services or invest in one or two external hard drives at home. And your blogging service probably provides a service as well.
Cybersecurity really is a team sport! Let’s all work together to make the internet a safe and fun environment for all. If you found this information useful, please consider sharing my blog.
Do you have any tips or questions about security and blogging?