Why Cyber Security Is Important For Bloggers?

cyber security importance

In this digital world, every device that connects to the internet is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Speaking of that, even bloggers are not immune. There are bloggers who take the highest possible security measures for their blogs but still a little flaw could ruin their hard work in a matter of time.

There was a time when hacking was not taken seriously on a global level. Organizations and governments never took it seriously until the worst of cyber attacks on the infrastructures with growing technologies took place and the awareness moved up. From then till now and from now onwards, cyber security is something of higher importance to think about. From little to big businesses to global enterprises, cyber security has became a top priority.

So, in such cases, the bloggers, whether the experienced ones or the newcomers in the field, all of them have to take information security very seriously. The consequences of a cyber attack could be long-lasting, worst with damages and could ruin your whole digital life - depending on the intensity of breach and exposure of data. 

Let's say, for example, if your single account is associated with different blogs, sensitive data, in fact even your whole digital life (e.g. social media accounts, gaming accounts, official or personal data accounts etc), that somehow is taken over by someone with malicious intent, where would you end up? Or let's say, if you're an admin of a single blog with hidden-to-public preferences, somehow end up losing your account into someone else's hands who can then access everything on your blog, removes all the other admins or users, access your private data, removes all your hard work (such as videos, images, etc). Then what? Even if you have a backup to restore, do you want your sensitive data to be exposed into the wrong hands?

Why Would Someone Hack You?

There are many factors where a hacker can target or the intentions could be worse than you think. For example, a hacker may not only be after your personal details or financial details. What if an hacker wants to use you as a bait? For instance, by hacking your blog, a hacker then takes control of the webserver and then from there, with your blog and your identity on the front, launches a cyber attack on higher levels or start phishing campaigns etc? Until investigated through proper channels, who will be to found guilty at first with the exposed identity and credentials? Obviously, YOU. 

At times, you won't even notice that you're hacked until your site has to go down by the host because people may begin to complaint that your blog or even you are spreading spam all around. "What a mess, I don't even know!". That is something.

Do You Collect User Data?

Okay. You probably collect users data on your blog for various reasons. Let's say, if your blog is hacked and the website is down, you probably won't worry much because you may have backups to restore the website back to its original state, change credentials and everything, and secure. Right? But what if the data you collect from your visitors is stolen and exposed to the evil hackers? Think about it. The consequences could be worse because very often, if a website is down, it can be forgiven once it is active again, even though that is annoying, but users do forgive you. But when they realize that their data is exposed, it is never forgiven. They then might spread a 'word of mouth' negatively about you, the reviews, the comments, everything could go wrong. Your reputation can be badly damaged and trust me, in the digital world, it is absolutely difficult to recover once you're exposed negatively online. 

Other Consequences of Data Breach

As aforementioned, if user data is stolen, it is a privacy breach. When there are privacy laws on a state level where your site is accessible or whichever is your target audience region, then a data breach through your blog could be worse than just bad reputation for you. Well, the privacy laws may penalize you as you've committed an act of crime because you were unable to keep user data secure. But it is an act of crime for sure because people who share their data with you are the ones who trust you.

The violations of privacy laws may cost you up to thousands of dollars of fines. So, you must be very careful when collecting data. From whichever country's users you collect data from, make sure to be aware of the privacy regulations and data protection laws. Like the United Kingdom has General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that you need to comply with when collecting the data of UK residents. 

How You May Get Hacked?

Now here comes the important part. Well, there are many ways through which a hacker can hack you. Here we're defining them into two main categories; Technical breach and social engineering. Let's take an example for each:

Example of a Technical Breach

Let's say, a plugin on your blog website was discovered to have a dangerous vulnerability that may lead hackers to get access to your sensitive details, account takeover, user data (if you collect), etc. The company to whom the plugin belongs may have timely patched the vulnerability before exploited but you failed to do so. So a hacker could simply scan the vulnerability and exploit it straightaway. "BOOM! You're hacked."

Example of Social Engineering

The term social engineering refers to 'phishing' in a much broader way. In this case, let's say, someone sends you a legitimate-looking email that says, "Hey, Pizza is FREE for today. Order now!". Well, we hope for that everyday but it ain't happening or perhaps enquiring the proper channel is important. Well, the email offers you free Pizza, but for that, you may have to give out your Google Account details for login (yes, there could be a legitimate-looking Google account login page as well). You're just so excited that you need to order the Pizza but after logging into that with your Google Account details, "Offer expired". That's weird. Did you know what just happened? Well, you probably didn't have noticed the link, you probably didn't have verified the fact of free Pizza offering anywhere either, as well on social media etc or even from the company directly whose name may have been used in the email. But you didn't noticed the URL of the page where you're redirected. Perhaps, you're hacked if the additional security measures were not set on your Google Account (such as, 2 Factor Authentication).

Let's take another example, let's say, if someone successfully manages to install a keylogger into your device, your every single keypress will be recorded by the person. It may include your usernames, passwords, financial details, private texts, everything whatever you type is absolutely gone. What's next?

There are many possibilities that a hacker can exploit you, though, security can only be maximized to the best possible measures but can't be guaranteed on 100 percent surety. Because with every growing technology, pros and cons both exist. 

Can You Recover From A Hack?

Even if you're hacked, the next thing that comes in mind is to recover and get active again. For that, you need a recovery plan. Following are few of the precautions to note down that will also help you with your recovery plan:

  • Make backups regularly
  • Use up-to-date plugins, themes and script files
  • Enable 2 Factor Authentication
  • Encrypt sensitive data properly

Make Cyber Security Your Top Priority

So looking at the threats, you need to understand the importance of cyber security. You might be doing blogging for your living, information security is not something to be neglected anymore. This guide will surely help you gain enough knowledge about the importance of cyber security. Start taking security measures by yourself or contact a cyber security professional to help you out. 

Wish you healthy, happy and safe blogging!

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