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Brandon Krieger is the President of KNSS Consulting Group Inc. a local boutique marketing agency based in Toronto. Brandon specializes in social media marketing, business consulting, relationship marketing and is now helping businesses with cybersecurity.

What kind of threats are out there for new parent bloggers?

Most new parent bloggers are starting their blogs on WordPress. This could be or the paid version of WordPress. I use WordPress as the example here because it’s the most common website/blogging platform. This platform is easier to setup then developing an entire website from scratch. With the ease of use comes plugins, widgets and themes bloggers use to add more functionality and make their website look great. Now they start writing articles and trying to drive traffic to their blog.

Here is where the threats start coming in. When you have a website of any kind on the internet you start to become a target for threats that want to take advantage of a vulnerability. This could be a vulnerability in your website theme, a plugin you just installed, a widget or just the base WordPress console. Each of these areas need to be secured, which is called “hardening”. The reason for this is because hackers try to find ways in through these access points to be able to compromise your website. They are no doing it through distributed programs looking for the vulnerability they wrote their code for. This way they can let it run and search through thousands of websites automatically. When it finds the vulnerability it compromises the site and moves on.

These compromises can be someone changing the website to a different website, they can put up adult content or inappropriate content, or they can now hold your website for ransom and make you pay to get it back.

Why would parent bloggers be a target?

I believe parent bloggers are targeted because security is normally not thought of a lot of times. They are more focused on helping people, sharing their message and building their community. Because of this they normally don’t back up their website frequently, have a update/patch policy they do weekly, and most importantly learn how to harden their website.

What should Mom Bloggers and Dad Bloggers do to secure their blog as soon as they begin a new blog?

This is a great question, first before they go live they need to make a back up of their website and have it in minimum 2 different locations. One could be in a cloud type service and another can be on an external hard drive. You see I didn’t say their local computer. As you grow your website and start building your community you want to make sure you can recover quickly and have a clean copy. If you have malware or viruses on your computer you might not even know until you try to restore your website. Then you learn that your backup is corrupt. That is why store it in two different locations. As well do regular back ups at least once a week. Also at least ever 3 months do a full restore of your website from the most recent back up. This way you are making sure if anything happens your back ups are good.

Next harden your website, if you don’t know how make sure you hire a company that knows what they are doing. This will be an on-going requirement because websites, themes, plugins, and widgets all need to be updated on a regular bases. You might get a new plugin but don’t realize it has a bad vulnerability that takes down your site. That is why either you learn how to harden your entire site and do research on your themes, plugins and widgets. Or you work closely with a company who will help you.

That is why I have created a community that is very cost effective because I have seen way to many small business owners lose their website and not be able to recover.

What should parent bloggers do to continue to secure their blog over the years?

If they do the steps above by backing up their website, hardening it and doing the research prior to installing any theme, plugin and widget, they will be better off them most people. Now the one thing that any good security person will tell you. Is you are never 100% secure, the goal is to be as secure as you can possibly and be able to recover quickly if something happens.

Is it safe to share your life with a readership?

This is a great question and a hard one to answer for parent bloggers. The truth of the matter is, it’s truly isn’t safe once you learn what is lurking online.

For security safety and just some tips to get started with:

1) Do not post vacation pictures when you are on vacation. Post them when you get back and are at home.
2) I recommend you do not post picture of your kids in the path, running around naked..etc You think it’s innocent but I have seen them used for child pornography. Once they are online on these sites it is extremely hard to get them off.
3) When it comes to personal experiences, challenges you are going through, speak to a few people you trust who will be honest with you before posting something online. You might have personal views, opinions about something that could effect your relationships personally as well as professionally. As well if you give to much information away hackers can use that to attack you as well, this would be called “social engineering”.
4) If you are an active person in the community and blog about it be careful. If someone can see a pattern from your routine they could know when you are not at home and how long you are gone for.

This information hopefully didn’t scare you, I hope use this to educate yourself and be more security conscious.