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When most people start their blog, they are so overwhelmed with getting everything set up that they often overlook a very key component – protecting themselves and their content. Here are a few quick and easy tips not only avoid it but protect your blog and you.
When most people purchase their domain, they don’t purchase domain privacy, because they have no idea what it is. Domain privacy replaces your user info (address, email, phone) with a forwarding service. Spammers and solicitors will try to find domains without privacy protection and send emails. In the last two weeks, I’ve had three clients get emails that were supposedly on behalf of “Bluehost” or “Go-Daddy” saying they were running out of space. These emails were spam, and the senders got the info from checking the WHOIS of the site. Check your site using WHOIS. If your information like address and email are explicitly showing up, you need to purchase domain privacy from your domain Registrar – GoDaddy, SiteGround, Namecheap, etc. Domain Privacy should run you an extra $8-10 a year depending on your registrar.
Monitoring + Protection
Plugins like Akismet and Jetpack’s Monitor and Protection components prevent your site from spam visitors and comments as well as unauthorized logins. Whenever I do an install of a project (pre-made or custom), I make sure that these are setup. With Jetpack’s Monitor, you will receive email notices any time your site goes down. Protect blocks malicious login attempts, and Akismet blocks spam comments!
Back-Up Your Site
I’m currently working on a pre-made order for someone who lost all their blog content when their site got hacked. It sounded strange that no backups existed, but when I checked out Dreamhost’s policy, customers of shared hosting are not allowed to store personal backups on their shared servers. Are you backing up your site? What would you do if you lost everything? My recommendation is to use VaultPress (by the Automattic team – same people for Jetpack and Akismet). VaultPress backs up your site as well as scans it to make sure everything is okay. If your site gets hacked, you can quickly restore to a backup version. I use VaultPress for my site for its ease of use and accessibility.
Blog Policy + Terms
A conversation on protecting your blog and you would not be complete without talking about protecting your site from copying. It is critical that you outline how people can use your blog content. You can create a separate page for this information or add to your sidebar. You want visitors to your site to know how they can share and use your content and provide explicit information on how you want them to provide credit.
Getting caught up in the marketing of your brand is easy, but it should never jeopardize your site protection!