One of the downsides of blogging, or indeed any online activity, is the susceptibility you have to occurrences of hacking and resultant data breaches. Back in 2013, when I hadn’t been blogging for very long, my site was hacked, I was locked out and sensitive information that belonged both to me and to my readers (those who had commented left their names and email addresses on my site) were at sudden and immediate risk of theft.
Now, I am the first to admit that I know nothing about the technical side of maintaining a blog and I simply reported the incident to my hosting company who did all the hard work for me. As it turned out, it was quite a substantial and serious hack that also resulted in my personal email address being hacked and my financial data being at risk. Due to this, it was deemed that the best way forward was for my hosts to shut down my site and reopen a whole new one. Not ideal for any blogger, but the best outcome under the circumstances. For my part, I had to change my email address password and make contact with the individuals who had left comments on my blog prior to the data breach to inform them of the incident and advise on how best to deal with it. Moving forward, I set up a business email account which I now use to deal with blog-related business; being entirely separate from my personal email account gives me some protection over what data could be accessed in the event of another hack.
Thankfully, my experience was brief, it was all resolved pretty quickly and is now a rather distant and vague memory, but not all data breaches are so straightforward. Some of the biggest data breaches of 2018 collectively saw millions of people affected by having personal information, including passwords, email addresses and financial data, stolen. Articles like this one by Seareach actually force me to really think about how much information of mine is potentially available online and how I might go about reducing my own risk of data breaches.
What steps do you take to protect yourself or your business against data breaches and hacks? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
This is a collaborative post