By Roger G. Best
I’ve become a big fan of blogging and I have to admit that I’ve suggested that a number of my clients begin to make plans to being doing a regular blog. Blogging has lots of advantages. But I have to admit that those recommendations have prompted a lot of questions. The questions range from time issues to security, with a lot in between. Since I’ve been a bit if a security hound for much longer than I’ve been a blogger, I decided to address the security issues first.
Let’s start with the basics, which include patch management, spam/comment blockers and passwords. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your OS (aka, Operating System) on which you are running your blog, any software and plug-ins that you are using are all patched and have the most current security patches/versions. I could go off on a rant here but I’ll just say that this is a much bigger deal than you may believe. This one thing can make a huge difference in the security and stability of your site.
You’ll also want to be sure that you have your spam/comment blockers on and functioning. This is a fairly easy task on most blogging platforms. The key is to make sure that you’re using a platform that gives you this option and that you have it configured. If you don’t have that ability, you’ll want to switch blogging platforms because you are opening yourself up to substantial risks.
And, last but definitely not least, use good passwords. There are a lot of things that can make a password good, or bad, but it’s important that you work to make your passwords VERY good. Be sure that you use passwords with a combination of upper and lower case letters, along with special characters and numbers. The more you can mix this up, the better off you will be. I would give you some examples but I’ve done that before and found that people started using the examples as their actual passwords, so I’ll forgo that for now, but I will tell you do your best to make it complex enough that it’s almost impossible to guess.
Additionally, make sure that someone has the responsibility of maintaining the blog site/software. This is not one of those things that you want to let slide by and go patch/update things when it crosses your mind. There needs to be someone that knows that it’s their job to make sure that any vulnerability is patched as soon as possible. Once a vulnerability is known, you can be assured that there are people that will try to exploit it before you can stop them.
Simply put, blogging is one of the best ways to communicate with your clients and garner an introduction to those that may soon be your client. But before you move into that arena, be sure that you’ve consulted with someone that knows the options and has a good understanding about the important issues. You can take that task upon yourself but be prepared to be overwhelmed. The options are almost limitless and it’s a lot to learn. You may even find that some combination of doing your own research and consulting the a professional is the best way to be comfortable with your decision.