4 blogging mistakes relating to safety that most new bloggers make

We, bloggers and other social media users, tend to become careless about what we post online - especially when we start feeling that we have become expert social loggers. Being a bit careful saves us from many issues that arise due to indiscretion. 

I give here four mistakes relating to safety of blogs  that many beginner bloggers make and repent later. It pays to take care of some small actions to secure one's blog and its resources from attacks, and also avoid Google penalties and social embarrassment. 

Not giving the blog an HTTPS cover: a mistake that makes the blog suspect.

Starting July 2018, Google started deprecating websites that do not have HTTPS security layer. Yet thousands of websites and blogs are seen without this layer. If you do not have HTTPS implemented on your website, Google Chrome now gives a message to the visitors that the website/ blog is 'not secure'. Other search engines and people also feel that the website might not be secure enough.

If you have opened a blog on a free blogging platform, check whether your blog's URL starts with HTTP or HTTPS. If it has HTTPS prefix and your browser does not show a security warning, your blog is already behind HTTPS. HTTPS shows that the communication with that website is secured to one level, by a security layer. Blogs on free Wordpress and Blogger blogging platforms already have this security cover.

Luckily, getting the HTTPS certificate for base level security is free and very simple to implement. You can use the free SSL certificate provided by your web host or install Lets Encrypt, a genuine free security certificate. If your blog/ website is not into ecommerce, you need not pay huge sums on higher level of security.

Most web hosting plans also come with HTTPS certification. However, I have seen some plans that are without it and the web hosts charge for even a basic HTTPS cover.

Not backing up blog data: a deadly blogging mistake.

Not backing up the blog is another, and very serious, blogging mistake.

Though web hosts are getting more secure and sturdy, more and more reports are seen about data from websites being hacked, instances of sudden bad performance by websites, blackouts, data loss and other nasty things happening to small website owners and bloggers. Natural calamities such as heavy cyclones also have destroyed host servers in the recent past.

You yourself can sometimes take an action by mistake, or there could be a bug in your blogging software that suddenly woke up, which may turn your website/ blog unusable, or corrupt.

Some web hosts are reported to be goading users who have bought basic plans to upgrade and if that is not done, giving them poorer service. That includes not putting enough security and backup resources in place.

Even when your blog is on a free platform such as Wordpress or Blogger, don't be complacent that your blog's data/ content will be safe for ever. In addition to other risks, there is also risk of their suspending your account if they don't find your content appropriate. And, that can happen without a notice!

So, the best thing is to do is to manually backup your blog/ website regularly, perhaps once in three months or so. If you have not been backing up your data so far, start backing up your website/ blog's data right now.

Having content that can invite action from people, society, governments: a mistake you can easily avoid.

In the face of enormous pressure from government investigating agencies, web hosts and social media platforms often have to share customer data with them. These agencies do not like content that goes against the government or would lead to crime, religious hatred or social strife. Many governments have enacted laws that can be used by authorities to harass bloggers on slight provocation.   

In many countries, religion is taken too seriously and anybody writing or drawing anything looking to belittle any religious saying or icon can face severe reprisals in the hands of religious zealots and fundamentalists.

Bloggers are also liable to defamation and charge of content theft. 

Therefore, for your own safety and security and also of the blog, remove content from your blog that would-
  • be taken as violating your country's laws;
  • provoke your government to take action against you;
  • be taken as socially inappropriate or hurting religious sentiments;
  • invite legal action for defamation;
  • invite notices and legal action for using others' content.
Remember that you are also liable for comments posted on your blog by others! So, remove any abusive comments and comments that have bad links.

If you have linked to bad websites, remove those links or disavow those links. 

    SEO tricks: a common mistake by bloggers wanting to quickly make money from blogging.

    Search engines and humans don't like to be conned. Google has publicly said many times that it penalizes action that is meant to artificially boost a website's reputation such as paying to get backlinks or stuffing keywords or hiding links with background color.

    Many SEO 'experts' advise their clients to use tricks to get to the top of search pages. Some bloggers use other tricks such as inflating traffic figures to show one's influence, taking actions that would harm their competitors' blogs/ websites, starting controversies so as to receive huge traffic, etc.

    If you want to run your blog/ website with a long-term goal, please don't make this mistake. In today's web world, slimy SEO tricks do not work even if they worked earlier. If some cheap SEO tricks work sometimes, they do not bring long-term success but  make the blog prone to penalty by search engines. 

    If you already are using tricks to fool people or search engines, it is time to stop doing so, so that you do not repent later.

    Avoid common blogging mistakes, take right actions.
    Blogging reminders to keep you safe and sturdy.
    For succeeding as a blogger, you need to take desirable actions; it is equally important that you avoid mistakes that have the potential to undo all the benefits other actions bring to the blog.

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