Everybody who is anybody has a website these days. It might be a blog, a portfolio, a site for your business, your hobby, or even just a site to tell the world all about you.
Whatever type of site you have, the fact is that it has never been easier to set up a website than it is today. Thanks to platforms such as WordPress and Moonfruit, it is possible to go from nothing to a pretty professional looking site in half an hour or even less.
You no longer need to be a skilled programmer and versed in rudimentary coding. These days you just have to know roughly what you want to say and source a couple of images, and you are away.
But while platforms like WordPress make it easy for even the most novice of internet users to set up their own site, it is not without its flaw too. Because WordPress allows developers to add content to their platform, and lets users tailor their sites so much, it is by necessity not the most secure or private of platforms.
WordPress is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and the same is true for other similar platforms. And if you are wondering who would want to hack your WordPress site, the answer is, a surprisingly large number of people.
Firstly, an unprotected site is remarkable easy to access, meaning that even a beginner hacker should be able to do it. Secondly, it will have at least your personal data on there, including perhaps your credit card details, which can all be sold for money. And lastly, you may have details of friends, customers, subscribers, or users on there which make your site even more valuable.
So, what should you do to protect the privacy and security of your site? There are actually three relatively simple steps you can take to protect the privacy of your site, as I shall explain below in my 3 ways to privacy protect your site in 2016.
Do not post any personal data:
It might seem like stating the obvious, but the first rule is not to post any personal data online that you wouldn’t want everyone to know. This personal data can be immensely valuable to criminals and cyber-criminals alike.
If it is a business site, try to keep the details on there those of your business only, not yourself personally. Addresses can be especially dangerous, as no sooner have you posted a message that your are away on business or on holiday, then a burglar can be at your front door.
Be sensible with your personal details and avoid posting any more than absolutely must on your website.
Private Domain Registration
Private Domain Registration is a service offered by most reputable domain name registrars. When you register a domain for a website, your personal details are automatically uploaded to the WHOIS database, which is publicly available and accessible by anyone.
There is plenty of evidence of cyber-criminals making use of this data for various nefarious purposes. But there is a way to keep your details off it.
Sign up for Private Domain Registration, and for just a few dollars, your details will be replaced by those of a forwarding service. This will mean there is no way to link you to the domain, but more importantly, it will keep your private details private.
Use a VPN:
Finally, when doing any front or back-end work to your site, always ensure you are using a Virtual Private Network. A VPN encrypts all of your online traffic which ensures that all your data is secure from hackers and other private eyes.
It also reroutes all your traffic via an external server. This masks your IP Address and so also ensures you are essentially anonymous online too. These two traits alone make a VPN one of the most powerful online privacy and security available and well worth the few dollars a month subscription fee.
They are also perfect for accessing all different types of content. Switching IP Addresses makes it possible to evade geo-blocking technology and so watch shows when you are overseas that might otherwise be blocked. They are also a great tool to evade online censorship and protect your privacy is you are torrenting or downloading content too.
VPNS are growing in popularity in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations as more and more people are realizing what an essential privacy tool they are. And if you are running your own website and are serious about security and privacy, a VPN should be an essential tool for you.