Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Domain.ME; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
When I created my website back in 2010, I was going through the motions, unsure of how to do things properly. Blogging was still pretty new in my world and I had no idea that it would take me from working for someone else to owning a company and working for myself while also managing contributors. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, many of which was part of the learning curve. One thing that I didn’t take into consideration in the beginning was being proactive when it came to my online security. Who would’ve thought I would be susceptible to a breach or a hacking, or even someone trying to cloak my URL so that it would lead my visitors from my site to their’s?
Welp—I was wrong. Because I didn’t totally own my own data, I became a victim.
Not only was I hacked and my site was down for over two weeks, but I didn’t own all of the domains associated with my name, so it became a huge issue with my brand because I wasn’t consistent with my name recognition. When you are a business owner with an online platform, but don’t truly own the platform, things can happen that can become a major pain in the you-know-what.
Once I was able to reclaim my digital space, name, and platform, security became my top priority. I made sure to purchase my domains and install WordPress security plug-ins on my backend to help stop privacy breaches. Owning my own data became my top priority because a real boss doesn’t just mark their blueprint—they own it.
Domain .Me wants you to own your own data, and is your personal cheerleader when it comes to you owning your domain and information. Why be reactive (which can cost you more money and pain) when you can be proactive with protecting your privacy and owning your stuff?
Here are a few ways you can work smarter, not harder when it comes to your online data and properties:
Own your domains. Don’t sublease.
When it comes to your online platform, own your stuff. If you sublease or use other services in which you are not the owner of the the domain, your site can be taken down and will and your material used without your actual permission. You are basically renting your space instead of owning it, and everything on it (photos, content, etc.) doesn’t truly belong to you.
Use self-hosted email.
Own your domain (buy your name as well if you can) and also have own an email address with your domain that is self-hosted (not Gmail, Yahoo, etc). Again, this can help not only give you a more professional feel, but you can add extra security measures to make sure that your mail is not breached.
Mine the data that you share online.
Pay attention to the websites that you make purchases from. Is your information sold to a third party? Is your credit card numbers stored in your account? These are things you need to be aware of when purchasing items online. You don’t want your information to get into the wrong hands.
Use private wifi services so passwords and personal info can’t be stolen.
When making business transactions online or logging into banking websites (and even your own web property), do not do it over public wifi. Hackers can easily get your information when using public internet services and with it, can do major damage.
Read the TOS on every website in which you visit and share information.
Before you sign up for anything online, read and understand the Terms of Service. This is generally a long document that can be hard to understand, but what you want to look for is if they save your information, collect cookies while you are using the site, and if they make some of your info public.
Being online has given us opportunities to do business in ways we never dreamed of before. But it also leaves us susceptible to evil intentions or wrongdoing. Being smart while making moves online gives you the power and control over your information.
Thank you to Domain. ME for sponsoring this content and allowing me to share these valuable tools and tips with my audience.