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Posts from May 2014.

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Be a safer blogger

May 29th  •  Posted in Blogging

As some of you may already know, last week I experienced a super unlucky day waking up to the news someone stole and deleted my Google account. This go beyond losing an email account (which I used for three years and contained a lot of contacts I still could need anyway) and if you have a Google account yourself you may know everything Google related is connected to your account and if the latter went lost, you’ll lose everything with it. This is exactly what happened with my blog, seeing it going was heartbreaking but, as someone said in my The Positive Side Of Being Unlucky feature, everything happens for a reason, and to me it was understanding how bonded I am to my little blog and how passionate I feel about it right now. Rebuilding it from scratch made me realize a lot of beautiful things and feelings I have for this blog, but I also learned I was very unwary with my account and I could had avoided all of it if I knew things don’t always only happen to others and I needed to be a safer blogger since the beginning. Someone asked me for tips about how to be safer and how to secure your blogs, so I thought to share what I learned from this unlucky experience.

Some of this tips can be useful only to people who use Blogger or a Google account, but I think some of them can be adapted to any blog and platform out there, so hopefully there can be something for anybody. I learned that prevention is always better than a cure, so here are a few tips to prevent losing your blog:

  • I was used to write my posts directly from the Blogger website and this means 1) things are a lot quicker as you don’t have to copy and paste anything but also 2) you only have one single copy of every blog post and if you lose your blog for any reason you will lose everything with it. Download something like OneNote or Evernote on your computer and any other device you use for writing your posts and start writing from there as this not only is super easy and helpful for organizing your notes and posts and will allow you to write from any device, but will also keep your posts safe and you’ll have a copy of every of them anywhere you are just in case.
  • Something to do periodically and that I never ever did and maybe someone of you don’t even know it’s possible, is downloading a backup of your full blog. This takes only a few minutes but would have save my entire blog or part of it if I have ever done it. It’s super easy: if you use Blogger, just go to Settings > Other and Export Blog. This will save a copy of your entire blog including all your posts with links and images and you can import this file any time to any other blogs if you need to.
  • As you can export your blog posts you can also export your blog template by going to Template > Backup/Restore and chose Download Full Template. Being a blog designer myself I always suggest to download a backup of your current template before installing a new one, even if you still have the original template file with you, just because you may have added some javascripts, codes, CSS preferences that can go lost if you forget to download an updated backup. Of course if for some reasons you lose your blog, having a backup of your template comes super handy as all you have to do is reupload a single file and don’t think about it anymore.
  • Am I the only one who always ignores websites when they suggest to add and verify your phone number? Well, never do that. I’ve lost everything also because I didn’t have a verified backup phone number. I know it can be a bit boring, but it actually takes only a few minutes and you won’t have to do anything else until you change your phone number for any reason. This is super important as it’s almost impossible that someone steals your account and your phone the same day, so you’ll always have a way to fight it. Assign a backup phone number to any service you think is important to you, whether it’s a Twitter account with a good amount of followers you are proud of, an email adress with important stuff in, a Paypal account in which you do keep your money.
  • Use a good password. I know this sometimes is not useful at all – I had a super difficult password I never told anyone of but they still managed to steal my account – but sometimes could also save it all. Use letters, numbers and signs, uppercase and lowercase and make sure you use different passwords for every services as if you always use the same one and someone discovers it, he can steal everything.
  • If you have a Google account, use the 2-Step Verification which is actually the best Google can do for protecting your account asking for a double check by tipying the right password and a unique code received via text on your phone which is different everytime. This is a bit of a pain if you use a lot of devices, but once you do it from your main computer and iPhone (or any other device you use regularly) it won’t ask you to do it everytime if you tick that device as secure.
  • Check if your backup phone number and email are updated and if not, remember to update them whenever you change your phone number or email adress. They are your only resource to recover a deleted account!
  • Having a custom domain can be super helpful in these situations as if you just trust your free blogspot domain (for example mielcafeblog.blogspot.com) and your blog is deteleted for any reason, you can’t ever have your domain back and all your readers who may remember your domain and type it for visiting your blog, will not be able to come back automatically. If you do have a custom domain, you can maintain it and use it on another blog/website if your original one goes lost, and you can then import your blog and have everything as it was before. Prices aren’t that excessive at all, so you don’t have any excuse!

A huge thank you to that boyfriend of mine which actually not only helped me in writing down this post and finding out the best ways to protect my new account and my blog, but also suggested me the best way for not losing everything I created and keep calm and start recreating everything with the minimun effort possible. Also a huge thank you to everyone who supported me during this unlucky experience and who tweeted me or commented my posts with such kind words. Hopefully these tips can come helpful to anyone who didn’t know of how easy it is losing your beloved blog in only a few seconds, so that we can all be safer bloggers now!

Do you have any other tips or suggestions?

Tagged:  
  • Extremely important and useful post! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thank YOU for reading x

  • Thank you so much for this post, it’s definitely opened my eyes up! I will for sure be exporting my blog and downloading my template on a regular basis. It’s absolutely terrible that this has happened to you, and hopefully with this post you can prevent it happening to anyone else!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    • I hope so, it was pretty sad seeing my blog being deleted and I wouldn’t wish it to anybody really! x

  • Such a great idea to write the posts on the laptop then upload to blogger, it’d definitely make it a lot easier if any of us found ourselves in the position you were.

    Catherine, xo // Lady Liquor

    • Indeed, and you also have all of them super organized per months (like in my case) and can check them out anytime and write them from any devices as well 🙂 x

  • I will definitely be putting these tips into practice! So sorry you lost your blog.
    Eilidh
    http://herprettystateofmind.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Thank you Eilidh! x

  • how devastating! i actually lost a full years of photos from my blog a couple of weeks ago and was supressing panic lol. i’m pretty over it now but i will DEFS do these suggestions!! i dont want to have to go through that again!

    Jenn

    A Beautiful Zen

    • It’s such a terrible thing, isn’t it? I really need to be safer now! x

  • This is a really useful post 🙂 I never bother with the phone number thing but I will after reading this xx

    • Definitely do it, it’s so important and can save your account and blog and everything! x

  • SaraPags

    I can’t even write what I’m feeling right now. I think I needed all the information you gave in this post, so thank you thank you thank you. xxx

    • Thank YOU for reading! x

  • that’s crazy! this is the first post of yours I’ve stumbled across and it’s crazy to think that someone would go so far to take your account from you :/

    great tips you’ve got here – I already follow all of them but it’s a brilliant post to share with everyone else who may not be aware of how to protect their account as much as possible!

    Anita @ AllThingsAnita

    • Thank you Anita! I actually read about a lot of people experiencing something like what happened to me, so it thought these tips could come helpful! x

  • miss_emmy

    This is a really helpful post. Thank you dor sharing, lots of new things to be doing while I’m blogging!

    Thanks so much for your advice!

    Emma | DollfaceBlogs x

    • Thank YOU for reading and I’m super glad you found it helpful 🙂 x

  • Thank you for writing this post out, but sorry you had to go through such an ordeal!


    Blushing Biddies

  • Be

    Thanks for the tips!

    xx, Be || lovefrombe

    • You’re welcome and thank YOU for reading this 🙂 x

  • Thanks so much for posting this. It’s incredulous to think some people are so malicious to where they have nothing better to do besides hack into people’s accounts and delete them like they’re nothing. I’m so sorry that you had to go through it, but I’m glad you bounced back quickly and better than ever! (:

    • Thank you! I don’t necessarily think someone I know is behind this and it could have been a casual thing, but this happened to a lot of people as well! x

  • Allison

    It sucks that you had to go through all that but I guess it was a good learning experience, I’ll be implementing the ones I don’t do already 🙂
    Allison from http://www.mercuteify.com

    • Yes it was a very unlucky experience but the good news is that I now know a lot of good tips to avoid thing like that! x

  • This has kind of shocked me. Did you find out who stole your blog? Thanks for the useful tips. I’ll deffo be taking them on board.

    Yazmin xx
    http://www.yazzyscorner.co.uk

    • Nope, and I don’t necessarily think someone I know is behind this but it could have been a casual thing which means though that it could happens to anyone who isn’t safe with his account. Glad you found this post helpful 🙂 x

  • Bethany Dean

    Thankyou for these tips, i cant believe someone would do that! You have some determination to get your blog back up and running a lot of people would just give up. But your right you should be passionate about your blog.

    polishedcouture.wordpress.com xxx

    • I really feel super passionate about it and I just couldn’t let it go x

  • Annie

    Oh how awful! Opened my eyes big time next weekend I am copy and pasting everything so I have the lot backed up! Xx

    Anniewritesbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

    • Glad you found this helpful! x

  • Ellie

    I can’t even imagine how frustrating it would be to lose your Google account! These are all such good tips. I need to get in the habit of backing up my documents more frequently… I definitely forget to back up the things I keep on the internet!

    • Backups are so important and I always forget about how useful they can be, because you just think this would never happens to you, but with the internet you really can’t never know – at least I learned I have to back up my things on a regular basis now!

  • This is so important. I’m really glad that I’ve read this but so sorry that it happened to you. I’m saving my blog right now. Although I do like the idea of a fresh start, the amount of work and love that goes into these blogs – a fresh choice should be your choice not forced on you. This is such amazing advice, well done you.

    Jade |
    skinsweet

    • I admitt I thought about restarting my blog from scratch a few months ago, but I decided to not to because it took me so much effort to build my blog from nothing and I’d never have wanted to lose everything I wrote in the past – I just guess it was faith! Thanks Jade x

  • This is a super helpful and really interesting post. I’ve just exported my blog so I’ve got a copy on hand, and definitely going to start writing my posts in Word. So thank you!! xx

    Katy | http://www.littlemisskaty.co.uk

    • So glad you found it helpful! x

  • Thank you for this important and well-researched post!

    It is actually one of my greatest fears that someone hacks my account, laptop, wordpress, whatever it is. I especially love the idea of writing my posts on Word or any other writing program, so that way I always have a backup. Again, thank you so much! I hope this never happens to me *knockonwood*

    xx Carolin

    http://www.olive-apple.com

    • Evernote and OneNote are a lot more suggested than Word because even if your computer won’t work anymore one day, you will still be able to access all your files by downloading Evernote or OneNote on another device and logging into your account!
      x

  • Thank you for this! I don’t even know what I would do if I lost everything related to my google account – that is so terrible, I’m so sorry it happened to you! Thank you for these little heads up!

    Ellie xx Beautyproductsjunkie