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.
- 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?