Those bloggers who get around a little, both in the physical and digital world, need to take greater care of themselves. There are a number of harmful sites, and people, out there and your mobility may be limiting your security.
If you’re like any of the other online bloggers I know, you also spend a lot of time in coffee shops, using public WiFi, and generally going places well outside of your home WiFi station. Freedom to work in a wide variety of places is great, some of the people you could meet along the way…not so great.
With these thoughts we’re going to look at what you can do to during your web experience to increase your security. We’ll use some simple and free plugins, and a number of other web based tools. What you choose to use is your decision.
How a Freelance Blogger Can Stay Safer Online
If you want a free Google Chrome Extension with serious protection muscle, you’re looking for KB SSL Enforcer. The protection all comes down to an ‘S.’ Most people know that a website address begins with HTTP. What people don’t know is that a secured website begins with HTTPS. That extra S stands for SSL, a cryptographic layer of protection.
When you visit a website, KB SSL Enforcer checks to see if it is HTTPS, or if it is HTTP. It will force your browser to go to the HTTPS version when it is available. KB SSL maintains a list of all websites which have HTTPS enabled websites, making it easy for the extension to find them – no lag time!
For the sake of variety, try HTTPS Everywhere for a similar product which is available in a wider variety of browsers. KB SLL is a Chrome only extension
Ghostery is an extension that has the useful ability to allow you to choose who can track your online use. Each tracking script is displayed, you can turn it on and off as you wish. Some are useful, like browser based games, some are straight up data tracking.
How does this help you stay safe online? A handy pop-up feature allows you to find out what the opt-out features are for websites, without digging through all their legalise. You can tell them to bugger off and mind their own business! Plus, it’s fun having your little blue ghost up by your search bar showing you what you’re blocking!
A web proxy helps mask your IP address. This is the identification which follows you everywhere you surf online. For bloggers who do not want to have their every movement tracked, this can be a very useful tool.
A VPN is similar to a web proxy in that it changes your IP address, but it has the added benefit of encrypting all of your online activity. This can be incredibly advantageous when you’re using public WiFi as it prevents people from eavesdropping on your computer and stealing your personal data. Learn more about what a VPN does over on my internet security blog.
Flashblock is another alternative that yo can look at as ScriptSafe only supports Chrome.
Pop up advertisements can be that little annoyance that distracts you from blogging. Adblock Plus is a free tool for any web browser (even the dinosauric Internet Explorer) that will keep pop up ads from bothering you, and even disables video ads – no more being frightened by videos in another window suddenly starting, and no more having them suck up your bandwidth, data, and time.