Your Guide to Tumblr Security
by Nicholas Pell
While the Tumblr microblogging network is currently a hangout for millennials, its purchase by tech giant Yahoo! is a sign that it might become more popular across all segments of online users. Tumblr is a simple but powerful blogging platform, making it easy for virtually anyone to use quickly.
Like any online hangout, Tumblr is an attractive target for hackers. Last year, Tumblr was hacked by a group called GNAA, and more than 8,000 accounts were affected. The attack caused an incredibly vulgar message to appear, and any account that viewed or shared the page was affected making this a far-reaching attack with little warning. It took only two hours for Tumblr to respond to the attack, but by then the damage was done.
Tip #1: Update Your Antivirus Software
Set your antivirus software and software plugins to update automatically. These updates plug holes in your system that hackers exploit. Don't set these updates to run manually; the companies that roll out these security updates have a close eye on current vulnerabilities, and they know -- much better than you know -- when your computer needs an update.
Tip #2: Choose Your Theme Carefully
You're probably safe using a free theme that you find through the official Tumblr theme gallery, but other free themes available elsewhere online can contain spam links and malware files that are hard for the layman to detect. But for just $10, you can buy a Tumblr theme that's likely to be of better quality. There's more than just a security benefit to this: The culture of Tumblr is one of creativity, and having a theme that's not one of the free ones used by the majority of Tumblr users will set your blog apart and attract more visitors.
Tip #3: Stay Vigilant With Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a terrific resource, even for casual Internet users. The popular traffic tracking platform will search your site for any malware and notify you if any appears. In the event that malware is lurking on your site, you'll receive a detailed report from Google about the issue affecting your website, putting you in a much stronger position to fix it. What's more, the alerts will help you to solve the problem quickly, before hackers are able to do too much damage.
Tip #4: Don't Link Your Accounts
Keep your Tumblr account and other social accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, separate. Not only can linking your Tumblr account to other social media clutter things up, but it also can make you more vulnerable in the event of an attack. If Tumblr is compromised and you have your Facebook and Twitter accounts linked, these accounts could also become compromised -- giving you a much bigger mess to clean up.
Tumblr is a great place to share your thoughts on just about anything and build a community. Keep your site and your account safe, and you'll be able to enjoy everything the platform has to offer.
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