A friend’s Web site got hacked — fortunately he didn’t lose any data, although he lost a lot of sleep and probably hair I’ll guess.Web sites and blogs, thousands of them, get hacked daily.

Did you know there is more money in cybercrime than the illegal drug trade?  And many cybercriminals would love to hack any established blog or Website? If you are on the Internet, you ARE a target.

Here are three things you NEED to do to protect your Web site and blog!

Choose a strong password and change it regularly .

What is a strong password? Don’t use dictionary words, or any words or phrases remotely connected to you like a sport’s team name, your dog’s name, or your business name either!

Ideally use a combination of letters, numbers, and at least one non alphanumeric character. Preferably something you can easily remember but that no one can guess easily.

Be creative! For example, for example IL0veTheB3ach might be easy for you to remember, especially if you “Love The Beach,” but is hard to guess.

Despite what many security gurus tell you, you can write down your passwords if needed, especially since you probably have many of them,  as long as you keep them safe and treat them like credit cards. For example keep it in your wallet or purse, and if they get lost change them ALL immediately.

Back up your content regularly.

Backing up your information is critical, because you never know what may happen.

One entire blog network disappeared because they didn’t have working backups, and the ISP suddenly went out of business and disappeared.

Check out your blog platform’s help for backing up your content — most have pretty simple steps documented. For Websites you’d better back up your files from your Web site development tools and other other files as well.

Update your software regularly.

if you have your own Web server with blog software installed on it, for example WordPress.com, MoveableType or  ExpressionEngine, update it regularly. Make sure the operating system and other software gets updated as well — usually hosting providers do this but ask.

Updates fix most bugs and known security flaws the bad guys know about.
Note that If you are using a hosted blog solution like TypePad (recommended), Blogger (OK), or WordPress.com (good), they update the software themselves.

Will this actually hack proof your blog or Web site? No, but it will make it much less likely that you’ll get hacked, just like if you’re a safe driver it’s much less likely you’ll have an accident.

I could go on almost forever since I’m a security guy, but these three tips will make you MUCH less likely you’ll get hacked and horribly inconvenienced or worse!