My bloggy world has been slightly jaded. I recently encountered an experience that totally spooked me…
Remember I wrote a post about my near obsession with stats and the numbers game? Remember how in that same post I mentioned you can use your stats to your advantage as long as you don’t compare yourself to the numbers in the process? Well, I was doing a routine stat check recently and I noticed I was receiving some incoming traffic from China on a very strange referral. At first I didn’t think much of it but when this same referral started to hit my blog daily it began to concern me. I never clicked on the link (just in case it was something suspicious) but instead I did some research on Google Analytics and found myself in a support forum.
Apparently, I was not alone.
I was one of thousands of website owners from all over the world who were being attacked by this highly suspicious traffic out of China with the SAME referral.
I went back to my stats and over the next few days I had a surge of traffic coming from this suspicious site. They were hitting my blog on the hour, every hour. At that point I knew they were not coming to Theta Mom to read my latest post or to meet a blogger through TMC and as it turns out, my presumptions were correct.
It has been reported that these were indeed hackers, crawling websites and probing for passwords in an attempt to add malicious scripts. I immediately started to block the IP addresses but the problem was this site was running on thousands of servers so the IP addresses kept changing with every hit. After heeding the advice from Google Analytics who was investigating this issue for thousands of webmasters, I was advised to block all traffic from China to ensure these hackers couldn’t access my site. Needless to say, this unnerving experience has brought a couple of things to light for me.
It reinforces the idea that our blogs can be seen by anyone, anywhere at anytime – including this kind of “unwanted” traffic.
In addition, I’ve had some really nasty Google searches recently (so nasty I can’t even repeat them on this blog) with the word mom in them which ultimately lands them to MY blog since “mom” is in the title. These are especially the kind of peeps I do not want coming to my blog viewing pictures of my children or reading about me. However, it’s the kind of thing to expect since we are putting ourselves out there on the internet for ALL to see.
So I think this begs to ask the question, what standards should we have set forth on our blogs for ourselves? What are the limits?
There is no right or wrong answer here but for me, I do not share my children’s names, my place of employment or any of that other personal information. Furthermore, anything I add to Facebook I presume can be seen by everyone so I don’t add anything there that I wouldn’t add here. But I do post pictures of my children on this blog and although in recent months I watermarked them, I’m beginning to wonder if I should even post pictures at all.
So if there is EVER a post I would like you to comment on, please make it this one and share with me – I really want to know how you deal with this. As active bloggers, where do you draw the line? What are you comfortable publishing on the internet and how do you do so without losing your authenticity as a blogger in the process?