With the amount of effort that goes into producing a podcast, one should also be thinking about the future security of their beloved project. The old adage “you can’t delete anything once it’s on the internet” only really applies to things one doesn’t want on the internet. A salacious picture or untoward comment will live forever on the internet thanks to the Streisand effect, but good luck getting people to care enough to do your archival work for you.
The satisfaction of hitting upload and watching a podcast file propagate on its own cannot be undersold. A small victory after hours of editing, crafting social media posts, and filling out metadata. Unfortunately a lot of newer podcasters treat that as the last step. Security requires vigilance and discipline. It doesn’t matter how many numbers and special characters one crams into a password, it’s no use if that password was leaked in a breach.
Podcasting is a relatively new medium, and a side effect of that is a lack of resources invested into hacking hosting service accounts. It’s time to be proactive instead of reactive. Nobody wants to get burned like those who found out Macs could, in fact, be hacked.
There’s the issue of digital decay. It’s not enough to drag and drop the finished file into a folder ‘just in case.’ Your podcast’s longevity is one power short or failed hard drive away from oblivion. Wanna take steps to future-proof your podcast against digital decay and spread things around? Preserve This Podcast is your first stop.
Also, LGBTQIA+ podcasters? Now is the time to check the imposter syndrome at the door and ensure your art is preserved properly. Never forget the fact that a law or corporate change can erase our history in a moment. Tumblr effectively deleted a decade of queer online history.
Take Ariana Martinez’s words to heart: “I’ve been having conversations with a lot of people with how it’s essential to archive—in hard copy, in digital, and in multiple secure locations—media created by and for queer & trans people, by POC, by people targeted for erasure. Also, keep making things, and keep them safe.”
One of the biggest roadblocks to prevent unauthorized account access and ensure the safety of the most important link in your podcast preservation chain is enabling two-factor authentication. Even if your great password is cracked through brute-force methods, the would-be hacker is foiled if they don’t physically have your phone.
And it just so happens a team of Simplecast engineers decided to spend a hackathon crafting a 2FA system in under a week. Never stand between nerds who know how to code and a challenge to complete something within a time limit. They’ll write something that calculates how badly you underestimate them.
2FA is available now to all Simplecast users regardless of plan. Protect yourself from anything and everything someone with ill intent could do with your podcast. No RSS feed hijacks, no unpublished episodes, no .mp3s getting swapped with offensive audio.
Thousands of words have been written in service of teaching prospective podcasters how to get started. Consider this one of the few calls to action for you to consider the future of your podcast beyond the classic goal of better metrics. Make enabling 2FA your first step towards strengthening podcasting security in the present so it might have a long-term future.
Gavin Gaddis is a freelance journalist and podcaster. They've worked as a media critic in various positions since 2011. You can see their work on their website or find them on Twitter.