We hear a lot about Web Site Security but what exactly does that mean to you? Whether it’s for personal or business use, ensuring your web presence is represented by a safe website can have a deep impact on your online success. In fact, creating and maintaining a secure website shows others that you’re serious about what you do.
The bad guys – criminal hackers – and even certain IT professionals want you to think that web security is this mysterious science that only the elite know anything about — but it’s actually not the case. In fact, the essence of securing your web presence is no different than the security measures you’d take to protect your home, your personal belongings while traveling or even your user IDs and passwords for your personal online accounts. It’s about understanding the basics and using a lot of common sense.
Web security involves threats (hackers, website malware, devious ex-friends and so on) looking to exploit vulnerabilities in your website as simple as weak passwords all the way to more technical flaws such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection – the latter of which I’ll cover in subsequent posts.
The most important factor is to understand that security threats are real and the vulnerabilities are undoubtedly present. When dealing with everything from hosted websites (someone else paid to host your site) all the way to the various blogging platforms you may host on your own, the security risks are always there. It’s a matter of understanding that it’s ultimately up to you to keep things in check. Even if you believe that there is nothing on your website that the bad guys would want, then you’re wrong. In many cases, your website can be used as a zombie distributor of malware, but the criminals can also perform their actions just because they can. It’s a self-esteem booster for them and often a stepping stone to use your system to attack others.
At best, a website breach can make you look bad; at worst, it’ll lead to an actual data breach that you may not be willing – or have the resources – to take on. Keep web security on your radar and do what you can to ensure your web presence remains just that – your web presence for no one else to mess around with.