Internet security isn’t just for high tech companies and huge IT departments to worry about. Web designers need to think about it too. Even if you don’t believe the site you’re designing has anything worth stealing, protection is key to building a successful website. Sometimes hackers can use a weak website link to access personal information on a private computer, email, or account.
The prevalence of hackers for both ecommerce and simple blogs can’t be ignored. Every day 30,000 websites get hacked, and websites without any monetary value are no exception. If you want your website to be protected from malicious visitors, here are six internet security measures you’ll want to take.
1. Start with Physical Security
When you work in an office with multiple people, physical security is key to protecting your equipment and software from those around you. A common, but often overlooked way that hackers access a website is by accessing the computer where the original design was created.
That means if you ever leave your office or cubicle without logging out, someone can get onto your computer and access sensitive information about passwords or the design, which they can then use to hack your computer. Setting up video surveillance in your offices, as well as physically signing out of all accounts when leaving the room, are the best solutions.
2. Update Software
Software updates are much more than the annoying pings you get in the corner of your screen, reminding you to download the latest version of your software. Software companies devote much of their time to anticipating attacks and designing patches that will protect your software from these hacks. These updates are often there to protect your computer and the websites you design, but if you don’t install them, they can’t do you any good.
Most of these updates are simple and easy to do, but it’s even easier to forget. Set up a schedule and make it a habit to keep your software up to date at all times. Also. stay in touch with your software companies by signing up for newsletters and emails. This steady flow of information will make you aware right away of particularly important updates or threats you should be worried about.
3. Change Passwords Frequently
Hacking passwords is much easier than people think. It actually only takes 10 minutes to crack a simple, lowercase password that’s just six characters long. If you improve the password so that it has at least eight letters, an uppercase letter, and a couple of numbers, it will take nearly three years to gain access. The time it takes to crack a password continues to increase significantly depending on the complexity of the password and how often you change it.
4. Download Website Security Tools
There’s a community of tools that can perform penetration testing on your website to test security. Essentially, these tools act as hackers to assess weak points in your site’s interface, and then develop a comprehensive report so that you can make important changes. Some of the best tools include Metasploit, Wireshark, CORE Impact, Back Track, and Netsparker.
5. Ban File Uploads
It’s pretty risky to allow website users to upload files straight onto your website, even if they’re only uploading a new profile photo or avatar. Even though they might look innocent, file uploads can actually come linked with viruses and malicious codes that can either destroy your website or allow a hacker to enter.
If you must allow file uploads, treat each one with extreme suspicion. Set up security and screening services in order to verify that the upload will do no harm to your website.
6. Perform Validation
Finally, always perform validation on both the browser and server side of any connection. On the server side, this kind of validation can catch simple mistakes, like an empty or improperly occupied field. However, any good hacker can bypass this step, so running validation on the server side is important for spotting suspicious behavior and blocking a website from a malign visitor.
When it comes to web development and design, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Your job revolves around learning to bypass the risks and hurdles that come with designing a beautiful and effective website, which means you can’t ignore internet security. By doing your part to reduce hacking attempts on the websites you design, you can make the internet and ecommerce world a safer place.