Webmaster Security Threats for 2009
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When you deal with the world of the web, especially when you do so professionally, it is not at all easy to forget that that you will be facing a bevy of new security challenges. After all, the Internet is a place that was founded on the principle of innovation, and it is highly unlikely that its innovation will stop any time soon. For the most part, the changes that occur are apt to be good things that help to improve sites. Some, on the other hand, turn out to be bad things done to help those trying to engage in illegal, unethical and downright destructive actions against your site.
Whether the problem happens to be with someone who is looking to alter the content of your site in order to enrage your readers, and/or someone with more nefarious intent, such as getting your bank account numbers and stealing your identity, you are going to have to deal with the problem. If you donít, eventually either something will happen that you can end up being liable for, or your readership will simply drop off because theyíre sick and tired of having to deal with the drawbacks of your site. Neither one is exactly what you would call a pleasant alternative.
Of course, in order for you to deal with these threats effectively, you need to know what they are. Any military strategist who has won at least one battle will tell you that it is definitely harder to win a battle if you donít know the lay of the land. Donít be fooled; there may not have been any formal declaration of war but you are in battle.
So before you go out there to engage the enemy, letís get you a topographical map of some of the threats that you may be facing when you deal with people who have malicious intentions. Once you know what you might be coming up against, it is much easier for you to devise strategies to deal with these potential problems when they occur, or if you happen be lucky, strategies for mitigating these problems so that you can prevent them from occurring at all, and save your readers the discomfort of discovering that your site has let them down in the security department.
One note to the reader before we begin: the threats are listed in no particular order. No one threat is more likely or unlikely than the others on the whole. The type of threats that you might encounter will depend greatly on the nature of your site, the type of data that you collect, and the content of your site. Itís up to you to use your best judgment to figure out which threats you need to neutralize first, which threats you need to be constantly watching for, and which threats, if any at all, you choose to ignore. Though, to be completely honest, this author recommends that you not ignore any threats.
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