Web Site Security

The role of the web designer, in a nutshell, is stimulating with how the web site looks like and how visitors or users “experience” with the website. Security hasn’t really been a primary concern for almost if not all, web designers.

During the pioneer days of the internet web, there was very little chance for a web designer to create a way for the visitors to interact with the websites they view. The webpages consisted of static content which was comprised of images and text that were done in HTML. But now those days have passed. As the new tools that were used evolved in building websites, the same has happened with the security treats the modern sites now face.

As a web designer, we should have the understanding of what security treats our design work and the know our websites are vulnerable to and what are the steps needed to take to protect our work from any malicious hacks. While during our project scope, security is not being a first main priority, the following concepts should be address withing every website we create and build.

Web Security

Web Security

Your Workstation; Secure it!

Lets say you have someone who wants to hack your site, the first thing they would need is to find a way in. Having malware installed on a web designers computer, a hacker can now see when you are logging in to your sites FTP or Control Panel. The hacker can now capture your username and your password to gain full access to your website. keep your station malware free, that should be your first thought of a designer when it comes to internet security. In actuality, you should be scanning your workstation before you do any password changing just to make sure that they are not being stolen through a spyware or keystroke logger.

Since we are on the topic of passwords, try to make sure you use a unique password, not an easy to guess, complexed one. This will aid in protection towards your password if ever it has been compromised. If you reuse the same one, regardless of how complicated it may be, the hacker will get it. Know your codes, Javascript, HTML5, Rails – these are just a few of the internet languages used during web development. It has plenty of vulnerabilities that can compromise any website.

While plenty will make the argument that a wed designer or developer is the one responsible for securing the code, a web designer cant just hand the baton that easily. If you’re working with coding HTML5 then give the OWASP HTML5, a Security Cheat Sheet a quick look so you can see just what might be at a security risk. Better know what risks you face.

Of course designer that works with websites should be familiar with cross-site scripting and know how to prevent it.

Giving Up Too Much Information

A web site is created to give information to its viewers. However, there are times we give too much content. GO to a few websites and check out their About Us pages and see how much information they end up giving about their higher managements. Usually, its fairly enough for anyone to just put together a good and accurate profile of at least 1 Senior level manager.

Not only doe a site give out too much about the team of an organization, they sometimes often tell a bit over much about applications and hardware that is used to run their business. Hackers find it useful information for them with third party applications such as CMS and shopping carts.

Be cautious of Ad Networks

Websites which reply on ad revenue have an issue all to themselves, even just the ads have issues. There always topics on the web in regards to network ads which are serving malware. And usually, its not reserved for the small network ads that no one has heard of before. What happens is that the advertisement creates an ad which when you click on it will take victim to another website which then exploits their browser or any other software on the computer and then it will install the malware.

So… does this mean just because you are a web designer that you are now expected to be an expert with security online just to be a true designer? Absolutely not! But then again it would be considered negligent for any one person who works in the industry of technology who has no sense of understanding security treats in their field. Having atleast a bit of knowledge will help to keep away hackers from attacking your sites and will insure your clients get the best possible service you can provide to them.

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