Web Site Security: 8 Tips

by: William Davis

The computer age has made the personal computer affordable for most people of virtually every industrialized country. Whether it takes the form of a desktop or laptop, all computers are used for a wide variety of functions. As the number of people on the Internet soars ever higher, security becomes an increasing concern. Here are some tips to help ensure a personal or business Web site is secure against attack.

1. Passwords are the first line of defense. Most programs have a maximum number of characters for the password, and it is best to use all every available character. Each additional letter or number in a password makes it that much more difficult for someone to figure out what it is.

2. It is very common for people to use important dates, names of loved ones, and other things close to the heart their heart as their password. Unfortunately this information is not very difficult to discover. Then it simply becomes a matter of trying each likely candidate until one works. Passwords should never be these kinds of things so that the contents of the computer will not be compromised.

3. The worst kind of passwords are those that are simply a sequential series of letters or numbers, or those where the log in name and password are the same. This lack of imagination practically begs for a security breach to happen.

4. Only the owner of a Web site should be privy to the security codes on it. No one else should know password and it is best never to write it down. If the password falls into the wrong hands, or is even suspected of being compromised, it should be changed immediately.

5. Some passwords are case sensitive. If the password was originally entered with the caps-lock off, but upon logging on it was typed with caps-lock on, the system will not honor the password. A clever user can take advantage of this feature by randomly distributing capital and lower-case letters in a password.

6. The natural assumption when trying to guess someone’s password is to believe it to be a real word. However this need not be the case. Some of the most unbreakable passwords are those which are not words at all.

7. Another security problem that some people create is the act of using the same log in and password when logging on to many different sites. Should only one of these sites be cracked the chances are the others will also be compromised. It is best to use a different password for each site. At the very least, reused passwords should be limited only to applications where security is not important. For example, Web forum memberships, if compromised, represent very little danger to the user so long as the password used for those sites is not reused for anything where sensitive data could be stored.

8. When using Web sites that require a login, simply closing the browser is not sufficient to prevent other users from accessing that information from the same computer. It’s possible to simply re-open the browser and gain access to the site without needing to log back in. Use the proper log-out procedure on the Web site before closing the browser in order to avoid this from happening.

Keeping secure on the Internet is not just the job of those who create software products for the consumer. It is also the responsibility of each and every computer user. The user can feel at ease knowing the contents in the Web sites are safe by simply taking the appropriate safety measures.