[frame_right][/frame_right]If you're a web design professional, you probably already know the dangers that hackers can pose to your websites - and ultimately to your client's livelihoods (and by proxy yours). Unfortunately, the threat of a hacked website is far more likely than many web designers might think, and the vast majority of websites are probably not adequately protected. Understanding how a hacker can access your site and what damage they can really do is critical in order to prevent malicious attacks against your website.
The most common vulnerability that hackers use to attack websites is Password Management. All too often even savvy, experienced webmasters and web designers are lazy about managing passwords. This leads to several serious risks that should be mitigated immediately:
*Passwords are never or rarely changed.
Ideally, passwords should be changed every 90 days or so, and more frequently for especially sensitive websites.
*The same passwords are used for multiple accounts.
In order to keep things as simple [read: lazy] as possible, many web developers, site owners and web masters reuse the same passwords for many different accounts. For example, the password used for logging into design software, hosting accounts, bank accounts and more are all the same or are close variations of the same password. This means that if one account is compromised, all accounts can easily be referenced and attacked as well.
*Passwords are not changed after being used by an employee or agent.
Sometimes a contractor may be needed to perform some task or work on a site, so admin access may be provided. Or, an employee with access to the backend of a website may leave the company. In either case, many web design professionals do not change the passwords or delete the users after they are no longer needed, leading to the potential for attack later on by that same person, or by an entity who has attacked that person and gained their previous information.
The solutions to these risks are obvious:
*Change passwords frequently
*Never use the same password for multiple purposes
*Restrict access and delete passwords/profiles used by former employees or temporary contractors
However, there are a number of other ways that a hacker can gain access to your website, and most of them are not as easy to solve as proper password management. A great deal of this involves personal security. For instance, web design professionals may be attacked personally through email, after visiting malicious websites, or through an identity attack. In these cases, personal information may lead criminals to professional information such as passwords and login information of your client's websites.
Consequently, all web design professionals should be equipped with advanced pc and internet security software and systems, or keep their personal and professional data completely separate altogether. Additionally, personal password management should be as much of a priority as business password management.
In Hackers Vs Web Design Professionals Part 2, we'll discuss 5 more vulnerabilities that crooks can use to hack your site. But if you're exposed and you need protection now, call the number at the top of your screen to speak to an expert about how your web design can safely ward off attack while still providing a significant value to your current and potential consumers. Take preventative action now and save thousands in corrective action later.