harkins

May 152012
 

The Internet has become a war zone and by having a web site, you are placing yourself on the front lines. Religious and political fanatics of all stripes and spots, in all parts of the world, are the aggressors. What they cannot achieve by persuasion and the value of their dogmas, they act out by attacking web sites of innocent bystanders, like yourself.

A famous comment says, “War is just another form of politics.”

If you are lucky and diligent about protecting yourself, you probably will not see evidence of that battle. But your web site – all web sites – are under contant attack.

There are men (it’s almost exclusively men, because women are not allowed to attend school in many of those countries) whose delight is hacking into web sites solely for the purpose of changing the home page to an ugly and noisy rant against something they hate. The tools they use are commonly available all over the Internet.

They are able to do this because, contrary to what you may think you know, just about any web site can be either entered and tampered with or even taken over. All that’s needed is time, the right tools and a blind determination that is not limited by time or money.

In the past year alone, successful hacks have happened repeatedly to the web sites and internal computer systems of NASA, the US Department of Defense, Microsoft, – and just about every major business and government in the world.

(Ask Iran what happened in 2011 to the computer network that manages their nuclear bomb-making-materials factory.)

It is scary, but not at all unusual, that our own hosting servers, like everyone else, are attacked repeatedly every hour, every day. Fortunately, we have strong systems in place that are constantly monitored and updated. That diligence is why you pay us to host your web site. That’s where a lot of that money goes.

But we cannot protect you from yourself.  The site owner is the most vulnerable chink in our defenses because we cannot see or control the things a site owner can do. If you leave a door open or a window unlocked, or turn off your home alarm system, the local police department only learns that your prenises have been burglarized after an entry.

The problem with web sites is, you can’t be expected to recognize what an unlocked system looks like or how to relock it.

So, from time to time, we will write here – and post links to other Internet news stories – on how to protect your web site on any hosting company’s server.

Here are two articles we HIGHLY recommend to all web site owners.  Click on a title to read it.