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Online Security Issues, Part 1

by Alan Grissett, Owner and Project Manager of InfoServe Media, LLC

This article begins a short series dealing with security issues that every Web site owner or developer should be aware of. These articles will include some simple tips to ensure your data remains safe. It's important to be aware of these issues because for many organizations, a Web site is an integral part of their processes, and any downtime can result in costly maintenance work, lost business, or upset customers.

First and foremost, you should only grant access to those who need access. For example, if you will be the only one uploading files to the site, no one else should have FTP privileges. If there is only one person in your organization who needs access to financial data related to the Web site, only that person should be able to access the billing records for your account. This also applies to any of the other features or services that are accessible by administrators of the Web site.

Second, and perhaps the single most important security precaution, is to use strong passwords. A good general rule in password creation is that a password should be easy for you to remember but impossible for others to guess. Also, it should contain both alphabetical and numerical characters, and if possible, special characters such as %, !, or (. By having a strong password, you can ensure that hackers cannot access your mission critical Web, e-mail, and database files.

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