Making Your Site Secure

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One of the biggest keys to online business success is winning the loyalty and confidence of your client base.  Online relationships depend on factors like credible content, necessary products/services, and security. 

A client can very easily detect whether or not you are protecting their privacy by offering a secure site. If you don't have an obvious way to show your visitors that your site is safe, you may miss out on the opportunity to see relationships grow.

Ensure that your site is secure and that your visitors know it's secure by displaying a privacy policy. This part is easy and requires nothing more than you putting a statement on your demographic page that says: "We will not sell or share your information with anyone else. We believe in total confidentiality."

Unfortunately, more must be done to give your visitors peace of mind. The other part of securing your site requires technology. It's important for you to know the facts on what happens when you don't take the time and money to invest in this technology. The potential consequences will provide strong motivation for you to do your homework and to put a symbol on your home page showing your status.

Out in the cyber world, there are people called hackers. These individuals are very smart and can do terrible damage to the confidential information in your database, thereby destroying your reputation. When information is sent from a visitor to your database, it can be intercepted by the bad guys and stolen. This may include personal information (name, address, phone, sex, income, DOB) which is bad. Even worse is when financial information, like credit card numbers, are accessed by hackers and then used! Obviously, the repercussions to the individual, and to you as a web business owner, are tremendous. Don't take any chances... protect your site!

Now that I have your attention, let me tell you that security can be done in two different ways:

  • Encryption is a way of coding information that is entered into a site, making it nearly impossible to be decoded by hackers. The system uses a 128-bit language with little chance for corruption.
  • Firewall is a hardware/software combo that separates a network into two or more parts preventing unauthorized access. The firewall restricts access from one area of information on the Internet to another. Major corporations may choose to do this so that potential hackers could not access files in two different areas of the company (the finance and sales departments for example). A firewall cuts down on the negative impact of exploitation.

You may also hear the term Secure Socket Layers (SSL), which was developed initially by Netscape but is utilized by all browsers. This is an indication that encrypted or coded information can be transferred and de-coded by the appropriate recipient. In other words, it is a sign that the information you enter is safe and secure. Look for SSL icons on any page where you give information about yourself. The icons take the form of a key, a padlock, or another sign indicating security. Simultaneously, when you are developing your own business website, do not make the dreadful mistake of leaving a security icon off. Many potential customers will do a cursory review of your e-commerce site before buying. If there is no visible sign that your website is secure, it is doubtful that the visitor will take the time to explore further. The risk of buying from an insecure e-commerce site, no matter how great the product, is simply not worth it.

You will also notice that secure sites have a URL address beginning with https://... The addition of the letter "s" stands for secure.

If you would like to explore the issue of site security further, or find out how to make your site secure, check out www.verisign.com. Verisign is the leading provider of Internet trust services needed by Web sites, enterprises, and e-commerce service providers to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce and communications over IP networks.

Another website to check out is: www.primefactors.com. Prime Factors Inc. is an internationally recognized and trusted designer and producer of information security and data encryption systems.

To read articles about security on the web, visit www.internet.com and enter "web security" in their site search box. I was impressed by the number of articles about making sites secure and the risks of putting yourself out on the web.



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