You will need to
take some precautions to keep your systems secure. If you have your
web site hosted, then you should ensure that the equipment itself is
secure, and that the company has taken steps to protect access to the
systems. To an extent you can avoid some of the worries of internet
security by using specialist secure payment providers
if you need to handle sensitive financial information and specialist
shop software that is designed to protect your commercial
data. Seek advice from a professional programmer to ensure any databases
you have are not accessible to unauthorised users.
Ensure your username
and passwords are kept secret, and not obvious. "Password,"
"admin," birthdays, names, football teams etc are not smart.
Passwords are better composed from odd combinations of letters and numbers
e.g.: df5j3g92w, which reduces the chance that villains (or the software
they use to generate likely words) can guess what they are. Use different
passwords for different applications.
As well as protecting
your web server, you will also need to protect your own PC.
leaders in protecting PCs from various security threats are Norton.
This package, called Norton
Internet Security covers three areas. Firewall - to prevent unauthorised
systems or persons hacking into your PC whilst you are connected to
the internet. Antivirus inspects files and emails for known computer
viruses that might cause harm to your systems - this can (needs) to
be unpdated by using their online update service. The system can also
allow you to control what information can be automatically be lifted
off (or downloaded to) your PC when you are communicating with particular
Only crazy people
run computers without antivirus protection.They can wipe out your whole
information system in seconds, and you would have to rely on your back
ups to bring your business back together. You do back up your data dont
You may also wish
to use encryption technology to protect your email communications. The
latest technology uses very large prime numbers to generate impossibly
complex code to encrypt communications. The beauty of the process is
that you can freely publish a "public key" which people can
use to encrypt messages they send to you, but only you can decrypt using
your "private key" To
send messages you ask for their "public key" and the decrypt
using their "private key" . This can be used to send sensitive
information between two parties, such as credit card information or
commercial secrets. You can also use the technology to "sign"
the documents you send which can then not be modified and be proven
to have come from you. This can be useful in making important agreements
with customers or suppliers by email. You can use th highly regarded
, which for a very modest price, delivers profoundly powerful security.
The other main area
of business internet security software is in applications used for controlling
(or spying on) what files or websites your employees look at on the
web, or filtering emails for certain words. If you have the kind of
work environment where you search your employees pockets, have high
staff thefts, insist your employees clock off to use the toilet, have
directors that always go on to join competitors or have Industrial Relations
like a Dickens novel - then you need one of these systems. As an alternative
you might wish to improve your staff relations, increase mutual trust,
employ some real managers or change the way you do business.
If you require further
guidance on the subject of internet security software as part of an
integrated web site operation, we would be pleased to help. Please contact