One of the most important things that an individual who uses the internet needs to recognize is the danger of website security threats. Because most of the rogue processes that damage computers and reveal personal information to hackers are invisible to the end-user, it is more critical than ever to stay current and to recognize the most common threats and how they can potentially damage your computer or invade your privacy.
Phishing is probably the most common threat to internet users today and those responsible for phishing attacks generally have one goal in mind; to obtain personal information about as many people as possible. This personal information could include your credit card, bank account and Social Security Number. But it does not stop there, and any information that you provide to these hackers can be stolen and used without your consent or knowledge. Phishing scams are often spread through email, but can be spread by the placement of links on websites, blogs or internet forums where users might unknowingly click them. This is becoming fairly standard practice, as people are becoming more cautious about clicking links in unsolicited email messages.
Web Application Vulnerabilities
Developers are constantly working to improve the security of web-based applications that do two things; make the lives of end-users easier and make it easier for hackers to access web servers. The objective is to continue improving user experience while cutting off access to the hackers. An example of a web application where vulnerabilities are common, is a shopping cart. Anyone purchasing something online must be constantly vigilant about the sites where credit card information is entered. Sometimes, a hacker can redirect users unknowingly to a fake checkout site, where their information can be stolen. For this reason, it is important for application developers and end users of websites to be knowledgeable about internet security.
Many websites request or even require end-users to create accounts and to log into their website in order to access information. This is not the security threat. The threat is actually utilizing the same password for every website or using passwords that are the same or similar to those you might use to access your bank account, credit cards or other secure websites where private information is maintained. While users need to be aware of the dangers of using a single password approach, it is important for site owners to educate members about the importance of rotating, changing and not duplicating passwords.
Clickjacking is something that might seem less common today than it was a decade ago, however it is still out there. This type of website vulnerability happens when a hacker modifies the code of the site to include a link somewhere on the page that directs site visitors to a site where their computers can be infected by a file that is secretly downloaded, or their information can be stolen through a seemingly innocent data collection form.
The most important thing to do in order to combat website security vulnerabilities is to stay aware of the websites you use and to find out what threats are currently circulating. There are many places where users can read about technology and this is a good place to look for information.
Damon Robinson is an IT security specialist and guest author at websitehostreview.com.