The Butterfly Effect: Are you smart enough to run a website?

The Butterfly Effect: Are you smart enough to run a website?

The Butterfly Effect: Small variations of the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system…

Are you smart enough to run a website?

In the realm of Internet security, webmasters (hosting service providers) are pivotal in reducing the impact of compromised/malware-laden websites.  Once a compromised site becomes known to a webmaster (or hosting service provider) it should be disconnected from the Internet.

As a webmaster (hosting services provider) you play an integral role in guarding the integrity of site code and maintaining upgrade compliance. One neglectful action on your part – such as failure to acknowledge a website vulnerability can seriously effect all site visitors.  An iframe exploit may seem small and insignificant at first, until a payload is dumped and eventually herds hundreds, or even thousands of innocent victims into the bowels of a stealthy botnet.

As a webmaster (hosting service provider) when using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, you are also responsible for the health of your profile URL that links back to your website. If a social networking site filters your profile link, you should take the warning seriously.

Recently, I was astonished and alarmed by a website owner on She disguised her profile link with another domain that redirected visitors back to the initial infected domain.  She was able to , but at what cost to website visitors?  Her reasoning for switching the URL was “yeah i thought maybe i could trick it but i guess not. i’ll have to remove the links for now.”  The new link was never removed from her profile, though her site was eventually cleaned up. How many people became infected during the interim trick Irresponsible actions, as noted above, are all too prevalent when it comes to taking social responsibility for compromised websites.

Are you smart enough to run a website?

Taking responsibility for Internet security is something that we all should be taking seriously. From home user levels to corporate user levels – there is no room for feigning technological stupidity.  If you are a small business owner and operating a company website, you need to become educated on how to properly secure and maintain your website.  If you are unable to take Internet security seriously, you will need to hire a professional.

Cyber-crooks are relentless in their pursuit of your money, and it’s all about the money. In the worst case scenario, your identity and your financial security can be severely compromised.  –Source: Bill Mullins

Running a website is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly. Today, cybercrime rules the Internet highways. If you don’t know how to drive, park the car and get out now!

Bill further elaboratesBeing involved in computer security, I am amazed, and frustrated, at the lack of personal responsibly exhibited by most typical computer users, and most importantly, the lack of commitment to acquiring the knowledge necessary to ensure personal safety on the Internet. In a word, becoming “educated. This concept is also applicable to webmasters.

Steps that you can take to secure your website

Kevin Roderick suggests Seven essential resources to help protect your website from technical attack:

  1. Google Webmaster Tools
  2. Google’s Safe Browsing Diagnostic Tool
  3. Google’s Online Security Blog
  4. Stop Badware’s Link Clearinghouse
  5. Webmaster World
  6. Matt Cutts Blog
  7. Search Engine Land

The Butterfly Effect is here to stay.  Even the smallest of actions can severely impact all of us.  One malware link to a .cn domain could compromise one computer.  One computer then joins a botnet.  Next on the agenda — ten thousand computers join a botnet.  Why?  Because the computers already house severe vulnerabilities.  As webmasters (hosting service providers) do not downplay your Internet security role as insignificant.

Until next time — stay safe online!


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