4 Basic website security measures for the internet marketer

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/27/2007 | Website Promotion
With more people setting up their own home based, online business every day, the amount of vulnerable web sites is increasing at an alarming pace. And the blame for this lies mostly within the Internet Marketing community itself. Why? Using the powerful techniques of persuasion at their disposal, many so-called Internet Marketing Gurus lure people into setting up their own online business by providing them with ready-made, plug and play web sites that contain basic security flaws. Do not forget that most of these sites are made by marketers, not programmers! And the consequences for you can be disastrous...

One of the most common vulnerabilities - and paradoxically the most easily cured - is to ensure that each directory on your site contains an index file. By default, web browsers, when directed to a directory look first of all for a file named index. This could be followed by a variety of extensions such as .html, .htm, .shtml or .php to name the most common ones.

If the browser does not encounter the index file, it will display the entire directory in the form of a clickable navigation list, disclosing all its contents for the world to see, thus leaving your precious and often restricted content wide open to any type of malicious action.

To prevent this from happening you should make sure that you have at least one or a combination of the 4 following basic security measures in place:

Security measure 1:
Ensure that each directory contains an index file by renaming the default page you want to be shown to index. Then make sure that all the internal links to that page are updated as well!

Security measure 2:
Create an empty index file. When arriving at the directory, a blank page will be shown, but you will no longer be displaying a directory listing. You could also provide a message and a clickable link on that page to take your visitors to the correct page.

Security measure 3:
Create an index file that contains a redirection to the page you want to be shown. There are many free and easily implemented code snippets available that will allow you to do so and your visitors will not even notice that they are being redirected.

Security measure 4:
If you have downloadable content that people have to pay for, do not keep it it the same directory as the sales page, but keep it in a separate, secure directory and set up your payment processor to that directory. This way you ensure that only people who have paid for the content have access to it.

When selling products online as an Internet Marketer or otherwise, you are more prone to people trying to get to your restricted content so as to avoid having to pay for it. These 4 basic security measures should help you drastically reduce the risk of unlawful access to your site and save you from a lot of headaches and worries.