Security is a top priority for web users today, particularly as the Internet of Things (IoT) pushes ever further into our daily lives. Along with this increased emphasis on web safety, however, designers are facing savvier hackers with ever evolving strategies for breaking through digital safeguards. That’s why web designers should take some cues from locksmiths. Locksmiths are old school security experts and but they can bring a new perspective to tech security.
There’s a reason we don’t use skeleton keys to open our locks anymore – they simply don’t offer much security. Unfortunately, many websites allow their users to create passwords that are the digital equivalents of a skeleton key. These are the sites that let users enter their own name, the word “password,” or other easy to break combinations to protect their accounts. It’s time to make a change.
Proactive web security demands stronger passwords – ones containing capital letters, numbers, and symbols, and ideally should begin offering two-factor authentication. This makes it harder for hackers to break into accounts.
Break It Yourself
Have you ever tried to break into your own website? The idea may seem ludicrous at first, but considering the potential losses associated with a privacy breach, it’s an idea worth considering.
Any good locksmith will tell you that the best way to determine your home’s security needs is by personally testing all weak points. Can you climb in through a window? Did you accidentally leave the porch door unlocked? These seemingly minor weak points can leave a home vulnerable, and websites have plenty of similar points where hackers can break in.
Now is the time to case the joint. Would it be easy for an outsider to learn your IP address and gain access to information or alter your site? Are all parts of your site encrypted? If you’re not sure how to answer these questions, find a tech savvy friend and see if they can disrupt your site or gain account information, then fix any weaknesses.
Know The Standards
Every industry has best practices. For locksmiths, best practices involve only installing locks that meet industry standards for security and installing those locks properly. In web design, the standards for security are similar. Your site should only work with leading web security experts to build in necessary protections. Many sites even advertise the high level of security they offer users – this can lure users who feel anxious about previous security breaches, as well as help your site build a reputation for responsible design. Security standards that make users feel they can trust your company is one of the leading factors driving consumer choices in the digital realm today.
Stay Up To Date
Many locksmiths make a point of advising their clients never to buy locks at antique shows or garage sales – both because someone might still possess a key and because better technology has come to the market. Those old locks and keys might be fine for an inside door, say for a teenager seeking a little more privacy, but they shouldn’t be used on the outside of your home.
The same is true when it comes to older web security systems. You need to keep your system up to date because system updates are often intended to patch weaknesses that hackers could otherwise exploit. Installing system updates is one of the least onerous tasks web designers are responsible for, and these updates should never be skipped, even if you think your site isn’t a target. Hackers break into sites because they can, not necessarily because they think they’ll gain something from it.
Locksmiths have a lot of wisdom about safety practices – even about digital safety. That’s because locksmiths are part of a long history of best practice assessments and innovations. As they’ve worked to stay ahead of creative criminals, they’ve learned to think outside the box and spot weaknesses quickly. Web designers can gain a lot from these insights.