Non-profit Trustworthy Internet Movement conducted a survey and found that 52% of websites were using version of security protocols that were known to be compromised. In other words, over half of all websites are at risk for some type of security breach. To tackle this problem, TIM is publishing a list of sites that don’t have their website security up to date.
The purpose of this list is two-fold: to prevent people from possibly going to an infected website, and to encourage websites to improve their website security and to make themselves safer for web visitors. TIM and this list are specifically targeting Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, because many websites are implementing this security measure incorrectly or incompletely. SSL is meant to encrypt the communication between a website and its visitors, and is the focus of this effort because SSL is considered fundamental to the Internet and to online security.
Even the results of the survey, and more surveys to come (the list will be published and updated regularly), TIM will not necessarily be notifying every single website owner who’s on the list. This means that it’s up to website owners to ensure their own website security and to ensure they are implementing SSL correctly. Although websites can appeal their appearance on the list, it’s also wise to check and to see if your website is secure.
To do this, make sure you have all the necessary plugins installed and up-to-date, such as the WordPress security plugin for WordPress-hosted websites. Also check to see if you don’t already have an infected website, since an infection already means that your website has holes in its security. To test your website security, simply use a trustful online monitoring service such as WebsiteDefender.com, which requires no learning curve or maintenance.
Overall, website security is moving from “buyer/consumer beware” to something website owners need to think about and to do something about. Inadequate website security can do a lot of damage to the brand and reputation of a website, especially if something happens. If initiative isn’t taken now, then the whole world will be told that you’re website isn’t safe to visit.