Website Security

I didn’t anticipate learning about website security through my internship, but I’m glad to say I have. Most of my efforts so far have been focused on content. I’ve met with individuals on a few occasions, like the interviews I conducted for the FEIA and “Sticking it to the Man” articles. In other instances, I have gathered information through e-mail conversations or typical online research. My focus has been more on the department website’s material than the ‘web’ side of things.

I had a learning opportunity a few weeks back when a notification arrived in my e-mail inbox. It was a comment on my most recently posted article, and WordPress was requesting my approval for the comment to be posted. That seemed harmless enough to me, but as with anything new, I figured I should ask Dr. Wolek first before taking an action. I waited until our next meeting to bring it up.

As I should have expected, it wasn’t so simple as clicking approve. Dr. Wolek explained to me how comments can be used to gain greater access to a website, and therefore threaten the website’s security. Sure enough, the one that had appeared in my inbox seemed to match the description he’d given me of security-threatening comments. With a far stronger background in the writing aspect of my work than the web aspect, this was all news to me. As the internship expands, I hope to expand my understanding of how websites function.

One thought on “Website Security”

  1. That’s was a small (but important) taste of web security. My best advice to be skeptical when new people request access to anything web related. That can be hard is your default instinct is to trust people, but it’s an important part of being safe on the web.

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