How Free Scripts Can Create Security Problems

With the Internet entering our lives in such an explosive manner, it was inevitable that Internet security issues would follow as well. While credit card frauds are an offline security problem that has been carried over to the Internet as well, spamming and phishing are uniquely Internet security hazards.

Spammers are an Internet phenomenon that have been given great encouragement by the distribution of free scripts. Free scripts and free downloadable software are one of the greatest attractions of the web. Unfortunately, they are also one of the biggest security risks the Internet offers.

Spammers use free scripts to their advantage very ingenuously. Refer-a-Friend scripts are a great asset on any site. They allow visitors to recommend a site to their friends. And, by simply a Refer-a-Friend script, a Webmaster can increase traffic on his website at zero cost!

Unfortunately, Refer-a-Friend scripts that don't have built-in security features are a popular tool with spammers as well. When your site visitor enters friends' e-mails, the insecure Refer-a-Friend scripts capture those e-mails and collates them into a Spam database.

The spammers then use the e-mails to create illegal lists and sell them for a profit or send large quantities of Spam. This can result in major damage for your website from loss of consumer loyalty and trust to deactivation of your e-mail privileges by your hosting company to even disbarment from your web server.

It thus becomes vital that any Refer-a-Friend script that you choose to install on your website must have a security feature. The scripts should limit how many people can be e-mailed at one time and how many e-mails can be sent within a limited period. It can also set a delay before the form can be used again. One of the most effective security features is to get visitors to enter a randomly generated visual code, which is not readable by Spam software. Forewarned is forearmed.

Patti Santee and the programmers at PhpVille.com help affiliate marketers increase traffic by adding interactive features to Websites. Stop by and check out PhpVille's current special offers.

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A game changer in IT security  MIT Technology Review

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