Everyone who owns a computer or uses one hates malware, spyware and adware. Industries have been built around these three types of rouge software in an effort to combat them, which is meant from stealing financial information to just creating a nuisance for some. Either way, these kind of software has been scorned by users the world over since the first virus was made famous.
However, the evolution of computer technologies has led to many changes. The internet in particular has been one of the most influential technologies to have facilitated rapid changes and progress in the world of computers and how we humans use them today.
From this, sprang the terms and technologies themselves called ‘Web 2.0’, ‘new media’, ‘social media’, ‘blogging’ etc. However, the nasty software and technologies have evolved as well and continues to make their presence felt by causing lots and lots of troubles for us netizens.
Back in the age of Web 1.0 and below, these malwares, adwares and spywares were distributed through old-school ways of sharing data; via floppy drives and disks. Alas, the old floppy has to give way to USB drives and flash disks and various types of storage media. This however was quickly lapsed by the internet as more and more users went online for nearly everything computing needs they have; commerce, meeting new friends, finding and actually having jobs, influencing the world through their content etc.
This meant that in one way or another, a user has created a ‘website’ or ‘web page’ to suit their needs. From simple static pages to forums to their social networking profile pages to their blogs, I remember the great Mike Abundo summarizing this whole new trend in one clever sentence; “If you’re not on Google, you do not exist.”
Unfortunately for us, almost all the nasty software we so scorn today are also getting to us via the web, and they do that through our beloved websites. Serviced by hackers, malicious coders hack their way in websites left wide open or with lack-luster protection and plant their nasty seeds of bad software or “badware” springing to life when unsuspecting users visit that seemingly-safe and innocent site.
This is made worse by user who still use web browsers that are simply riddled with so many security holes Sponge Bob and Swiss cheese would hide in shame. (ehem! IE ehem!) This situation has unintentionally put all the burden on the common netizen who must go through the laborious process of regularly updating their firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-spyware, basically anti-badware, applying patches here and there.
This one-sided solution has allowed some one else to have a ticket to just sit back, enjoy the profits and eventually slack off. Web masters listen up. Help your visitors and loyal fans by brushing up on your website security, weed out potentially troublesome scripts, patch up security holes, implement more effective security measures and follow some web standards while you’re all at it.
This is Web 2.0 anyways so things will work better if both sides of the fence are working side by side to combat badware and make the internet a safer and cleaner place to be. Don’t take this lightly though, more and more sites are being infected and hijacked every day. The sadder fact is, some of the biggest hosting companies host most of the infected and troublesome sites.
StopBadware.org, the consumer protection initiative developed to combat badware, today released comprehensive data detailing the five companies that host the largest number of websites listed in its Badware Website Clearinghouse. These five companies combined host a large number of websites that have been identified as distributing malicious software to Internet users.
StopBadware.org analyzed 49,296 sites – sites submitted by trusted third parties to the StopBadware.org Badware Website Clearinghouse – and identified the following web hosting companies with the largest number of infected sites residing on their servers:
iPowerWeb, Inc., (10,834)
Layered Technologies, (2,513)
ThePlanet.com Internet Services, Inc, (2,056)
Internap Network Services, (1,437)
CHINANET Guangdong province network, (786)
This is a wake up call to all webmasters and webhosts big and small. Clean up, wise up and live true to your by-lines of providing quality web services 24/7. We do this, we make the web a safer place to be.