When you spend any significant chuck of time creating and maintaining a website, it becomes a labor of love. When you’re heavily invested in your creation, protecting it should always be at the top of your list. In recent years, countless horror stories have surfaced about hijacked websites, hacking of sensitive hidden info, stolen user credentials, and more. In light of this sad reality, it would be insanely foolish to neglect website security.
Basic HTTP authentication is one way to tighten up security around your site. Think of your overall security plan as the layers of an onion – the more layers you add, the harder it will be for a bad guy to break in. By enabling basic HTTP authentication on your site’s private webpages, you’re adding a much-needed layer of safety to your online masterpiece.
Understanding HTTP Authentication
In order to appreciate the benefits of HTTP authentication, you first need to understand what exactly it is. Let’s break this down super simple style, shall we? Firs, there’s the HTTP transaction. That’s just the act of a browser sending a request to a server, followed by the server’s response. Both request and response use HTTP when they’re sent.
Whenever an HTTP transaction happens, if the server has enabled HTTP authentication, the browser or client program must offer up some credentials in order to gain access. Once an Internet user enters the correct user name and password, he or she will gain access to the protected page.
Advantages and Warnings
The first major plus of using basic HTTP authentication is simply that all browsers support it. If your company runs a smaller website that’s not open to the public, this option would be a dynamite addition to your existing website security plan. If you are the head of a large (and very public) online community, then you may need to opt for a different kind of authentication plan.
If you’re on team of programmers or system administrators, then you may have used basic HTTP authentication in your trusted network environment at some point or another. Since programmers must be able to read and diagnose activity, this form of authentication is preferable due to its simplicity. Bottom line: use this authentication technique in a trusted environment or on a private network. Otherwise, proceed with caution or enable additional security features to supplement HTTP authentication.
Introducing SiteUptime’s HTTP Authentication Monitoring
Did you know that SiteUptime offers HTTP authentication along with its other website uptime monitoring services? When you purchase a website monitoring plan (you can compare the features of each here), you can add HTTP authentication for only $5 extra per month. We do all the heavy lifting – all you must do is select a user name and password for the page you want to protect, and we’ll take it from there. No coding required.
If someone tries to access the page and the login attempt fails, SiteUptime will automatically send you an alert so you can check out the situation immediately. If you have a private network with webpages you’d like to protect, HTTP authentication is for you. If you have questions about this service, contact us for more information.