Is it Your Job as a Web Developer to Warn Clients about Cybercrime?

With security becoming more important, our guest blogger, Vasilii Chekalov, asks us if we should warn clients about cybercrime.

Last Updated: • Opinion •
Cybersecurity image on screen

When it comes to your role as a web developer, how far does great customer service extend? Does it extend to offering your clients tips on protecting their site from a malicious attack? Or do you just publish the site and let them fend for themselves?

You’re Not Their Mother

At first glance, the answer is simple. You’re the developer, not their nursemaid. As long as you’ve done your job correctly, the site should be reasonably secure. It really shouldn’t be up to you to let the client know how to keep their site secure through the use of proper passwords, protected networks, and so on.

On the Other Hand

But, on the other hand, what if you don’t warn them, and the site gets hacked? Are they going to blame themselves for choosing a weak password, or are they going to blame the coding that you put in place?

What About the Middle Ground?

The truth is that you and I know well enough that the average person out there has no real idea of the dangers that they’re facing. The $455 billion lost in 2018 to cybercrime is evidence of that.

You might have attended some kind of security awareness training, or learned through experience. So, you understand what could go wrong. Many of your clients come to you because they don’t have a clue about how to build a website. They might know even less about cybersecurity.

You also know that most people are going to look for a scapegoat when something goes wrong. You developed the site, and so you make a handy target. So, while it isn’t technically up to you to educate them about what could go wrong, it’s good practice to do so anyway. 

Why Not See This is as a Value Add?

Here’s another way to put your expertise to good use. Why not create a resource for your clients. It could be something simple, like this infographic from EveryCloud. What they’ve done is to pull together a bunch of interesting stats and figures on cybercrime.

For most people, it will be an eye-opener. And, what’s more, the site owner is quite happy to allow you to publish the IG to your blog/ website. That is, as long as you use the embed code and credit the site correctly.

Now take things a step further. Create some valuable content of your own around the issue. You could, as part of your service, offer this as a step-by-step course, as an ebook, or as a resource on your own blog.

Then give them the information. And why not offer them a great deal on a site check-up every three months or so while you’re at it? It could bring in more business later or not, but at the very least, you’ve given your client a great value add that won’t take a lot of time and effort to create.

Conclusion

As a web developer, your role is somewhat limited. But thinking outside the box a little could help you keep a foot in the door and increase the lifetime value of each client to your business.

[infographic source]

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Picture of Jonathan Danylko

Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "Programming."

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