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Monday, August 25, 2008

Are You Infecting Your Customers' Computers?

As part of our company's customer prospecting activities, our sales staff will routinely review a prospect's web site to learn more about the company before making contact.

Several times in the last few weeks, we've nearly become infected by computer viruses by sites that are infected just by visiting the web site. Fortunately, our anti-virus protection has enabled us to avoid catastrophe.

I often wonder how long it will be before the company will discover that their site is trying to infect everyone that visits it. I don't blame any company that becomes a victim of hacking as it can be difficult to keep up with all the new viruses launched. But, if a company's site has been infecting visitors for some time without the company knowing or addressing it, then that's a clear sign of web site neglect.

Every company should take responsibility for making sure that its site is functioning as intended by regularly reviewing it. From the standpoint of virus protection, that should happen every day by visiting the site. Applications should be tested once a month to make sure they're operational.

Having a site requires a proactive attitude toward marketing, customer service and site maintenance at a level that wasn't heard of in pre-Internet days. Not to make that adjustment hurts not only your company's ability to compete, but ultimately could damage the relationships you have with existing customers.