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Web, Mobile and Cybersecurity Best Practices – Juror Opinions

 

Björn Puype

Björn Puype

 Software Developer at Ypto Brussels Area, Belgium - Jury Member 

 

Digital Impact Awards Africa #DIAA will award products and services in the categories such as Best Corporate Website, Best Corporate Cybersecurity Practice & Best Mobile App among others. In the opinion of Mr Bjorn Puype, one of the project jury members based in Brussels, Belgium, the following are some of the best practices these products and services should observe.

Best Corporate Website

A Corporate website should like any other website follow the best practices for web development. This means that the website should have a well thought out structure, a clear navigation, a good search system and a good design.

A good structure makes it easier for the users to find the content they are looking for. Navigation between the different pages and sections should be obvious for the users. The search system should provide relevant results. An attractive, modern design with a limited set of colors, good readability and information density improve user experience.

On a corporate website, the company's goal and vision should be clearly explained. A detailed overview of it's products and/or services, contact information and job vacancies should be easy to find. Nowadays companies are also present on social networks, so links to their pages on those networks are important as well. As part of the branding, the main color from the company's logo could be incorporated in the site design. A dedicated press section is a nice addition as well.

More and more businesses have online store besides a physical store or provide online access to their services (e.g. banks). Security is a crucial element in these cases. A secured connection is a minimum requirement (i.e. https). Since users are always the weakest element in the security chain, one should not only rely on what the user knows (i.e. password) but also on something the user has to authenticate users. This two-factor authentication can be done with an application on the customer's mobile phone that generates a code, a smart card or using other methods. The password policy should combine usability with security, so have a decent minimum length and require upperand lowercase characters and digits.

In case of online shopping, user may like to limit the number of sites that know their credit card information.  The use of trusted payment platforms like PayPal or Ogone in Belgium is key in such cases.

Best Mobile App

What defines a good mobile app? Just like a website, a mobile app should have a good structure, design and navigation. Each mobile platform has their own guidelines and paradigms to achieve this. So the application should follow these guidelines for the respective platform.

The idea behind the application should be simple but ingenious. If it can make the user's life a lot easier by helping them to achieve a goal or perform a certain task it can really create a desire or even a need for the user to have the app.

Since the revelations made by Edward Snowden, privacy is becoming a great concern. The application should therefore only require the minimum permissions needed to provide its functionality. A flashlight application does not need access to the user's contacts.

Both for website and mobile app security is a very important issue.

 


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