How Programmers Can Use A Service Like Github To Secure Their Open Source Projects

One of the best things about being a programmer is that fact that you are able to build a product from scratch that people are going to use.

While there are a whole host of other professions that you can do that in, with programming you are able to reach more people in a quicker time period.

For example, if you create a wooden piece of furniture, it will only be used by one person and it might take a while before they are able to get it.

With creating a program on the computer, you are able just use your imagination, type some words onto the screen and now you have something that someone on the other side of the world can use in their daily activities.

But even though you have a lot of freedoms that come with being a programmer, there are a lot of restrictions that you have to worry about as well.

One main restriction that you must worry about is who is able to get access to the files that you are using to create your masterpiece?

If they do have access to them are they able to make changes?

Or are they able to delete the files on a whim?

This could lead you to a very troubling problem.

If a person has access to your files they can do what they want including placing an infection on them.

Not only that but they can change your files to deliver an infection to someone else.

In this article I will take a look at this problem and see how you can stop it.

Github can be a real boon to programmers

Github can be a real boon to programmers

The Normal Programmer’s Work Flow

Before I get into a particular software or web site that will help you with your problem I will take a look at your normal every day work flow and see if there are any security weaknesses in it.

If you are a programmer that works from home, then when it comes to the access of your files you probably have very little too worry about.

You are usually the only one there and the only thing you would have to worry about is when you share files with people that you might be collaborating with.

That’s a problem that will be solved later on in the article.

But for now we will focus on the programmers who work in the office.

If that is you then there are a few warnings that you should take heed.

The first thing that you should remember is to never leave your code unattended.

You do not know the inner intentions of the people that you work with.

You never know what they are truly capable of doing unless they are pushed to their limit.

Unattended code can be exposed to different forms of malware.

Make sure that you do not fall victim to it.

When you leave your computer for any significant amount of time, have it lock up and such that it can only be opened by a password.

Also, place the files that you are working on inside of an encrypted folder.

This way, even though your computer is exposed, they still will not be able to get to those particular files.

Using Github To Save Yourself

After you have your desktop secured, now it is time to take a look at a more sensible storage system that will make sure that your files have redundant back up and they are at least scanned once a day.

This is what the service Github offers you.

They will store your files on their remote computers and by doing it this way you will know that your code is safe just in case a disaster happens to your home or work computer.

For example, if you have a file that you are working on, if you upload it to Github every time you make changes then you will have a record of that iteration of the program.

This means that in case anything happens to the newest version that you are working on then you can just take a step back and retrieve the earlier version.

So if there has been a corruption of the file in some way, you are covered more than on your home desktop.

As I said earlier, Github servers host a lot of different files so they need to be scanned to make sure that they are not carrying malware.

This way if you are sharing the files with someone else both you and your partners are protected.

The one thing that you must remember about Github is that you have to learn how to use the program Git in your workflow.

It can be complicated for a beginner but as you see it can save you from a world of hurt down the line.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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