Security threats is one of the biggest issues that websites face and those threats are not only here to stay. They’re getting more frequent and sophisticated. Whether you use a dedicated or shared hosting, they are both vulnerable to security attacks.
Shared hosting is however more susceptible to a cyber-attack because of its design and operation. But there are ways to prevent or lessen these threats and or their impact. Let’s start though by delving a little into what shared hosting is.
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What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is when several websites are hosted on one physical server. It is one of, if not the most common types of web hosting. So it’s understandable why there’s a minimal cost attached to it. Though it is common and inexpensive, it also has its own set of issues when security is brought into the equation. But the security concerns or issues, while valid, are not insurmountable. There are numerous measures in place to secure your account on a shared hosting plan.
Top six ways to secure your shared hosting account.
1. Choose a host that’s safe
Always aim for the safest hosting provider available. This is important; as it allows you to, from the beginning, offer users the peace of mind that they can trust you. Choosing a secured and reliable hosting provider means you are taking necessary steps to protect your visitors’ information.
The right host will also save you time, money and resources. They do this by providing high uptime and secure servers. This could otherwise prove to be costly. You might be tempted to think that, ‘they’re all just web hosting sites’, but that’s not the case.
All web hosts are not the same and because one is more popular than another, doesn’t mean it’s better or safer.
And while things such as ratings, reviews and website design, are not always clear indications that a host is the safest or the best, they can definitely give you an idea of what to expect from a potential host.
The idea therefore is to know what you want from a host and do your research to find the one that can deliver that while offering maximum security.
2. Use Stronger Passwords
Birthdays, anniversaries and names are ALWAYS horrible options for passwords. Using personal information makes your account more vulnerable to cyber criminals. Those are the first things they’re going to try.
So instead of names and sentimental dates, use a combination of random letters, numbers and special characters when creating your passwords. The weirder and longer a password, the stronger it is, which means it’s harder to crack.
It’s harder to crack Vw54hg*/$HR, than it is to crack Aug082019. Think about that, before you settle on a password.
To take it a step further, make password validation a requirement for users and encourage them to use strong passwords, if your website allows them to create them.
3. Use Two-factor Authentication
Given that cyber criminals are putting more and more effort into how they carry out their attacks, businesses must also increase the measures they implement to combat these attacks.
Two-factor authentication is one of those small, but very critical measures.
As the term suggests, it is a two part process that is used to verify users before they’re logged into a website and based on the fact that shared hosting has its vulnerability, two- factor authentication is very beneficial. Let’s say someone were to guess that your password is Aug 08, 2019 and try to log into your account, they’d gain access and do just about anything they want with your data.
With two- factor authentication, it’s not that easy. The unauthorized individual trying to access your account would be asked to provide additional information before they’re allowed into the account.
The additional information can range from secret questions to codes that are sent to your email or text message. But it really doesn’t matter what verification method is used, because you will be assured that your account is being protected from unscrupulous individuals.
4. Stay clear of unreliable sources
You cannot be on the internet just clicking away at every link you come across or downloading information from just about any source.
Whether you are installing a plugin, creating a theme for a website, or downloading software, check to make sure source you’re getting the information from can be trusted.
Third party sources may seem like a quicker and easier option when you urgently need information, but they can end up causing more security troubles than you bargained for, because these sites have malicious codes designed to intercept and steal your sensitive information.
Coding is not a strong point for some third party sources, which means that they will waste no time reducing your account’s security once they’re embedded. It will therefore prove wise to avoid unreliable sources as much as is possible.
5. Backup data often
No security measure or feature is 100% secure so there’s always a chance for your account to be breached. Regular backups ensure that in the event of an attack, you can retrieve your data, because it wouldn’t have been completely destroyed.
There is however some dos and don’ts involved in the backup process. Familiarize yourself with them before you start. Read more about cloud backup here.
6. Update Software Regularly
Software Developers fix security weaknesses by doing upgrades. It is therefore crucial that you update your software regularly so as to ensure that you have the best defense against cyber-attacks.
If you fail to update your software when it becomes available you put your account at risk, because the older version that you’ll be using is not adequately equipped to deal with the potential security threats that the newer one is designed to handle.
It is free to update your software so why not do it?
Using Distributed Denial of Service, DDOS, protection and cloud firewall are other ways you can secure your shared hosting account.
But whether you use all or some of the measures highlighted above, they will give you peace of mind, knowing that your account is secure.