If you are looking to save money on building and managing a website, shared hosting may be the way to go. Shared hosting is incredibly affordable these days, so much that you can have a personal or business website for just a couple of dollars a month. What makes this arrangement so affordable? With shared hosting, you are literally sharing disk space and various resources with other customers. This allows the web hosting provider to rake in guaranteed profits while keeping expenses to a minimum. Shared hosting is very economical but there are some drawbacks to this type of arrangement, mainly security.
The major issue with shared hosting has always been the same – the availability of security and the fact that this platform can only be so secure. Without adequate protection, the web host’s server is vulnerable to a wide range of threats including DDoS attacks, malware infection and network intrusion. You could also be exposed to attacks such as SQL injection, cross site scripting and even the malicious actions of your neighbors on the server. When your hosting environment isn’t properly secured, you stand the risk of losing the most sensitive of information.
Security is definitely an issue in the shared hosting environment, one that could make the low cost an uneven trade. The good thing is that several web hosting providers are aware of these vulnerabilities and they are taking the necessary approaches to deliver a secure service. When looking for a company to host your site, we recommend keeping the following security considerations in mind.
Protection from Thy Neighbor
When assessing the security of a particular web host, you must not only analyze the protection offered against outside threats, but security that keeps you protected against other website owners on the server. You never know who you’re sharing the server with, as they could be into dealing porn, distributing spam or malicious software. A few of your next door neighbors just might be prolific computer hackers. To keep yourself protected in this regard, you should make sure the provider doesn’t allow any unsolicited code to be executed or access to your directories.
One of the biggest threats to your website lies in the code used to build your applications. When they are not properly scripted, intruders can use them as an entrance to your data and reap major havoc. You can minimize the possibility of common website exploits by ensuring that the web hosting company offers the latest in development tools whether its PHP and MySQL or ASP and MS Access. Most importantly, it is up to you to make sure you are coding your applications and web pages in a secure manner.
There are also a number of features that will give you an idea of how secure a particular web hosting platform is. This includes protection for the actual server such as software that defends against DDoS attacks and viruses as well firewalls and network intrusion systems to fend off hackers. If your site is to involve online business transactions, you will also require SSL support to protect your customers’ credit card information. When making sure all the vital security issues are addressed, you can better your chances of enjoying a smooth run in the shared hosting environment.