When shopping around for a new web hosting service, your top priorities are likely to be server type, size of disk space, usability and bandwidth allowance. More and more people are overlooking the importance of choosing a web host with up-to-date security settings, which potentially compromises their cyber security and that of their customers.
It’s therefore incredibly important to choose a web host that takes online security seriously. Not only could your business be robbed of money, your customer’s details could be put at risk, which could end with you facing a lawsuit. The success of your business can depend on your choice of website hosting.
Sure, it’s vital that the new web hosting site you’re considering is cheap to run and has attractive site templates… but it’s much more essential that it fits the latest security regulations. Here’s how to figure out if your web hosting site can be trusted in terms of online safety.
What to look for in a secure web host
First thing’s first: here are a few things that your web host should be offering you.
- SFTP: this stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. It’s a step up from the old File Transfer Protocol that allows you to upload files to your hosting account. This should now be upgraded to the safer SFTP: if it’s not, or you don’t know, contact your host’s support team to inquire.
- SSL: a Secure Sockets Layer protects your customer’s details when making online purchases. If you run an ecommerce site, it’s necessary that you have an SSL certificate to ensure your customers’ safety.
- Server maintenance: ensure that your web host’s servers are regularly updated with the latest security measures to protect your details, privacy and business files. This is where it’s best to go with a bigger, popular, established host: they will keep on top of the latest technology where smaller independent hosts may not have the funds.
- Regular back-ups: you should be regularly backing up your site to prevent total loss of your online creations. Secure servers should never allow this to happen, but of course, cyber crime isn’t something that can always be predicted or prevented. Make sure your site is backed up regularly by using a cloud-based host: this means that hardware malfunction will never harm your website.
There are plenty of reasons for a hacker to want to infiltrate your website. If you run a popular ecommerce platform, people will be aware that a lot of money passes through your site, presenting a ripe opportunity for them to steal money.
This has unfortunately happened many, many times in the history of the internet, and innocent people who’ve put their trust in websites have suffered. In 2015, independent makeup brand Lime Crime’s website was hacked, and thousands of customers suffered the exposure of their bank details to cyber criminals.
It was alleged that the website was operating with an out-of-date SSL address – which is why you should always check that yours is in-date. The company confirmed that malicious software was found on their servers. This is why high-security servers should be an absolute priority when choosing hosts for an online store or similar business, and why cloud-based hosting could present a better option.
To prevent such an event as the Lime Crime hack happening to you or your customers, one way to reduce the risk of your details being compromised online is to pay and accept payment via PayPal – a secure payment platform that protects your cash with the utmost security. It also offers extra consumer protection where scamming (like being sold non-existent goods) and refunds are concerned.
So – bank detail hacks and identity theft are real issues for ecommerce sites to contend with, and as the owner of such a business, it’s your duty to guarantee that you are keeping your customers as safe as possible. It’s recommended that you stick to well-known, endorsed hosting sites, like Bluehost, Magento and Squarespace, who are well-established and have the backing of large internet corporations such as WordPress right behind them.
Source: Home Business
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