Shared hosting is the practice of hosting many websites on one physical web server. The concerns listed below are valid; however there are a number of measures you can take to secure your website on a shared hosting plan. It is common and generally inexpensive, but it also comes with many security concerns, such as:
- What happens is the main server is hacked?
- Will you run into problems if others websites, on the server, are involved in bad practice?
- Is your website’s performance affected because it has to compete with others using the same server resources?
- Is my website more vulnerable to cyber-attacks because of the server’s shared network facing services?
Table of Contents
8 ways to Secure your Website on UK Shared Hosting
1. Choose a safe UK hosting provider
When choosing web hosting service, start by choosing the safest one available. It’s important that you do this from the get go as it not only gives you peace of mind, causes users to trust you more because they know you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect their information, but it also saves you time, money and resources.
Not all UK hosting providers are created equal and successful ad campaigns can sometime lead people into thinking that the most advertised providers are the safest, but this is not necessarily true.
So how do you find the safest UK hosting providers? Do your research.
Factors like website design, customer service, ratings or reviews are not always definite signs that one provider is better than another; they can serve as indicators to the quality of service a potential hosting service provides.
2. Use Stronger Passwords
Many times people create passwords using personal information like birthdays and anniversaries. However, this is not the best decision, as those passwords tend to be very vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
When creating passwords use numbers, letters, special symbols and the more you use, the better, because the stronger your password, the harder it is to crack.
If your website on shared hosting allows others to create accounts, ensure password validation is enforced and encourage those creating accounts to select robust passwords.
3. Use Two-factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a two-step process used to verify users before they’re logged into a website.
With the vulnerability of shared hosting, two-factor authentication becomes very useful.
If someone guesses your password and tries to log into your website, email, etc., two-factor authentication will prevent them from getting in, by taking additional security measures.
The person attempting to access the information might be asked a secret question, to enter a code sent via text message or email or asked to verify their identity by some other means.
Whichever method is used, you can rest assured that your information is being protected from hackers, identity thieves and other cyber criminals.
4. Stay clear of untrusted sources
Whether you’re creating a theme for a website, installing a plugin or downloading software, ensure the information comes from a trusted source.
Third party sources can seem like less hassle when you’re trying to access information urgently, but they can also be the cause of your security troubles.
Third party sites can contain malicious codes that intercept and steal your sensitive information including passwords and credit card information.
Poor coding is also a weakness in some third party sources. This means that once embedded, they can reduce your website’s security. So stay clear of them as much as is possible.
5. Backup regularly
What’s the possible link between backing up your information and securing your website on a shared hosting plan?
That’s probably the first question you asked when you saw the header.
Security systems or measures are not usually one hundred percent bulletproof against security breaches. As such, there is an understanding that while they work to prevent attacks altogether, sometimes they can only lessen the likelihood of an attack.
As a result, backings up your information regularly will help keep it from being completely destroyed in the event of a cyber-attack.
But before you start backing up, familiarise yourself with website backup best practices, because there are dos and don’ts involved in the process.
Use DDoS Protection
Before you get DDoS protection, it’s important that you have a basic understanding of what a DDoS is, what an attack looks like and how it works. This will ensure you know exactly what you’re protecting your website against and help you chose the best option.
DDoS is short for Distributed Denial of Service. A DDoS attack is essentially, any attempt to overwork and drain the resources that are available to an app, a network or service. It does this by flooding a website with unwanted traffic from several computers. The objective is to prevent genuine users from gaining access to the site by crashing or sending it offline.
DDoS protection is an excellent defense system against these breaches. They work by intelligently analysing and blocking attacks based on traffic patterns.
DDoS protection may seem somewhat expensive in the beginning, but it could save your business and much more. Learn more about DDoS attacks here.
5. Use Cloud Firewall
Firstly, let’s explain what a firewall is. Imagine a wall on fire that’s preventing you from getting in or out of a building. A firewall works in a similar way.
A firewall is software running on a computer and network that directs the traffic, deciding what’s allowed in and out. It decides what gets the green or red light based on guidelines that you set.
Cloud Firewalls do the same thing, but are software-based, network devices created for modern business needs. They sit within online application environments and are built to stop or alleviate unwanted access to private networks.
6. Update Software Regularly
Finally, companies spend million working on software updates and for very good reasons. It’s not uncommon for software creators to find security glitches in their product. An updated version of that software is one of the most common ways of fixing that glitch.
So if you decide not to update when one becomes available, you’re putting your website at risk. Remember, old software cannot fully deal with potential risks. Updates are generally free, so use them. Not doing so, may end up costing you much more than money.
There are pros and cons to a standard shared UK hosting. The affordability of shared hosting is definitely a pro. The security concerns surrounding it, is an issue. However, there is good news. You can access proven and tested ways to eradicate these security concerns or at least, minimise your worry.