7 web hosting tips to help secure your site

Having cybersecurity for your web site can prevent money and time.

Ian Knighton/CNET

Online safety is extra essential than ever earlier than. The Identity Theft Resource Center stated 2021 set a report for the variety of knowledge breaches, ransomware funds totaled nearly $600 million in the first half of 2021 and the White House hosted a summit on how to fight these assaults. And these issues aren’t only for main companies — they have an effect on anybody with an internet site.

Web hosting safety gaps can compromise the non-public data of an internet site’s guests and proprietor. Cyberattacks that exploit these gaps may trigger site house owners to lose income by defacing or deleting their site data. The actual danger to your site is dependent upon what sort of web hosting plan you have got. Fortunately, many web hosting companies provide a spread of cybersecurity instruments to help hold your site protected.

Here are seven essential safety instruments to search for in a web hosting service.

SSL certificates

Secure socket layer (SSL) certificates are cryptographic protocols that encrypt and authenticate knowledge between servers, machines and functions working inside a community. These help forestall third events from intercepting, altering or recording delicate data like an individual’s bank card data.

Think of those certificates like the key language you and your greatest buddy got here up with while you had been little: You know your buddy is saying the instructor is the worst, however the instructor is questioning why you are discussing how a lot banana pudding is required to fill a soccer subject. SSL certificates be certain that your guests’ data is all despatched by means of the key language.

Secure File Transfer Protocol

File Transfer Protocols, or FTPs, are used to switch massive quantities of unencrypted knowledge to your web hosting server — like for those who needed to add a video or a number of recordsdata to the server. Using an FTP doesn’t present customers with a secure transferring technique, leaving your knowledge weak to third get together interception.

While many web hosting companies provide FTP entry by default, some web hosting companies, like Ionos, provide secure FTP entry by default as an alternative. Secure FTP encrypts the information you are transferring for better safety. That means for those who’re transferring delicate knowledge, similar to utilizing SSL certificates, your knowledge will not find yourself in another person’s fingers. 

Web Application Firewalls

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) protects web functions by filtering, monitoring and blocking malicious web site visitors meant to report knowledge concerning the site’s guests or the site’s proprietor. All web site visitors should move by means of a WAF earlier than it reaches the server hosting your site. If the WAF sees suspicious web site visitors attempting to entry the server, it blocks it. These firewalls may forestall unauthorized knowledge from leaving the web utility. They act as checkpoints to and from web companies to be certain that nothing malicious is coming in and nothing essential is getting out. 

Web Application Firewalls are like bouncers exterior the membership you and your buddy went to over the weekend. The bouncers let each of you in, however they turned away the individual behind you who was already slurring their phrases and appearing like they owned the place.

Some web hosting companies, like A2 Hosting, embody WAFs in all their web hosting plans. If you choose a hosting plan that does not provide WAFs, firms like Imperva and Cloudbric provide WAF plans with further safety features. Some of the plans may additionally enhance your web hosting safety even when your web hosting service provides WAFs. Some WAFs additionally provide experiences and analytics to higher determine vulnerabilities and resolve them to help defend knowledge.

Antivirus and malware protections

Antivirus and malware protections are key to have, particularly when you have a shared hosting plan the place you’re sharing a server with probably a whole lot of different customers. While you and everybody else are importing recordsdata and knowledge for your websites onto the identical server, a few of these recordsdata may unknowingly comprise a virus or malware. Once the file reaches the server, the malicious code inside the file could impact every site on the server. Your site may very well be vandalized or introduced down, inflicting you to lose guests and/or income. The malicious code may additionally steal your knowledge or the information of your guests.

Think of the server as an condominium constructing and everybody within the constructing as an internet site. If somebody comes into the condominium constructing and they’re sick, that sickness has the potential to unfold all through the constructing. In this case, antivirus and malware protections cease the sickness from coming into the constructing within the first place.

For shared hosting plans, the web hosting service is chargeable for sustaining antivirus and malware protections. However, when you have a VPS or a devoted server, you may need to set up your personal protections.


Not all web hosting companies provide the identical cybersecurity instruments, however studying by means of the web hosting plans can help you select what plan is best for you.

Angela Lang/CNET

Distributed Denial of Service safety

Imagine you are asking your dad and mom a query, however your little sibling does not need your dad and mom to inform you the reply. Your sibling gathers all their mates, children from the neighborhood, classmates and anybody else they discover they usually all begin screaming on the prime of their lungs to drown out another noise. You cannot hear your self suppose, not to mention no matter your dad and mom are saying. That’s what a distributed denial of service (DDoS) assault is like to your web site. 

Distributed denial of service assaults are the top cyber threat. These assaults flood your site with site visitors from a community of malware infected and connected computer systems referred to as a botnet. The enhance in site visitors can forestall guests from accessing your site, disrupt your work and will overwhelm the server your site is on. No matter what hosting plan you select — shared, VPS or devoted — the rise in site visitors eats up sources out there to your site and (*7*).

Web hosting companies with DDoS protections in place are in a position to detect and forestall these firehose type assaults from occurring. A WAF can help detect and mitigate DDoS assaults, however typically this is not sufficient to forestall a DDoS. One instrument to help forestall a DDoS assault is an intrusion-prevention system. These community safety instruments monitor for malicious web site visitors exercise and experiences, blocks and drops the exercise. 

Some web hosting companies, like HostPapa and InMotion Hosting, show their DDoS prevention instruments on their plan breakdown pages. If a web hosting service does not show its DDoS prevention instruments, you need to contact the service and ask if it does provide these protections. Defenses towards these assaults may prevent and your site from dropping income and guests.

Site knowledge backups

Backups are parts of catastrophe restoration and are a final resort in circumstances the place your site is compromised, defaced or deleted. A backup permits you to restore your site to its former glory. You can select to manually again up your knowledge, or you may allow automatic backups so you may schedule when your knowledge is backed up. 

Having protected and secure backups minimizes the period of time your site is down whether it is compromised, probably saving you guests and income. Some web hosting websites, like Bluehost and A2 Hosting, provide free computerized backups with their hosting plans — A2 Hosting additionally provides guide backups. However, lower-tier web hosting plans would possibly solely provide guide backups, and computerized backups can be found on higher-tier plans.

Some backups, like these offered by GoDaddy, are saved in a secure cloud server. Other backups are saved in separate servers from the one your site knowledge is saved on. These precautions be sure that if your server is compromised, your knowledge continues to be protected. Not all web hosting companies take such precautions, although, they usually could not say of their hosting plans the place backups are saved. If this occurs, contact the hosting service and ask whether or not the backup is saved on the identical server as your knowledge. It may prevent a headache later.

You may save all your backups domestically onto your private pc, exhausting drive or server. This is helpful within the occasion that your web hosting service retains backups for 2 weeks, however your site was compromised three weeks in the past. In this case, this implies the server’s backup can be compromised. Having native backups would provide you with entry to an uncompromised model of your site.

Managed hosting plans

Consider a managed hosting plan if you do not have the time — or the expertise — to monitor your web site for safety points. With managed hosting plans, the web hosting service handles any potential administrative points, safety updates, patches and gives further sources for your site.

Managed hosting plans are form of like hiring Batman’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth, to monitor your dwelling and ensure all the things is operating appropriately. He may even present some protection if wanted. Unmanaged hosting plans go away upkeep and safety in your fingers. Because of this, managed hosting plans are usually extra secure than unmanaged hosting plans.

Where to search for these options when selecting a hosting service

Web hosting companies present a number of what is available in their web hosting plans on their hosting comparability pages. This comparability web page from A2 Hosting reveals that it provides options like SSL certificates, DDoS protections and virus scans. This web page from Dreamhost reveals that it provides options like SSL certificates, automated each day backups and secure FTP. Having quick access to service comparisons is useful when deciding which firm to belief with your web site.

However, you would possibly want to contact your web hosting service to see if it provides safety features that aren’t marketed.

For extra about web hosting, try the best web hosting services of 2022, the best website builders of 2022 and 11 things to know before you launch a website.

Now taking part in:
Watch this:

Picking a web host — 2021 purchaser’s information



Related Posts