When running an online store or a website that involves dealing with private user information, having a secure web hosting is critical. Unfortunately, a common mistake that a lot of website owners make is to assume that all web hosts offer equal levels of protection online. That as long as your preferred provider seems to nail it on the features and price, security will be automatic and guaranteed.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
If you’re looking for a reliable web hosting provider that will secure your site, here are four important security features you should look for in the company.
Known as Secure Sockets Layer in full, SSL is simply a protocol that enforces data encryption between your web server and the browser your visitor is using. Recently, major search engines including Google have openly supported the use of SSL and now even give more ranking priority to sites using this encryption type over those that don’t. This follows increased campaigns seeking to protect web users from cyber frauds such as payment card theft, intrusive spying, and information theft.
To find out whether the web host you’re using has inbuilt SSL, load your website on top browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox. If available, a padlock icon will appear somewhere close to the address bar indicating that your connection to the site is secure.
Web hosts offering SSL certificates from Comodo, Digicert, Symantec (VeriSign), and GeoTrust are great selections.
Did you know that every web server has a limit of access requests that it can take at a go? Well, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is an attack that exploits this limit by overwhelming a web server with requests until it slows down, freezes, or crashes. In turn, this causes all websites storing their web files on it to be inaccessible.
Interestingly, DDoS is such a big deal that millions of sites including those with massive resources have been victims of these kinds of attacks in the past. The good however is that numerous security mechanisms exist to neutralize such threats to secure web servers and sites.
Techniques like use of Content Delivery Networks (CDN) to absorb resource-heavy requests are available on decent web hosts like A2 Hosting and BlueHost. The feature also accelerates data transfer meaning your site will load faster. You can see how A2 Hosting differs from BlueHost in terms of speed thanks to Cloudflare CDN that it supports.
Most site owners perceive backups and restore features as side benefits without realizing how they relate to web security. Yet there are numerous scenarios when a website depends on its extra reserve of work to survive a bad day.
For example, an attack on your site database may corrupt the information inside and force a start-over. Also, it’s not uncommon for hackers to target datacenters and cause mayhem like rebooting all servers at once. In turn, this strains power supply, triggers outage, and causes downtime which is bad news for a website’s reputation.
To avoid these awful experiences, be sure to use a web host that comes with a mirroring feature in its data center so that your data is always backed up in case things go south. Alternately, if you use WordPress, install plugins like UpdraftPlus, Duplicator, or VaultPress that store your web data in the more reliable cloud storage.
Malwares tend to manifest as malicious software that disrupt, damage, or access a computer system illegally. They can attack web servers, websites, and even datacenters in extreme cases thereby corrupting or wiping all data in the process.
Malwares exploit loopholes in the target systems which owners might not even know they exist. A good host is that which scans its systems and even websites hosted in its servers regularly for malware. As such, before you can buy a hosting plan from a provider, conduct due diligence on the following:
- First, find out whether your web host has an inbuilt malware scanner and remover that’s powerful enough. You can find out about this by asking from its reps or looking for its reviews online.
- Additionally, assess how often the hosting company conducts malware scanning on its servers. A web host using a malware scanner with real-time protection feature is ideal since malwares are caught as soon as they enter the system.
- Lastly, does it carry out data integrity checks to catch rogue web files that malwares often add during an infection? Remember, a malware can masquerade as a harmless common web file to bypass scanner firewalls and gain entry. Data integrity check guards systems from using such files and help to avert attacks from the inside in the process.
What other security features do you consider before buying a new web hosting plan? We’d love to hear your feedback.