Shared Hosting Account Security Risks And Ways To Prevent Them

When users are looking for a hosting solution for the first time, especially small business owners, they search for affordable, easy-to-use options. Among all the types of web hosting available, shared hosting is the cheapest solution. It’s a good choice due to its intuitive structure and pocket-friendly plans. It’s a great starting point for bloggers and startups. It doesn’t need much investment, and the plans offered by most service providers are absolute value for money.

But also, it’s a vulnerable solution. With new malware being created, everyday cyber-attacks are constantly evolving. But don’t worry. By the end of this article, you will know the security risks and how you can effectively secure your website on a shared hosting plan.

Four Security Risks in Shared Hosting Plan

In shared hosting, you may all know the resources are shared with other websites on the same server. So if one website on the server is hacked, hackers can leverage their access to one website and affect other websites on the shared server.

But it’s not only security. Even basic maintenance can be one of the security issues. If one website has security problems, it can cause problems for your website.

Here are the top 4 security risks that come along with shared hosting.

Shared Directory

Every WordPress site has a folder that contains all the files, including all the data. This folder is located inside a directory on your web server.

There is one directory with one website’s files inside in dedicated hosting. While In shared hosting, there is one directory that contains all the website folders on the same server. Though your website has a separate domain and content, the directory is still linked with other websites on the same server.

So it means if the hacker gets access to the main directory, he can target all the sites on the same server. This act can be done by running programs to identify vulnerabilities on websites in the directory. The vulnerabilities may include an outdated plugin and untrusted software installed on the site.

IP Address Sharing

Another risk is in IP addresses. All the devices used to access the internet have a unique IP address code. Likewise, the web servers used by web hosts also have an IP address. In the case of shared hosting, all websites on a shared server will have the same IP address. If a website on a shared server conducts illegal activities like spam, the IP will be blacklisted and marked malicious.

It will cause the following problems for your website.

  • Your website will be flagged for malicious content.
  • Your emails will be sent into the clients’ spam folder because Gmail will blacklist your IP address.
  • Search engines like Google will blacklist your website.

DDoS Attack

When there is an increase in traffic on a shared server, your website may become slow. Hackers can attack a website with malicious bots to spike the traffic on a website, called a DDoS attack. If a hacker performs DDoS on a website on a shared server, your website will be impacted.

Slow Loading Time

If another website on your server is hacked, it will directly impact your site’s performance. Hackers use the hacked site to store illegal files and folders to attack other websites. In this way, the hacked site will use more resources on the shared server. This will slow down your website, sometimes causing it to become inaccessible.

Ways to Secure Your Website on a Shared Hosting Plan

By now, you may be thinking of not adopting shared hosting. Shared hosting is indeed the most vulnerable option, But the fact is nothing is 100% secure.

As shared hosting is the simplest option and not everyone can afford dedicated hosting, let’s look at how you can fix the security issues on a shared server.

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Choose a Reliable Shared Hosting Provider

It may not be immediately apparent, but your hosting provider plays a vital role in the security of your website. Not all hosting providers offer the same level of services. Do your research before choosing your host. Understand all the security features they provide with their plans like free SSL certificate, the ability to get paid SSL, software like Sitelock, DDoS protection, etc.

You can check out AEserver’s shared hosting plans with the bundle of advanced tools to put security measures in place and protect your website from threats. Always make sure to opt for a reliable provider that prioritizes your security.

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Avoid Untrusted Sources

Sometimes to save cost, security takes a backseat. When you download software from an untrusted resource or download a free version of paid software, there is a high risk of being infected with a virus or malware. While free versions can be tempting, they can be extremely dangerous. So, it’s always better to avoid untrusted resources and freebies.

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Install Security Features

Some extra security can keep your website safe for a long way. While your hosting provider has a server firewall, you should also install anti-malware software like Sitelock to put the security measures in place. In addition, you should install a reliable WordPress security plugin for solid resistance against hackers.

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Set File Permissions

As mentioned earlier, hackers can gain access to your files on a shared server. You can prevent this by setting the proper file permissions to ensure only you (the website owner) can access the files.

To do so, you need to access Cpanel on your hosting account.

Block PHP Execution for Untrusted Folders

If hackers find vulnerability on your website, they can execute malicious activities on your website by creating their own files and folders. These activities can include redirecting visitors or spamming your customers with unwanted content.

Usually, hackers execute code in a programming language called PHP. PHP execution is required on your website. It is only used in specific folders. You can prevent hackers from performing such activities by blocking PHP execution in untrusted folders.

You can use a WordPress plugin like Malcare to implement it in a few clicks.

Differences between Shared Hosting & Dedicated Hosting

Update Software Regularly

Last but most important, make sure all your applications and software (security applications, themes, plugins, addons, and other third-party software) are updated to combat new threats effectively.

Additionally, updated software brings improved usability, new features, and security patches that shut away from the vulnerabilities and breach points within the software.

Final Verdict

There you have it, the risks within shared hosting, and ways to secure your shared hosting account.

The importance of security cannot be understated as it’s a fundamental pillar of your website’s success. Usually, shared hosting is a good option for startups and businesses that need a basic online presence. But as your business grows, you might consider getting a dedicated server.

It is always advisable to use dedicated hosting if you can afford it. But no environment is 100% secure. We strongly recommend you always keep security measures to protect your website.

With AEserver hosting plans, there is a greater level of security and performance.

So, if you have read the entire article, listened to the advice, and implemented those security measures, you have a more secure website prone to less shared hosting security risks.

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