Keeping your website safe from hackers and generally unpleasant characters on the whole can be something of a full-time job. After all, when the hackers of the US log off for the evening and hit the hay, their counterparts on the other side of the world finish their cornflakes and resume their illegal bidding – it’s a pretty relentless problem.
The thing is though, there’s really only so much that you as a business owner or webmaster can do – the rest comes down to your hosting company. Think of it a bit like a well-secured shop in a mall – you can make the shop itself as safe as possible, but if the mall allows criminals easy entry, chances are you’re in for a spot of trouble here and there.
And this is precisely why you simply cannot take security for granted when it comes to choosing the best hosting company for the job. Sure, they’re all going to tell you they’re the safest possible choice, but do they actually qualify these claims with hard evidence?
Unless you want to put your site at 24/7 risk, you cannot take sweeping claims at face value. Instead, be sure to ask the following five questions to which detailed responses should be offered with confidence:
Do You Screen New Customers?
Some do and some don’t, but you should be looking for a hosting company that at least makes a basic effort to prevent fraud by screening new subscribers. This doesn’t have to be tantamount to the Spanish inquisition, but they should at least ask for a fair few details in order to verify the identity and the intent of those signing up with them. The fewer malcontents there are using the firm’s hosting services, the more secure their services on the whole.
What’s Your Backup Policy?
It’s unlikely you’ll come across a hosting company that doesn’t backup all of its customers’ data, but it’s surprisingly uncommon to find a service that backs things properly. By properly, we mean backing data up on a daily basis at the very least, with more than one copy of all essential data kept just in case the primary backup is wiped out along with the servers themselves. They should technically have some kind of disaster contingency plan in place, which you can always ask to hear about.
Are Your Networks and Servers Monitored?
The simple answer to this should of course be ‘yes’ but what you’re looking for is a hosting company that watches over its assets 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Hackers never sleep and neither therefore should a hosting company’s vigilance.
How Secure Are Your Firewalls?
Last up, without going into too complicated detail they should also be able to let you know about their firewall in the context of how they keep it rock-solid. All firewalls should be regularly updated and constantly tested from both outside and inside the network, in order to see how they cope with all manner of common and uncommon attacks alike.