Top 5 Shared Hosting Security Risks (And How To Address Them)


A malware attack, hacking or any type of a security breach is one of the worst nightmares of a site owner. And it is quite a real threat. Hosting services are aware of this danger and offer secure hosting plans; Shared Hosting is no different. It is sufficiently shielded against such threats. 

Linux hosting services are especially secure as it offers high customizability of server security settings and the popularity of Windows hosting seems to attract the most attacks. 

Whenever you are out to purchase hosting, make sure that it is secure. All Shared Web Hosting plans come with some form of built-in security. These measures safeguard your website against most forms of cyberattacks. 

Once your site is hacked or infected by a malware, it not only loses its credibility but also loses its search engine ranking. In extreme cases, search engines may even blacklist websites. You can boost your website’s security by being alert.

Here are top five hosting security risks and the ways to address them.

1. Shared server resources

All sites hosted on Shared Hosting share all the server resources like storage, memory and processing. Every website gets its own folder. If any one of these sites gets infected or hacked, it could pose a threat to the entire server. You can easily mitigate the threat from such a situation by installing an appropriate security plugin. It will stop any malicious attacks and inform you of the same. Additionally, opt for Shared Hosting providers that implement ‘fair usage practices’ on their Shared Hosting setup.

2. Weak passwords

A weak password is worse than having no password because it gives a false sense of security. Default or obvious passwords like birthdays and anniversaries are frighteningly easy to crack. Weak passwords are the cause of an overwhelming majority of security breaches. Implement a strong password policy on your website. Program your website to reject weak passwords and set stringent parameters. Force password changes every few months.

3. Shared IP address

In Shared Hosting, websites also share a common IP address. If one of the websites on the server indulges in spamming or any other illegal activities, the IP could get blacklisted. Once it gets blacklisted, it affects all the other websites residing on the server. Firewalls and search engines will block users from accessing your website. Ensure that you choose a trustworthy hosting provider. You can also specifically opt for Shared Hosting plans with a Dedicated IP.

4. Unrestricted hosting access

Some parts of the hosting space are off-limits to all the website users except the server admin or technicians. They may hold crucial system files and data. If an inexperienced user deletes or modifies one of these files, it could affect your website’s performance or worse, bring it crashing down. Control user access with appropriate, role-based permissions. In this case, prevention is better than cure.

5. No or irregular backups

Losing their data is one of the biggest fears of a server administrator. Malware and hackers target your data. If your website handles financial transactions and stores sensitive personal data, the stakes are higher. A backup is your last line of defence against complete data loss. A good backup tool allows you to backup and restore your data easily. Easy restoration will reduce your downtime and daily backups will minimise your data loss.

All these security risks can be easily addressed, but can be overlooked as easily. If you remain alert, choose the right Shared Hosting plan and implement all these fixes, you have little to worry about.