Why do you need a Website Hosting Service?
When you develop a website and are ready to launch on the internet, you need a web hosting service. A web hosting service provides a medium that enables a business website to be accessible on the web. Web hosting companies give the Webmaster a space on their server that allows an Internet connection. These servers are located in data centers.
Are there different types of Hosting?
Shared Web Hosting is when more than one website shares a server. It is the most common practice used for hosting because of the cost. It is good in the way that it will save you money but there is vulnerability if one site goes down, then it can take others down with it.
Virtual Web Hosting is when the server is divided into virtual servers and each user is made to feel like they have their own server. The cost is much higher than Shared Web Hosting.
Perhaps the best server for someone who has a big website or an extensive website is the Dedicated Server Hosting. This type of server is used by one company. The Webmaster gets their own server, and they control the server themselves. As the owner, you have all of the admin control and access, and you are responsible for security and maintenance. This is the most expensive type of web hosting.
How do I know if my Hosting service is reliable?
When you are using web hosting, you also want to be assured of something called Hosting Reliability. This is extremely important when choosing a web hosting company. You want to choose a company that has at least 99.9 percent uptime. You will also want to ensure a backup service is available to go along with your web hosting. Even though a hosting company may have a high reliability uptime, that does not mean your website is free from downtime. Hackers crawl the web constantly looking for entry into individual websites. They are not coming through the web hosting server because hosting servers are locked down for security. They take advantage of vulnerabilities with the website itself. (See below.)
What is Hacking?
Hackers break into websites for several reasons:
- Links back to their website
- Links to another website (paid for links)
- Hijacking your websites traffic
- Inject content onto your website
- Gain access to paid for items
- Gain all registered users email addresses
Are these Hackers real people?
Hackers are not actual people – they are bots that scan the web looking for website loopholes to plant malicious coding known as malware.
What is malware?
Malware is malicious software. It exists in many forms, but the most common types of malware are viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and zombies.
The motivation of this most common malware is not to do damage, but to clone itself onto another host so that it can spread further. A hacker does not want the virus to be detected which is why it doesn’t usually damage a website. A good hacker will leave a small footprint within the website coding that can remain undetected for a long time while replicating itself to other computers.
Similar to viruses, worms work within the site or network and easily jump to computers within the network with the purpose to infect them. Worms are capable of going global within seconds and are very hard to stop.
The purpose of a trojan is to conceal itself within legitimate software like a game or a video or photo gallery. They are normally used with viruses and worms and many times they are dropping spyware on to the website.
Simply put, this is a hacker’s way to snoop on you and to collect Information such as passwords, credit card numbers and email addresses. It can capture every keystroke, entire emails, and chats.
Similar to spyware, a zombie doesn’t collect info, but instead waits for commands from the hacker. Hackers can infest thousands of computers turning them into zombie machines. It sends out network requests, overwhelming it with traffic. This is called a DDoS attack – distributed denial of attack and, most times, it is intentionally set to destroy.
What can Malware do?
- Malwares steal your site visitors by redirecting them to other sites.
- Malwares make your site less responsive and slow.
- Malwares steal your bandwidth.
- Malwares can take your site down.
- SEO is hurt. Google considers hidden links as spam and will remove your site from Google’s index.
- Hackers try to incorporate their code into your web pages and coding for many illegal purposes such as sending spam e-mails and attacking other websites.
- Hackers look for and expose private information stored on your web server such as passwords, client data, etc.
How do Hackers get into a website?
- Passcode Security: Change your passcodes frequently – at least every 3 months.
- Passcode Strength: Make sure you use at least an eight letter/number/cap, series. You may use a good passcode generator: http://paascode.com/
- Website Platform Software such as WordPress must be kept current with each new update. Software patches come out very often nowadays. You may have 10-12 patches within a year. Each patch addresses new security issues brought on by more advance bots. Ignoring software updates if like inviting a hacker into your site.
- Website plug-ins software must be kept current, too. A plug-in may be used in a photo gallery or a contact form. It’s another vulnerability that bots look for.
- Perform routine maintenance scans to see if malware has been placed. Your site may be working fine with a few implanted software. But if one bot can get in, then others will follow. Overtime, your site will lose performance and your hosting company will see abnormal activities related to hacking and you will be shut down from the web until the site is maintained and cleansed.
- Always make and keep clean website backup files and keep in a safe place.