Does every website need security? Yes—it doesn’t matter if you’re not managing a financial services website. All websites, even “fluff sites” like celebrity gossip sites, makeup tutorial blogs, or a personal vlog for movie reviews requires an adequate amount of security. Keep in mind that it’s not only hackers and cybercriminals that can compromise your site. Viruses are also very prevalent. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve the security of your site, starting with making wise web hosting choices.
There are three primary types of web hosting: Basic shared plans, virtual private server/VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. VPS hosting is by far the best choice for the majority of sites. It offers the same level of security as dedicated hosting, but without the very high price tag. If you’re choosing between a basic shared plan and a VPS hosting plan for a fluff site, VPS is the easy choice. You’ll also enjoy more control and faster speeds.
There are many fluff sites that still require registration. Just because you’re not asking visitors for seemingly sensitive information, such as their credit card or social security number, that doesn’t mean they want any information shared in a data breach. Email addresses can get added to spam lists, names and addresses can be used for unsavory purposes, and simply knowing that their information was leaked can cause an uproar. If you’re not doing everything within reason to protect the visitors who register on your site, you could be held liable.
You also have to protect yourself. Your own information, perhaps including payment information, may be linked to your site. In some cases, the biggest victim might be you—and it can take years to untangle identity fraud messes. Considering VPS hosting and basic shared hosting are often the same price, or there’s a negligible difference, add a little more security to your site by choosing the better hosting package.
Additional Security Measures
Make sure your software is regularly updated, especially any anti-viral software. Whenever updates or patches become available, prioritize them (if possible, opt for auto-upgrades). Change your passwords on a regular basis, at least every quarter. These steps might seem basic, but skipping them has been the foundation for some of the biggest security hacks around the world. Two-step authentication processes can be a great help, too, and require few added steps.
A quality web host will work with you to ensure your site is safe and secure for yourself as well as your visitors. Spending a little extra time and effort on security can pay off in the long run, even if you don’t intend to use a website for profit. “Just” having a personal website for your portfolio, blog, or even for your upcoming wedding might make you think that no hacker will be interested. That’s not necessarily true, and of course viruses don’t play favorites.
Your online reputation (and perhaps brand) depends on you having an online presence that’s secure.