Virtual private server/VPS hosting is a given for financial websites and any site containing valuable consumer data. After all, VPS hosting offers much better security than basic shared plans—but at a fraction of the cost of dedicated plans. However, you might be surprised by which sites can benefit from VPS options. The “obvious” ones, like banks, hopefully have deep enough pockets to afford dedicated plans. Although big breaches in these sites are what make the news headlines, the vast majority of site breaches/hacks occur with small sites. They just never get the coverage.
Here are some surprising sites that could benefit greatly from switching to VPS from basic. If you operate one of these sites, are you keeping your visitor’s best interest at heart? How about your own?
- Message boards/forums. It doesn’t matter if you operate a website talking about Paleo diets, dating, or immigration. If you have an active forum, you probably give your visitors the option to build a portfolio. These can consist of all kinds of things including photos, phone numbers, email addresses, and even more personal information. That’s a goldmine to cybercriminals, even if the site itself is for something as innocent as sharing stories about baking.
- Social media sites. The major ones, like Facebook, have their own servers and data center. However, there are thousands of social media sites out there! If yours doesn’t seem like a contender to take down Pinterest any time soon, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t caught the eye of a hacker. It’s full of user information, and there’s no telling what might be leaked in a breach.
- Re-sell sites. The appeal of online trading platforms, auctions, and second-hand e-tailers is growing more and more every year. Your best customers likely want to create a profile that includes details beyond name, address, credit card info, and email. They’re uploading photos of items perhaps taken in their home, sharing their shoe size, and swapping reviews. These sites need major protection.
- CMS platforms. One of the most well-known is WordPress, but there are many more. If you want to be the next big content management system, it starts with protecting your users. There’s no end to the kind of valuable data that can be stored on these sites, and it’s your job to keep users secure. Without VPS, cybercriminals have a better chance of getting into the system and stealing vital information.
- Employment boards. Even if you’re in a very small niche, just imagine the kinds of information people share and store on your site. Their full employment history, social security number, past addresses, and more. They’re trusting you to keep their data safe—and employers are trusting you with their business information. Even if your site has a very small pool of interested folks, that’s more than enough for a hacker to capitalize on.
Going with VPS for the majority of small and mid-sized sites isn’t just smart, but also increasingly critical.