We often neglect securing devices and services which don’t result in a direct loss of money to us. We take them for granted and live in hope that they will never get compromised, or better still, we may live in a false sense of security that those devices or services will never get compromised or fall prey to wrong-doers. One such area of concern is the Web Hosting Account. We have seen numerous persons and businesses who are so careless about the security of their hosting account, that they will only learn when a major “hack” or compromise leaves them stranded.
If you are using an official email address of your company or business, it would be foolish if you don’t take care of your account. Regularly changing the password and setting a long tough password is ideal. You should also scan your network and computers for virus or malware on a regular basis, especially on the computer where your email address is configured. Your email address is interlinked with various other accounts of other services. Your banking, your utilities and your clients information is all stored in the email account. If your email address gets hacked or the password falls into the wrong hands, it may be the beginning of a disastrous journey to recover the account and retrieve any lost or stolen information.
Your hosting account also contains access to your website, which is another reason why special care should be taken to keep the passwords and logins safe. The website represents your business online and is the online face of your brand or organization. Just like you would not want someone to misrepresent your brand or create confusion in the minds of your clients, the same way you should protect your website from unauthorized access and defacement. If you are selling products online and also collecting payments, then you need to ensure that the payments and sensitive personal information of the clients is safe and cannot be compromised. Ensure that your Main Control panel password is not shared with anyone. If your website developer needs to upload or download files, he can be given an FTP login with restricted access to only the necessary folders. If some database needs to be accessed, then only the database login needs to be given. If you do end up giving your control panel password, ensure that you change it once the work is over. Also ensure that you take backups of get backups taken before and after the work is done. This way you will be able to compares changes and identify any unneeded changes.
You may often store business secrets or confidential information in your hosting account. This could include plans and drawings of inventions, customer information, employee information, price lists and even something as simple as a suppliers list. If these are exposed, it could lead you to lose out on a lot of business and cause immense damage to your contractual obligations. Business Secrets are always on the hunting list of competitors and people will jump to the opportunity of getting information which will benefit their business. Following strict practices of physical and online security will ensure that your data remains safe. Using multiple login names and passwords on each computer will help you identify the flow of compromise, incase you are ever a victim.
If you are using an eCommerce or Billing Software and have set it to perform actions on your behalf, it may be quite disastrous if someone got a hold of it. This would cause a major loss of goodwill and would immediately lower your reputation in the eyes of clients. Following the same practices for securing your website can also be followed here. However, more care needs to be given when you are authorizing a software to communicate on your behalf.