A lot of business owners own their websites and domains without really understanding how it works, where their data is stored and how safe it is. You don’t have to be an IT genius to understand these concepts and unless you have someone on your staff to handle this (and even if you do), it’s highly recommended that you have a basic understanding of where your and your clients’ information is stored.
You may mistakenly believe, as many people do, that the place you buy your domain from is the same place where it is hosted. Although this may be the case for some people, it is often not. Your registrar is where the website is hosted, and your Host is where the information/data of your website is physically stored, on a server. And how well secure this database is, is by extension, how well secure your data is.
For example, Shared Hosting is a kind of hosting where you would be sharing a particular IP address with other websites. You do not have control over which other websites will be on the same IP that you are essentially sharing a neighborhood with. So you can see why this can be relatively less safe than Dedicated Hosting. Of course, Dedicated hosting will also be more expensive for this very reason. Since you are not sharing the IP with other websites, you will have full control over the website.
Having a dedicated and safe server is all the more important if you have a business where clients pay directly through your website. This is because the transactions ask for their personal information like credit cards and this information is transferred through the same servers, which if not safe, can fall into the wrong hands. A dedicated server prevents this from happening. Your clients will want to know that their information will be kept completely private. It will also improve your conversion rate if you own an e-commerce business, because people tend to exercise their caution when buying online and if they see that your transaction process is not secure, they are likely to not proceed with it. On the other hand, a business that has a website mainly for the purposes of awareness and only for their potential clients to find them and then give them a call, transactions do not take place online and thus, less intensive measures of security can be taken. Recently a local fitness instructor website based in East Melbourne went through a similar experience where it was down for more than 2 weeks because of server issues. Because of this, during this downtime, Astute Fitness had to rely on local business listings for their clients to find them online.
With that said, it’s important to note that transactions are not the only reason that you should think about getting a secure server. It’s also the information about your company, your employees and your private emails that are at risk as a result of bad server security. This is especially important to stop your competitors from snooping around your company’s website servers and looking for inside information. Although this is rare, there have been several court cases where businesses have hired hackers to attempt and hack into their competitors’ website servers to extract information.
In summary, being mindful of your servers and where your data is stored, is not the ultimate solution to all your security issues but it certainly gives you a greater degree of control over your website and your information. It is kind of an insurance that you pay a little bit extra for, knowing that all your company’s and clients’ valuable information is private and stored separately.