Can Your Web Hosting Company Steal Your Customer’s Data?

What if there was a hacker right under your nose that could access all of your customer’s credit card and personal information? Unfortunately, there have been cases of unethical hosting companies using their position as a host to access this kind of data on their servers.

How can you be sure that this will not happen to you? It is one thing to have your own data compromised, but if you are exposing your customers to this kind of danger, you can find yourself in a lot of hot water if something does happen.

First, you will need to carefully read each and every line of your web hosting agreement. Since it is not legal to steal this data, an unethical company will put a loophole in their agreement that will allow them access to your files.

Second, you will need to read the hosting company’s privacy policy. Do they clearly state what they will do with your data? With the data you host on their server? Don’t risk putting your customers at the mercy of someone who will sell their data to the highest bidder.

Third, you will need to do your homework. Unethical behavior generally does not go unnoticed. You can do a search to see if your hosting company has been involved in something shady or has been caught stealing data.

Fourth, protect your files. If you are worried about this happening to your customers do not store their data on your server. You can frequently back-up these files to your computer and delete them from your server. However, if you are running applications that require this data, such as a member area, you will not be able to delete these files.

Now that you know what you can do to prevent this type of problem, you will need to put it into motion. If you are not sure about your hosting company, or if you feel that something is amiss, you will need to transfer your site as quickly as you can.

When a customer entrusts you with their data, they are placing more than just a bunch of numbers or their email address in your care. In many cases, they are placing their lives in your hands.

Identity fraud is more serious than a simple stolen credit card number. That can be stopped through the use of fraud protection. Identity fraud involves literally stealing someone’s life. If a hacker gains access to a person’s social security number, it can be impossible to undo the damage.

Instead of unknowingly exposing your customers to this danger, take a proactive approach with your hosting company. There are many different companies that are completely ethical and will provide you with the service you need and the peace of mind that your data is in good hands.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:47 PM

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