5 Shared Web Hosting Security Risks and Ways to Alleviate Them

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Choosing an excellent web-hosting provider is an important task, nowadays you have n number of options available at your disposal. However, beyond deciding which company to host with, you will also have to decide what kind of hosting package suits your requirements best.

The first hosting type that comes to mind is Linux or Windows shared hosting, as it is one of the most popular choices among website owners due to its cost-effective nature and ease of use. However, this type of hosting comes with its own set of security risks. Therefore, understanding these risks and finding ways how to alleviate them is crucial to safeguarding your website and its vital information.

In this article, we will delve into the 5 security risks faced with shared hosting and then we will also look into the effective ways to alleviate them.

5 Security risks with shared hosting and how to tackle them

Cross-Site Contamination

Cross-site contamination is a noteworthy risk in a shared hosting environment where several websites share the same server. If one website is compromised, a spiteful performer can access and infect other websites on the same server. This risk ascends since resources are mutual among multiple users, making it easier for susceptibilities in one site to disturb others.


Select a Secure Hosting Provider: Choose a hosting provider that provides strong account isolation to prevent one compromised site from affecting others.

Implement File Permission Restrictions: Ensure that file permissions are correctly set to limit access to essential files and directories, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

Regular Updates and Patches: Keep your website software, plugins, and themes up to date to reduce vulnerabilities that might be misused by attackers.

Use a Web Application Firewall (WAF): Deploy a WAF to monitor and filter incoming traffic, assisting to detect and block malicious activities before they can cause harm.

Weak Passwords and Authentication

Weak passwords are a dominant security issue. In a shared hosting arena, a single compromised password can give a hacker access to the whole server, potentially leading to data breaches, website destruction, and other spiteful activities.


Implement Strong Password Policies: Need intricate passwords that comprise a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Confirm passwords are altered frequently to boost security.

Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Add a layer of security by employing 2FA, which needs a second form of verification in addition to the password.

Educate Users: Notify users about the significance of maintaining secure passwords and avoiding common pitfalls such as recycling passwords across different platforms.

Shared IP Address Issues

Shared hosting involves many websites sharing the same IP address. If one site is involved in malicious activities or is prohibited, it can unfavorably disturb the repute and performance of other websites sharing identical IP addresses. This may lead to reduced email deliverability, blocked content, and SEO penalties.


Opt for Dedicated IP Addresses: Consider using a hosting provider that provides dedicated IP addresses, even within a shared hosting environment. This offers distinct identification for each website, decreasing the risk of shared IP address concerns.

Monitor IP Reputation: Frequently monitor your website’s IP status using tools like MXToolbox or Google’s Transparency Report. Quickly report any issues that arise, such as being blacklisted, to avoid negative impacts on your website’s performance.

Address Issues Quickly: If you encounter any issues associated to your website’s IP address, address them quickly with your hosting provider to reduce disruptions and preserve a positive online presence.

Limited Server Control

Shared hosting users often face constraints on server configurations and security settings, limiting their ability to implement advanced security measures. This leaves websites susceptible to attacks that could otherwise be alleviated with more control over the server environment.


Select a Hosting Provider with Configurable Security Settings: Select a hosting provider that provides configurable security settings, with options for SSH access, custom firewall rules, and security plugins. This lets you modify security measures to your particular requirements and improve protection against potential threats.

Upgrade to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Dedicated Server: If your website needs advanced security measures and greater control over the server environment, consider upgrading to a VPS or managed dedicated server hosting. These options offer augmented flexibility and customization options, letting you employ tough security measures to protect your website against possible threats.

Resource Limitations and Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks

Shared hosting environments have limited resources that are spread among multiple users. Accordingly, a surge in traffic or a DoS (Denial of Service) attack pointing to one website can control server resources, leading to downtime or slow performance for other websites sharing the same server.


Select a Hosting Provider with Resource Allocation and Monitoring: Choose for a hosting provider that implements tough resource allocation and monitoring mechanisms. This confirms that no solitary website can consume an excessive amount of server resources, alleviating the risk of performance degradation for other sites.

Utilize Content Delivery Networks (CDNs): Employ CDNs to assign website traffic across multiple servers geographically. This helps decrease the load on the main server and enhance website performance by sending content from the nearest server to the user’s location.

Ensure DoS Protection Measures: Authenticate that your hosting provider has effective DoS protection measures in place to mitigate the impact of possible attacks. These measures should comprise mechanisms to identify and lessen DoS attacks quickly, reducing disruptions to your website’s availability and performance.


As we wrap up our article, it is clear that understanding and mitigating the risks associated with shared web hosting is crucial for maintaining a secure and reliable online presence. Shared web hosting provides many advantages, particularly for small to medium-sized websites looking for an affordable solution. However, understanding and alleviating the essential security risks is important to protect your website and data.

By executing the recommended alleviation strategies, you can significantly improve the security of your shared hosting environment, ensuring a safer and more reliable online presence.

Daniel Clark

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