How much does my hosting service protect me from identity theft? How much does my security service protect me? Yes, there are laws protecting us from identity theft, but by the time they do, the damage has already been done. Your site has been defaced, your name has been tarnished, your hosting service has locked you out, you’ve lost customers, and you’re losing money. To get back on track, you’ll need to make up for lost ground, and that’s time and money you don’t have. So how do I protect myself from identity theft? And how much protection does my web hosting service offer?
In short, they'd better be better. In this day and age of spam, hijackings, and (oh my!) hackers, a hosting service should at least have one or several firewalls that protect your data. It should also offer protection against denial-of-service (DoS) attacks (which are a common result of internet identity theft). Some hosting services may even offer you a VPN (at the appropriate cost, of course). Your payment area should be fully secure, at least use SSL digital encryption (SSL) of all data coming in and going out. You should also ensure that the shopping cart provided by your hosting service is compatible with the main online payment processing gateway(s), such as PayPal (PayPal), NETeller (Citadel), FirePay (Click2Pay), UseMyBank, etc.
Identity thieves often attempt to use the “fruits” of their theft to gain access to the hosting service account. Once inside the account, they can either take control of the domain or remove important files from the hosting service. If this is the case for you, there are a few things you can do. First, check your hosting service’s server logs. This will help you determine the exact day and time of the theft. Also, note the IP addresses that were involved in the attack and contact the relevant Internet Service Provider (ISP). This won’t solve the problem, but it’s a start.
In the event of an email address theft, you may start to receive returned messages that appear to have been sent to you, but you know for a fact that they weren’t. Print out every one of these messages <b> right away and make copies. These messages are evidence, and not only can they help you track down where the theft occurred, they may also be the things that prevent your hosting company from shutting down your account (for example, if, say, a hacker were to use your email address for X-rated content).
The second thing you should do immediately if you think you’ve been a victim of online identity theft is let your hosting provider, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and your Domain Name Registry (DNR) know. Whatever they tell you to do, do it. You could also report the incident to the police (and you probably should, to at least document the crime). However, since this is unlikely to result in anything (at least in the short term), you should only do this after you’ve first reached out to your hosting provider, Internet Service Provider, and DNR.