When you sign up with a web hosting company, usually one of the selling points they offer is how many free MySQL databases are included with the plan. MySQL is a type of database management system that uses a “Structured Query Language” (SQL) and is owned by Oracle Corp, but in its basic form is freeware provided to the general public for developing databases and storing information.
The data you store could be anything. Blog post information. Product description and prices. And even private and sensitive client data. With this in mind you need to consider the security of your data on your web host’s MySQL server. Is it secure enough to prevent data theft?
The question is valid because of a number of factors. One, your MySQL server is likely housed and hosted by your web hosting company. And if you are using a shared-server plan your MySQL databases are likely stored on a shared server as well. You will want assurances that the data stored in your databases is secured from outside prying eyes. Any information stored on a server with internet access could potentially be attacked by criminal hackers.
Secondly, the information traveling between you or your customers to the MySQL database server must travel through internet lines which can be viewed by potentially malicious users. Thus, it is always best to encrypt the data as it is transferred to and from the MySQL server.
Use SSL Security
SSL, or Secured Sockets Layer, is a type of encryption protocol for communications over the internet. This type of programming uses systematic or randomly generated encryption to ensure that it is impossible to decipher the communication. MySQL supports secure SSL connections between the database server and the client, and SSL is easily programmed into most types of scripting languages.
Be sure the scripting you use to request and save data to your MySQL database uses the SSL encryption programming as well. Indeed, if you are using a shopping cart software that is transmitting sensitive financial data this is a must. Over-the-counter shopping carts may not be sufficient for secured data transfer. If you conduct a lot of business online you may be better to use a programmer who can assure the shopping cart encryption.
Assure Security on the Server
As mentioned, MySQL databases are usually stored on a separate database server. You want to be sure that the information stayed hidden and protected after it has been sent via SSL secure connection.
One way to help keep your MySQL database protected is by using either a Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting account or a dedicated server hosting account. This way you have the power to install and maintain your own firewall software and other protections.
While MySQL can be a useful database to save and build information, any programming language itself is not enough. If you operate a business online it is vitally important that you take the extra steps required to protect your data and your clients’ private information. Doing so may require extra programming for encryption, and a better and more flexible hosting plan where you have more control over your server.
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