FTC Staff Perspective – Do Web Hosts Protect Their Small Business Customers with Secure Hosting and Anti-Phishing Technologies?


The FTC’s Office of Technology Research & Investigation (OTech) examined the security features of hosting plans offered by web hosting services. OTech specifically reviewed the offerings of 11 web hosts that market their services to small businesses to examine the support they provide the small businesses in setting up SSL/TLS and email authentication technologies. They looked at whether the web host included SSL/TLS in the set-up of clients’ sites. The good news is that most of them included it as part of the package or offered it for an extra fee. OTech also looked at whether the web hosts included email authentication technologies. These protective technologies reduce the risk that a hacker can steal email addresses for use in a phishing scam. OTech learned that only 3 of the 11 sites they looked at included those protections by default.

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