A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a great way to host your website, and is far more secure than other options like shared hosting. Still, there are a few things you can do to really tweak your VPS and make it as secure as possible.
Follow these security tips and you will benefit from added protection.
Make sure your software is frequently updated. Patches and fixes for security vulnerabilities are released often, and they only work when they are installed, so make software updates a routine part of your website maintenance.
Make sure that remote root logins are not enabled, as anyone who can get into your root account can take over the entire server. Make a new user account that can escalate to a root account if necessary, then disable root logins in your SSH settings right away.
Most web applications require strong, secure passwords, and a VPS is no different. If your password is easily guessed or brute forced, you will lose all security and protection. Make strong passwords and make any users of your VPS do the same.
If you are transferring files, make sure you use a secure method. FTP is not as secure as you might think – use an encrypted SSH login, using a method like SFTP. This will help protect your password and other login information, and secure any sensitive data you may be sharing.
Ensure your file and directory permissions are set up properly. You can read, write, and execute as an owner, group, or others, so there are lots of different combinations to enable access and modification of files. Do not give the wrong people more access than they need!
Back up your data all the time. Make sure you have routine, automated backups scheduled and stored off-site so you can restore and recover any lost information immediately.
As you deal with user accounts, make sure you clean up your lists frequently. Inactive accounts leave room for unwanted access so delete anything that should not be there.
By following these suggestions you will ensure you are focused on security, protection, and the longevity of your information.