Article by Jerry Low
Geek dad, SEO data junkie, investor, and founder of Web Hosting Secret Revealed. Jerry has been building Internet assets and making money online since 2004. He loves mindless doodling and trying new food.
Every now and then I receive ‘secrets’ from anonymous. Most of these whistle blower were haters who simply enjoy spreading hate messages, or competitors who wish to get you into troubles, or hosting companies competitors spreading false rumors about others. Needless to say, these info were filtered and never published on WHSR.
However, I received something different from a Hostgator employee three weeks ago – something meaningful and worth publishing on WHSR.
Quoted below is the full message I received.
You might want to add to your hostgator review that the security there is pretty low.
Every single support person and there are hundreds of them have complete access to all shared cPanels and main cpanels of reseller accounts. Not to mention all billing information and all websites that are hosted on each account. Even a $10 an hour person on their 2nd day of work in training. If you have anything on your website you consider secure it would be real easy for a competitor or enemy to get access to this information. Hostgator will hire just about anybody for this position so it would be real easy for them to get a job and by the 2nd day get all they needed maybe even on first day. Then they could just quit.
This would probably not be a great way to do something real bad because if somebody complained to hostgator they could track the last person who accessed the account. But if somebody just wanted to learn something to copy what you are doing or get somebodies client list or something that you would probably never trace back to hostgator. I would never put anything important or sensitive on Hostgator. The VPS and dedicated servers are secure as any other host other than you could actually find out who owns them and their personal information. I don’t know how any other hosts works but because of how big Hostgator is and the huge turnover in the support department they have some pretty big security holes. I don’t want this public.
Is this the truth? I believe so. I have verified the messenger’s employment offer and followed his/her (messenger’s gender hidden) Twitter account, I conclude that this is highly trust-able. So it seems that the Hostgator is not taking its shared hosting users serious enough. As a Hostgator user, am I worried? Yes. Should you think again if you have just decided to go with Hostgator shared hosting? Yes. (But are other shared hosting companies running in a better shape?)
If you want to learn more, here’s my previous Hostgator review – note that however it was done before I receive the email from D.
It’d be great if other Hostgator employees (or ex-employees) can chip in and comment on this.