What is the best way to set up FTP access for shared hosting accounts?

FTP keys

Posted on 26 Jun 2012 by Tavis.H

FTP (file transfer protocol) is one of the most common methods of file transfer used in web hosting. It is easy to use and also widely supported by software on all operating systems. On on the other hand, FTP is not the most secure option for the user or the server; however, with a little help, you can make it safe for your shared hosting accounts.

FTP keys

Jailed Users

Anytime users connect to your server there is a chance that they will end up someplace where they should not be. They may not intentionally cause harm, but with a compromised account, anything could happen. Therefore, it is important to jail users within their own home directories. This will keep them from accessing other parts of the server.


Another way to make sure you have secure file transfers is to use some form of encryption. You can use a secure extension to protect your FTP connection (FTPS) or use an alternative called SFTP. Many FTP clients also support SFTP. The downside of it is that it requires a shell (SSH) account to use. If you are a shared hosting user, you may not have access to one. If you do, it’s a secure way to transfer your files.

User Passwords

Many server security problems are the result of user error. Even if you have everything in place to secure your server, a bad password can make it easy for attackers to get in and do damage. To prevent this, you should require complex passwords of at least 8 characters. You can also setup your server to require users to change their passwords after a certain amount of time.

By taking these steps to secure your FTP transfers, you should be able to enjoy the ease and other benefits without having to worry about security.


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