I am wanting to make my own social forum for friends and workers. I will have about 10,000-15,000 users. I have never made a forum on such a high scale and to this point have only been a developer with PHP. I have also worked with MySQL, HTML, JS and CSS.

How can I handle any sort of hacker attacks or attempts made to stealing my user's private data? What Webhosting service do you know of or recommend that I deploy my site onto for decent service and confidentiality?

I am located in Canada but my users will be within North America. From your experience, if you have any tips or advice for this newbie webmaster I would be more than happy to take it all in.

closed as not constructive by Simon Hayter, John Conde May 15 '13 at 23:28

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  • I believe this question would be better suitable on stackoverflow, wouldn't it? – David K. May 15 '13 at 16:29
  • I would recommend the IT security section of the stack network myself, though they tend to be a bit more rough around the edges to beginner questions, it should be a better quality of answers even still. – NRGdallas May 15 '13 at 16:54
  • This isn't a specific programming question, so it's not suitable for StackOverflow and I think the security stuff is fairly straightforward - use tested, reliable forum software. I seems like a good fit for here, to me. – Duncan Lock May 15 '13 at 17:00

I would strongly suggest that you do not build the forum software yourself, if that's your intention?

Use something that's battle tested and has already been exposed to some of the abuse that the public internet will throw at it - and that's open source and has a good team & active community behind it to fix any problems that occur.

You might consider using something like Vanilla, Discourse (still fairly new, but really great and from the same people behind this site) or SimpleMachinesForum. More oprions available here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Internet_forum_software

Most shared hosting explicitly prohibits running forums and other similar software because of security and server load issues - so you will probably need your own dedicated server or VPS. Something like Linode or Rackspace on the high end, or RamNode on the budget end.

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