Do you know where your website’s data is stored, or who has access to it? If you haven’t given this thought before, now is the time.
Depending on which country your website is hosted in, your website’s data is subject to the privacy laws and regulations of that country. If it’s hosted in the US for example, your data is subject to the US Patriot Act and other laws that give the US government access to your data. If you have a Canadian website, you’ll want to make sure it’s hosted in Canada. And there are more than a few compelling reasons why.
Privacy in the true north.
When it comes to personal data and privacy, Canada has some of the strictest regulations around. That’s a good thing. Canada prioritizes personal security and sees privacy as a basic right for its citizens. Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) makes it a requirement for businesses to get an individual’s consent in order to collect, use or disclose their info. In Canada, disclosing personal information to a third party without an individual’s consent is essentially against the law.
The Patriot Act down south.
Many Canadian businesses aren’t aware that their website is actually hosted in the United States. Let’s just say, our neighbours to the south treat privacy a little different than we do here in Canada. The US government has enacted several laws that make it easier for them to access personal information. And there’s isn’t much that companies who own the data can do about it.
One of the most prominent of these laws is the Patriot Act. Passed in 2001 in the wake of September 11th, this act allows the American government to have unrestricted access to the data of businesses and individuals who may be considered suspicious of posing a threat to the US. Basically, if your data is stored in the US, it can be accessed, monitored or seized without a court order.
That’s kinda scary, eh?
No one wants to feel like their data is at risk, especially your customers. Users of your website are entrusting you to keep their personal data secure. Whether your business is just starting out or has been in the game for awhile, there’s no better time than now to look into your current hosting situation and make a necessary change.
It’s better for SEO too.
Beyond the differences in the way Canada and the US treat privacy, there are also some major SEO benefits to hosting your website in Canada. Hosting in Canada gives you a Canadian IP address. This makes it easier for location-based search engines (i.e. Google) to find your site and can increase your local Google ranking. Here’s the takeaway: hosting your website in Canada will increase your traffic of Canadian customers.
“43% of Google queries use Google’s local engine.”Search Engine Land
The location of your hosting provider’s data centres can also have an impact on your site’s performance and as a result, its search ranking. If your data is stored closer to where you are, your site will load faster. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t be sorry. Keep it Canadian.
The moral of the story? If you run a Canadian business, make sure your website is hosted in Canada. By choosing a Canadian hosting solution like AdvancedWP, your data will be stored securely in Canada and your website will be easier for Canadians to find. As a Canadian-owned and operated hosting provider, we have local data centres which means you can comply with Canadian privacy laws and avoid concerns with the US Patriot Act.
We’d be more than happy to provide hosting solutions for your business’ website, so you can keep your data where it belongs – in this beautiful country we call home.