How do you save important(privacy-wise) user data like SSN, Credit Card Numbers and Addresses in databases?
Only data which needs to be available is saved. For eg, SSN is saved because the app uses the SSN to identify a particular record. or credit card details are saved to make 1-click transactions possible.Some such data can be encrypted and saved, but some data needs to be available in plain text(eg. for full text search). The app uses third party hosting.
How secure is such data in plain text(or otherwise) on third party hosts like HostGator or App Engine?
Do you save such data on third party hosts(and is this practice recommended)?
Do you store it in plain text or do you encrypt such data?
Should only those companies who have the resources to have their own servers proceed to build such apps?