Acceptable Use Policy | AUP | Biohost
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Acceptable Use Policy

This Policy forms part of the Agreement between the Client and Biohost and is binding on Clients using Biohost’s services. The AUP sets out in detail what forms of conduct Biohost regards as unacceptable on the part of its Clients and the steps which Biohost may take in response to unacceptable use of its services. Please take the time to acquaint yourself fully with the provisions of this Policy.

1. General

1.1 By contracting with Biohost for services, the Client agrees, without limitation or qualification, to be bound by this Policy and the terms and conditions it contains, as well as any other additional terms, conditions, rules or policies which are displayed to the Client in connection with the Services.

1.2 The purpose of this AUP is to:

1.2.1 ensure compliance with the relevant laws of the Republic;

1.2.2 specify to Clients and users of Biohost’s service what activities and online behaviour are considered an unacceptable use of the service;

1.2.3 protect the integrity of Biohost’s network; and

1.2.4 specify the consequences that may flow from undertaking such prohibited activities.

1.3 This document contains a number of legal obligations that the Client will be presumed to be familiar with. As such, Biohost encourages the Client to read this document thoroughly and direct any queries to aup@biohost.co.za.

1.4 Biohost respects the rights of Biohost’s Clients and users of Biohost’s services to freedom of speech and expression, access to information, privacy, human dignity, religion, belief and opinion.

2. Unacceptable Use

2.1 Biohost’s services may only be used for lawful purposes and activities. Biohost prohibits any use of its Services including the transmission, storage and distribution of any material or content using Biohost’s network that violates any law or regulation of the Republic. This includes, but is not limited to:

2.1.1 Any violation of local and international laws prohibiting child pornography, obscenity, discrimination (including racial, gender or religious slurs) and hate speech, or speech designed to incite violence or hatred, or threats to cause bodily harm.

2.1.2 Any activity designed to defame, abuse, stalk, harass or physically threaten any individual in the Republic or beyond its borders; including any attempt to link to, post, transmit or otherwise distribute any inappropriate or defamatory material.

2.1.3 Any violation of Intellectual Property laws including materials protected by local and international copyright, trademarks and trade secrets.

2.1.4 Any violation of another’s right to privacy, including any effort to collect personal data of third parties without their consent.

2.1.5 Any fraudulent activity whatsoever, including dubious financial practices, such as pyramid schemes; the impersonation of another client without their consent; or any attempt to enter into a transaction with Biohost on behalf of another client without their consent.

2.1.6 Any violation of the exchange control laws of the Republic.

2.1.7 Any activity that results in the sale, transmission or distribution of pirated or illegal software.

3. Threats to Network Security

3.1 Any activity which threatens the functioning, security and/or integrity of Biohost’s network is unacceptable. This includes:

3.1.1 Any efforts to attempt to gain unlawful and unauthorised access to the network or circumvent any of the security measures established by Biohost for this goal.

3.1.2 Any effort to use Biohost’s equipment to circumvent the user authentication or security of any host, network or account (“cracking” or “hacking”).

3.1.3 Forging of any TCP/IP packet headers (spoofing) or any part of the headers of an email or a newsgroup posting.

3.1.4 Any effort to breach or attempt to breach the security of another user or attempt to gain access to any other person’s computer, software, or data without the knowledge and consent of such person.

3.1.5 Any activity which threatens to disrupt the service offered by Biohost through “denial of service attacks”; flooding of a network, or overloading a service or any unauthorised probes (“scanning” or “nuking”) of others’ networks.

3.1.6 Any activity which in any way threatens the security of the network by knowingly posting, transmitting, linking to or otherwise distributing any information or software which contains a virus, trojan horse, worm, malware, botnet or other harmful, destructive or disruptive component.

3.1.7 Any unauthorised monitoring of data or traffic on the network without Biohost’s explicit, written consent.

3.1.8 Running services and applications with known vulnerabilities and weaknesses, e.g. insufficient anti-automation attacks, any traffic amplification attacks, including recursive DNS attacks, SMTP relay attacks.

3.1.9 Failing to respond adequately to a denial of service attack (DOS / DDOS).

3.2 Biohost reserves the right to charge a domain registration fee (in arrears) for any domain name which is registered as a FREE domain with a hosting package that is cancelled (or the domain is transferred) within 6 months of sign up. Such fee(s) will be invoiced exclusively at Biohost’s discretion, and no leniency extended to Clients on previous occasions will in any way prejudice Biohost’s right to enforce this clause. Such fees must be settled before any domain transfer can be effected with the applicable registrar.

3.3 Biohost will not tolerate any abuse of their free registration policy. Any such abuse will result in the immediate termination of accounts concerned and Service Agreement, as well as possible further action to recover applicable costs from the Client.

3.4 Biohost only offers Free Domain registration for “.co.za” domains with new hosting package signups. Other TLDs or gTLDs are not included in the Free Domain Registration offer. Biohost will register domains as per the clauses above, but will not be responsible for any further costs in relation to the domain, such as Annual Renewal Fees, Redemption fees or any other fees which may become payable in respect of domain ownership. Clients are exclusively responsible for such fees, and Biohost will not enter into any disputes resulting from non-payment. Should such domains be automatically renewed, Clients will be billed for such renewal without exception. Clients not wanting to continue with a specific domain must ensure that cancellation is effected before any such renewal is actioned by Biohost with the registrar concerned.

4. Definitions

4.1 Throttling – Throttling limits the throughput of all services and protocols. Regardless of the connection speed, a throttled account will only be able to achieve limited throughput in total whilst in use. Throttling is applied on a service level, based on usage over a 30 day rolling window threshold. Throttling is applied only when demand on the network exceeds available network capacity, and is relieved when demand decreases.

4.2 Shaping – Shaping is the implementation of protocol based priority, to manage demand on the network. When shaping is implemented, realtime, interactive services are given higher priority over non-realtime, non-interactive services, effectively slowing the performance of non-prioritised services in favour of those given priority. Shaping is applied to all services in general (not based on usage thresholds), and the impact to non-priority services is determined by the level of demand and available network capacity. Shaping is applied only when demand on the network exceeds available network capacity, and relieved when demand decreases.

5. Spam and Unsolicited Bulk Mail

3.1 Biohost regards all unsolicited bulk email (whether commercial in nature or not) as spam, with the following exceptions:

3.1.1 Mail sent by one party to another where there is already a prior relationship between the two parties and the subject matter of the message(s) concerns that relationship;

3.1.2 Mail sent by one party to another with the explicit consent of the receiving party.

3.1.3 Clients should only receive bulk mail that they have requested and/or consented to receive and/or which they would expect to receive as a result of an existing relationship.

3.2 Biohost will take swift and firm action against any user engaging in any of the following unacceptable practices:

5.2.1 Sending unsolicited bulk mail for marketing or any other purposes (political, religious or commercial) to people who have not consented to receive such mail.

5.2.2 Using any part of Biohost’s infrastructure for the purpose of unsolicited bulk mail, whether sending, receiving, bouncing, or facilitating such mail.

5.2.3 Operating or maintaining mailing lists without the express permission of all recipients listed. In particular, Biohost does not permit the sending of “opt-out” mail, where the recipient must opt out of receiving mail which they did not request. For all lists, the sender must maintain meaningful records of when and how each recipient requested mail. Biohost will also monitor Clients deemed to be operating “cleaning lists”, which is using illegally obtained email addresses but removing addresses as complaints arise. Should Biohost, at its discretion, believe that this is the case, it will be treated as SPAM.

5.2.4 Failing to promptly remove from lists invalid or undeliverable addresses or addresses of unwilling recipients or a recipient who has indicated s/he wishes to be removed from such list, or failing to provide the recipient with a facility to opt-out.

5.2.5 Using Biohost’s service to collect responses from unsolicited email sent from accounts on other Internet hosts or e-mail services that violate this AUP or the AUP of any other Internet service provider. Advertising any facility on Biohost’s infrastructure in unsolicited bulk mail (e.g. a website advertised in spam).

5.2.6 Including Biohost’s name in the header or by listing an IP address that belongs to Biohost in any unsolicited email whether sent through Biohost’s network or not.

5.2.7 Failure to secure a Client’s mail server against public relay as a protection to themselves and the broader Internet community. Public relay occurs when a mail server is accessed by a third party from another domain and utilised to deliver mails, without the authority or consent of the owner of the mail-server. Mail servers that are unsecured against public relay often become abused by unscrupulous operators for spam delivery and upon detection such delivery must be disallowed. Biohost reserves the right to examine users’ mail servers to confirm that no mails are being sent from the mail server through public relay and the results of such checks can be made available to the user. Biohost also reserves the right to examine the mail servers of any users using Biohost’s mail servers for “smarthosting” (when the user relays its mail via an Biohost mail server to a mail server of its own or vice versa) or similar services at any time to ensure that the servers are properly secured against public relay. All relay checks will be done in strict accordance with Biohost’s Privacy Policy and the laws of South Africa.

6. Users Outside of South Africa

6.1 Where any user resides outside of the Republic, permanently or temporarily, such user will be subject to the laws of the country in which s/he is currently resident and which apply to the user. On presentation of a legal order to do so, or under obligation through an order for mutual foreign legal assistance, Biohost will assist foreign law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in the investigation and prosecution of a crime committed using Biohost’s resources, including the provisioning of all personal identifiable data.

7. Hosting

7.1 Biohost offers unlimited bandwidth (web traffic) usage on Shared Hosting platforms. However, this is subject to reasonable and responsible usage, as determined at Biohost’s discretion. Shared Hosting is designed for serving personal hosting requirements or that of small enterprises, and not medium to large enterprises. Biohost reserves the right to move Clients deemed to have excessive bandwidth usage to a Cloud product, which will better suit their requirements. Clients will be given notice as such, and will be informed of any cost implications.

7.2 Disk Space on Shared Hosting may only be used for Website Content, Emails and related System Files. General data storage, archiving or file sharing of documents, files or media not directly related to the website content is strictly prohibited. Unauthorised storage or distribution of copyrighted materials is prohibited, via FTP hosts or any other means.

7.3 For Shared Hosting and Managed Dedicated Solutions, Biohost will implement security updates, software patches and other updates or upgrades from time to time, to maintain the best performance, at their sole discretion. These upgrades include, but are not limited to, PHP, MySQL and CPanel release versions. Biohost is under no obligation to effect such upgrades, or to rectify any impact such changes could potentially have to Hosting Clients.

7.4 Biohost will not be liable or responsible for the backing up, restoration or loss of data under any circumstances. Clients are solely responsible for ensuring their data is regularly backed up and for restoring such backups in the event of data loss or corruption.

7.5 Biohost prohibits Clients from doing the following on hosting platforms administered by Biohost:

7.5.1 Running applications that are not production-ready. Any applications on the hosting platform must be optimised with respect to memory usage and must have appropriate data indexing.

7.5.2 Running applications with inadequate security controls.

7.5.3 Generating significant side-channel traffic from an application, whether by design or otherwise. Databases should be stored locally, and remote content should be cached.

7.5.4 Failure to maintain proper “housekeeping” on a shared server including storing or generating useless content, including comment spam, unused cache files, log file and database entries.

7.5.5 Storing malicious content, such as malware or links to malware.

7.5.6 Monopolising server resources, including CPU time, memory, network and disk bandwidth.

7.5.7 Maintaining long-running processes and long-running database queries.

7.5.8 Storing or running back-door shells, mass mailing scripts, proxy servers, web spiders, phishing content, or peer-to-peer software.

7.5.9 Sending bulk mail of any form, particularly mail that cannot be efficiently delivered due to volume or incorrect addresses.

7.5.10 Using poor passwords.

7.5.11 Sharing security credentials with untrusted parties.

7.5.12 Running Torrents for download or Seed Servers.

7.5.13 Running TOR (or other Online Anonymity Services).

7.5.14 Otherwise circumventing the Acceptable Use Policy or intended use of the product.

7.6 Biohost strictly prohibits any crypto currency associated activities or mechanisms to be run on any part of our hosting network or servers within our hosting environment.

8. Protection of Minors

8.1 Biohost prohibits Clients from using Biohost’s service to harm or attempt to harm a minor, including, but not limited to, by hosting, possessing, disseminating, distributing or transmitting material that is unlawful, including child pornography and cyber bullying.

8.2 Biohost prohibits Clients from using Biohost’s service to host sexually explicit or pornographic material of any nature.

9. Privacy and Confidentiality

9.1 Biohost respects the privacy and confidentiality of Biohost’s Clients and users of Biohost’s service. Please review Biohost’s Privacy Policy which details how Biohost collects and uses personal information gathered in the course of operating its Services.

10. User Responsibilities

10.1 Clients are responsible for any misuse of Biohost’s services that occurs through the Client’s account. It is the Client’s responsibility to ensure that unauthorized persons do not gain access to or misuse Biohost’s service.

10.2 Biohost urges Clients not to reply to unsolicited mail or “spam”, not to click on any suggested links provided in the unsolicited mail. Doing so remains the sole responsibility of the Client and Biohost cannot be held liable for the Client being placed on any bulk mailing lists as a result.

10.3 Where the Client has authorized a minor to use any of the Biohost’s services or access its websites, the Client accepts that as the parent/legal guardian of that minor, the Client is fully responsible for: the online conduct of such minor, controlling the minor’s access to and use of any services or websites, and the consequences of any misuse by the minor.

11. Complaints Procedure

11.1 Complaints relating to the violation of this AUP should be submitted in writing to abuse@biohost.co.za. Complaints must be substantiated, and unambiguously state the nature of the problem, and its connection to Biohost’s network and services.

12. Action Following Breach of the AUP

12.1 Upon receipt of a complaint, or having become aware of an incident, Biohost may, in its sole and reasonably-exercised discretion take any of the following steps:

12.1.1 In the case of Clients, warn the Client, suspend the Client account and/or revoke or cancel the Client’s Service access privileges completely;

12.1.2 In the case of an abuse emanating from a third party, inform the third party’s network administrator of the incident and request the network administrator or network owner to address the incident in terms of this AUP and/or the ISPA Code of Conduct (if applicable);

12.1.3 In severe cases suspend access of the third party’s entire network until abuse can be prevented by appropriate means;

12.1.4 In all cases, charge the offending parties for administrative costs as well as for machine and human time lost due to the incident;

12.1.5 Assist other networks or website administrators in investigating credible suspicions of any activity listed in this AUP;

12.1.6 Institute civil or criminal proceedings;

12.1.7 Share information concerning the incident with other authorized providers, or publish the information, and/or make available the users’ details to law enforcement agencies; and/or

12.1.8 suspend or terminate the Service as provided for in the Agreement.

12.2 This policy applies to and will be enforced for intended and unintended (e.g., viruses, worms, malicious code, or otherwise unknown causes) prohibited usage.

13. Reservation and Non Waiver of Rights

13.1 Biohost reserves the right to amend or alter this policy at any time, and without notice to the Client.

13.2 Biohost reserves the right to take action against any individuals, companies or organisations that violate the AUP, or engage in any illegal or unlawful activity while accessing Biohost’s services, to the fullest extent of the law.

13.3 Biohost reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to act against other types of abuse not listed in this document and to investigate or prevent illegal activities being committed over Biohost’s network.

13.4 Biohost does not waive its right to enforcement of this AUP at any time, or prejudice its right to take subsequent action, should Biohost fail, neglect or elect not to enforce a breach of the AUP at any time.

These terms were last updated 16 August, 2020

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