The Ugly Side of Suspension Reasons
The influence of modern technology has made a huge impact on our lifestyles. We have reached a point where pretty much anything is accessible with a single click.
Nowadays shopping, working, learning and entertainment can all be simply accessed from our own homes. Consequently, more people move their businesses and other projects online with the help of various web hosting companies. Although there is no police online, there are certain activities that force hosting providers to “arrest” people’s services and accounts.
What do you do if this happens?
- Try to figure out the reason why the account got suspended and solve it immediately.
Read Before You Click
The experience of having your account suspended is no fun at all. The user will usually receive an email from his hosting provider, services will go offline and stay that way until the customer eliminates the problem if, of course, he does it at all.
All suspension reasons are always written in detail in company’s terms of service and is fully everyone’s responsibility to read them before signing up. Yes, everybody knows, it may be the world’s biggest lie blindly accept that “I have read and agree to the Terms of Service”. However, it does not exempt anyone from the responsibility to read and comply with the conditions.
What You Need to Know and Why
The fact that a hosting provider has suspended an account with no warning doesn’t make them a bad host. If they do not practice this, they will endanger the websites and services of their other clients. There is no way to say exactly what can get an account suspended across every host, but there are some things that trigger suspension.
1. Spam is unsolicited bulk email, often sent to a list obtained from a spambot or to a list obtained by companies that specialize in creating e-mail distribution lists. To the receiver, it usually seems like junk e-mail. No one enjoys spam because it interrupts our work and wastes time.
Imagine John who sells chocolate online. It’s just the beginning of his business, so he checks every email he receives because it might contain important information from his suppliers. In this case, every time he receives junk e-mail, John needs to open, read and delete the email, losing around 1 minute of his time that is supposed to be spent for an actual work. 1 spam email is fine but think about hundreds of them – an hour or so of your valuable time is gone. Spamming is always rigorously scowled upon and web hosting companies often suspend users who are involved in spamming.
2. Late payments & chargebacks are the most prevalent motives that can cause suspension. To begin with, overdue invoices are one of the most common reasons why hosting providers suspend their customers’ services or accounts. Their clients have to make sure they have a budget for web hosting before signing up. There is no excuse for not paying for the services. Secondly, any payment dispute or a chargeback from a Credit Card company, bank, Paypal or any other payment gateway is not acceptable and most likely will result in suspension. It fully is the customers’ concern to know these things. Any hosting provider would suggest to take it seriously. Nothing is for free.
3. Copyright violation or, in other words, plagiarism, is not acceptable. It is important to maintain ingenuity and uniqueness when creating content for the web. No one can simply take other people’s content without a permission and accredit authorship for it. For example, if John, the chocolate business owner, would set up a website for his online shop but would copy Cadbury’s logo of two glasses pouring milk in a purple background and publish it as his own, no good can come out of this situation. If the copyright holders, in this case – Cadbury, would discover that John is taking credit for their work, he definitely would get in serious trouble. Not only they can contact John’s hosting provider and get his account suspended for this, but poor John would also be penalized for copyright infringement.
One of the most famous copyright infringement cases in history is Napster vs A&M Records case. Napster is a popular peer-to-peer file sharing network that was launched in 1999. It had a great fan base of music lovers who shared mp3 files. Unfortunately, two years after the launch, the company was involved in a joint lawsuit by various record companies and had to pay a huge amount of money for unauthorized usage of intellectual property.
4. Unacceptable material covers (but is not limited to) websites promoting illegal activities, gambling websites, web pages that host offensive content such as child pornography, racist content and any other abusive websites. This kind of material is strictly forbidden and will result in immediate suspension with no warning.
5. While spamming can be annoying, phishing is a serious criminal act. Phishing is an e-mail fraud method in which the perpetrator sends out legitimate looking email in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients. In other words, the perpetrator collects sensitive information, such as credit card details, through fake web pages or emails. For instance, John recently received an email about a heritage that his uncle left him in South Africa. John thought that it’s rather unlikely that he had any relatives in South Africa. Unfortunately, curiosity won and John opened the email which, of course, was a phishing email.
Another recent example of phishing occurred when cyber attackers have pulled of a series of internet “heists” on British bank accounts worth at least £20m. These cyber criminals have used malware to gain access to people’s personal computers. The virus, the so-called Dridex, recorded the login and password details used to access internet banking services and passed it back to the attackers who then used the information to steal from bank accounts. The National Crime Agency (NCA) says: “Computers become infected with Dridex malware when users receive and open documents in seemingly legitimate emails. The NCA assesses there could be thousands of infected computers in the UK, the majority being Windows users.”
6. Unacceptable resource usage might happen when a customer is using shared resources (e.g. web hosting) and ones’ resource consumption is affecting other users on the server. Therefore, the user might simply need to upgrade his hosting package.
A common case of resources overuse occurs when the user is bitmining as this process results in a heavy resource usage. Some hosting providers prohibit bitmining and other allow it but eventually request to transfer to dedicated virtual machine (VM) that has no hardware usage restrictions. In other words, the user can use as much resources as he orders with his hosting services.
7. Brute force attack is initiated when obtaining information such as a user password or personal identification number (PIN). A program proceeds through all possible combinations of characters in order to find the correct password to a server or decrypt an encrypted password or file. It is also recognized as criminal behavior, so the perpetrator’s account will get suspended without warning. Brute force attacks are one of the reasons why all websites ask users to create strong passwords of no less than 8 or 12 characters, otherwise any account could be vulnerable. The more random symbols the password consists of – the more difficult it is to hack it.
8. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. It is a malicious attempt to make online services such as server or network resources unavailable to users by temporarily interrupting the services of a host connected to the Internet. DDoS attacks use multiple computers and Internet connections, often distributed globally in what is referred to as a botnet – a group of hijacked Internet-connected devices. There are some examples when the user’s account is suspended due to being a part of computers that were involved in DDoS attacks and the user did not intentionally attack other targets. One of the ways to prevent this situation is keeping the software/firmware up-to-date.
9. Failed verification might also lead to suspension. If the web hosting provider notices some suspicious activity within their client’s account, they might ask them to provide some additional information such as an ID or passport copy. Believe me, this happens not because they are going to use your ID and fly to Bahamas! This occurs because hosting provider just needs to authenticate the user. This procedure is simply to protect user’s privacy, the information received will not be used for any other purposes. It is for the user’s best interest to cooperate with the provider in order to secure the account and prevent unnecessary suspension.
Cooperation Is the Key
As mentioned before, all suspension reasons are fully covered under the terms of service by any web hosting provider. Each host has its own rules and it is customers’ obligation to read, understand and follow them before signing up. Cooperation and communication between user and hosting provider is crucial when creating a high value service. Mutual respect and understanding encourages both parties to seek for the best.
Please let us know if you have any further questions, we are more than happy to discuss any concerns you may have. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org