As a computer (PC) user, you are responsible for its security at all times. A provider of access and/or hosting cannot change this or take responsibility for this.

There is a lot you can do to safeguard computer. This page gives a number of tips and things to be aware of.

Some of the links given can contain (very) technical information and/or are in Dutch.

Safeguard your PC

You can safeguard your PC in many ways. A number of tips are given here:

  1. Regularly install the latest updates for your PC, preferably daily and automatically (operating system, programs, virus definitions);
  2. Install a virus scanner. Scanners such as AVG and ClamAV are free for home use.
  3. Install a firewall or activate the standard firewall in Windows XP/Vista and turn on “DEP” (Data Execution Prevention (DEP)) for all programs;
  4. Don’t open e-mails or attachments, links in msn messages etc. coming from unknown addresses. Turn off HTML email viewing in your email program;
  • Recognize an infected system: if the PC suddenly becomes slow and/or all kinds of pop-up windows suddenly appear, then something is wrong;
  • Keep informed of the latest “threats”. Our website has many links to security-related websites, with news, tips and advice.The links below will provide you with a current overview of the vulnerabilities found in the stated products:

We strongly recommend that users of Microsoft Small Business Server 2003, among others, verify that they have installed the KB835734 update (“Many unexpected outbound e-mail messages appear in the SMTP queue in Small Business Server 2003“).
The following links will be of interest for system administrators and enthusiasts:

For assistance or advice, contact your system administrator, or the supplier or manufacturer of the program in question. VEVIDA cannot be held liable or responsible if a PC no longer functions well as a result of following the tips given here, or as a result of damage caused by third parties.

Passwords

A password is a secret code that you create yourself. It must not be shorter than (8) characters, but preferably twelve (12) or fourteen (14).
Furthermore, it is best to use combinations of capital letters, numbers and other symbols (for example ~!?@#$%^&*-_+=[]{}|/<>). It is not a good idea to use a logical sequence, such as a name, year of birth or post code in the password. Words that are in the dictionary are also quite easy to guess, as are repetitions in the password, such as “st0pst0p”.

In short: if your password is difficult to guess or figure out, it is a good password. You can think of a password yourself, but there are also various websites where you can have a random strong password made. A few of these websites are listed at the end of this article. Of course, you do need to be able to remember the password! There are various techniques you can use to create and remember a password. For instance you can use the first letters of words in a sentence. To make the password stronger, replace words or letters from the sentence with numbers. For example you can change “for” into a “4”. An example of this is the password “Tp4tci2s4U2g!” that is mentioned on Wikipedia. This password is derived from the sentence: “The password for this computer is too strong for you to guess!”

If you use a multi-user operating system, such as Windows 2000 / XP / Vista or Linux, work as the administrator (root) as little as possible, rather login under your normal account. This prevents externally installed programs, such as trojans or spyware being installed as the administrator (root) and obtaining the associated rights/permissions.

Best practices include not using the same password everywhere and changing your passwords regularly. At the same time it is not recommended to put your passwords on a post-it on your monitor or under your keyboard. Imagine what a janitor could do with this information.

Would you like to know more about this subject?
You can read more about this via the links below. Of course you can also always contact us.

http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/create.mspx
http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/checker.mspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Password_strength
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passphrase

Access

Limit access to MyVEVIDA and FTP, don’t freely give the login information to others, and change the password (for FTP and MyVEVIDA) as soon as others no longer need these applications.
If a person (for example a webmaster) does not need full access to the FTP but only to a subdirectory, you can request an extra FTP account with the rights that you specify. This allows you to avoid giving up your primary login information. Keep your contact information up to date so that VEVIDA can always provide you with the right login information in case of emergencies.

You can use FTP to place certain files that must not be accessible to everyone in a special subfolder of www. Through MyVEVIDA, you can then remove the rights for this subfolder so that it is necessary to login to this folder with the FTP information before being able to call up the files.

Viruses

A virus is a small program that is usually hidden among other files. An active virus usually causes unexpected and undesired effects; sometimes innocent, often harmful.

Today there are ever more viruses in circulation that can cause serious damage to your files and your hard drive. Viruses are often programmed to try to spread themselves further, for example via email addresses (so-called worm viruses).

It is common that worm viruses have a backdoor that enables people with malicious intent to take over control of your PC. Your PC then becomes part of a zombie network (point 4) (or botnet). The PC “waits” for commands from malicious users, for example to perform a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

These backdoors are often also hidden in spam email. In this way a spammer can use your PC to send more spam.

To protect your computer against viruses, you need a good virus scanner and a firewall. A virus scanner periodically checks your computer and neutralizes any viruses. A firewall checks all the network traffic that attempts to reach your computer. Every good virus scanner needs updates to continue to be able to act adequately against latest viruses.
Install updates for your operating system regularly, or set updates to install automatically. The manufacturer uses these updates (patches) to close any security leaks.

The damage that viruses can do is enormous. Protect your documents, your privacy and your computer by installing a virus scanner and firewall. The VEVIDA mail servers are equipped with spam and virus scanners, but nothing is perfect: it is impossible to guarantee that they will stop all viruses. Always be alert.

Hoaxes

Many hoaxes and chain letters are in circulation. A hoax is a fake virus warning. The purpose of these emails is to overload mail servers and to collect email addresses.

Do not forward these messages, but remove them.

Spyware

Spyware is espionage software. It saves all kinds of information about the use of your PC and send it to others, and is then often sold, for example to marketing companies. Examples of data that can be taken are email addresses, what pages you visit and for how long, what programs are used, etc. This may involve both private and business information.
This software gets installed on your computer, usually without you noticing it, for example while downloading a program, or through a vulnerability in your internet browser when you visit a website. This installation often happens via ActiveX and unsafe Internet Explorer settings. Switching off or using tighter security settings for ActiveX is a step in the right direction.
A redirect to other websites, often with pornographic images, is partially facilitated by security leaks in the BHO (Browser Help Object).

Some spyware programs will change the start page of your browser, display advertisement pop-ups or direct you to other websites than intended. This is referred to as browser hijacking.

Phishing

Phishing is a form of deception to determine your identity, with fraud as the ultimate objective. Another name for this is social engineering. Phishing is in fact angling for information. A phisher tries to obtain information from you such as your credit card number, password, account information or other personal information by convincing you that this is necessary under false pretences. These fraudulent practices are usually done via undesired emails, counterfeit websites and pop-up windows.

There is a list of examples of fraudulent phishing practices that are sent by email. Go to the Anti-Phishing Working Group Phishing Archive.

Privacy

VEVIDA is a hosting provider that respects the privacy of its customers. VEVIDA will never provide sensitive private information to third parties, unless a legal warrant for this has been issued.

The VEVIDA website uses cookies to call up and save certain non-personal information from its visitors. This information is used to enable the website to function properly, such as maintaining sessions.

You can also do a lot to protect your privacy on the internet, such as:

  • Be careful about the information that you give out:
    • Turn off unnecessary options in your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Opera, etc.);
    • Only include personal information (such as a mobile phone number, an address, etc.) in an email if this is necessary.

You can also use GPG and/or PGP to digitally encode or encrypt email. Receivers can use the public key and their own private key to decrypt (decode) email or use the fingerprint to verify the actual sender.

If sensitive private information is sent over the web, an SSL certificate can be used.

Dutch National Alerting Service

The Dutch National Alerting Service (Waarschuwingsdienst), an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, warns computer users and small businesses about computer viruses and vulnerabilities in software. The Dutch National Alerting Service is a service of the Computer Emergency Response Team of the Dutch government. The Service also provides information and advice about computer security.

The Dutch National Alerting Service is a service of the Computer Emergency Response Team of the Dutch government, GOVCERT.NL.

« Back

Related articles

Customer service

Cannot find what you are looking for? Please contact our customer service:

We are glad to be of service.