0844 871 1122

Internet Access Acceptable Use Policy

For the Internet to operate in a manner that satisfies the majority of its users, all users need to observe some rules and etiquette governing their use of it. These requirements are usually contained or referred to in the relevant terms and conditions governing the particular Internet service as well as general law. Maintel Voice and Data' (MVD) customers must ensure that they know what these requirements are and how they are affected by them.

To enable its customers to have a better understanding of what is and is not acceptable when using the Internet, and to help you get the best out of the Internet, MVD has developed a number of Acceptable Usage Policies (AUPs) relating to Internet services. Complying with these AUPs, which is a contractual requirement, should help you benefit from safer surfing and minimise the risk of suffering "online abuse".

MVD's AUPs are based on current "best internet industry practice" and draw on the collective experience of users and service providers across the Internet community.

We may change the AUPs from time to time and an up to date version of our UAPs can be found on our website at www.maintel.co.uk. We hope you will find them useful and informative.

A Guide To Avoiding Abuse While Connected To The Internet

Legal Compliance

The Internet is a global medium and is regulated by the laws of many different countries. Material, which is illegal in this country, may be legal in another, and vice versa. As a user in this country, for example, you should not access sites carrying child pornography, hard-core pornography or incitement to violence. These are just three examples of unlawful material and there are many others. When you visit a website, a copy of the visited pages is stored on your pc in the web browsers' cache files. Storage of illegal material in this way may well constitute a criminal offence. If you are in any doubt, we recommend you to take independent legal advice.

To connect to any of MVD’s online services, you will use a telephone (PSTN) line, ISDN line or ADSL. While connected to the Internet, you must comply with legal requirements concerning telephone network (mis) use. Set out below is a selfexplanatory extract from the Telecommunications Act. As you can see, network misuse is a serious criminal offence, which can lead to fines and/or imprisonment.

"Improper Use Of Public Telecommunication System"

A Person who sends by means of a public communication system, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character, or sends by those means, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, a message that he knows to be false or persistently makes use for that purpose of a public telecommunication system, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine….. or both".

Avoiding Abuse While Connected To the Internet

Taking the following steps should help you to protect yourself from becoming a victim of abuse while connected to the Internet:

Ensure that you are running a good quality virus detection application. The majority of these applications have the ability to detect hackers as well as viruses. Hackers are people who try to hack into your computer to either cause mischief or find your passwords and usernames. You should be aware that some hackers have the ability to seriously damage your computer system!

If you keep sensitive information on your computer, it is worth using encryption software to protect it.

While connected, do not publicise your IP address. This is the unique ID that your ISP allocates you while you are connected to the Internet. This is especially important if you are using applications such as CHAT, IRC (internet relay chat) or video conferencing using a directory service.

A majority of people spends their online time finding Internet software applications to run while online. Be careful what you install. Before installing software of unknown origin, ask yourself whether you trust the writer/source. Most computer viruses and Trojans are installed unknowingly while installing shareware or freeware applications that are supposedly designed to make your life easier. If in doubt, don't do it!

Sharing Logon Details

MVD prohibits customers from sharing details.

Port Scanning

MVD prohibits the use of port scanning software on its services.

Sharing Internet Access on a Private Network and Running Personal SMTP Mail Servers

Some methods of sharing internet access or applications expose your external internet connection to other internet users, and enable them to send unsolicited bulk emails via your computer (known as SPAM).

As MVD do not block any ports it is vital that you configure your network securely, you are fully responsible for security in your own network and failure to secure it properly will result in your disconnection from MVD services.

Internet Access - Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

Introduction

MVD’s relationships with its customers, other networks, and ultimately its connectivity to the rest of the Internet, require its customers to behave responsibly. Accordingly, MVD cannot permit irresponsible behaviour by its customers, which could damage these relationships, MVD’s network or the use of the Internet by others.

Compliance with this Acceptable Use Policy is a contractual requirement. If you fail to do so, your service may be suspended or terminated.

Heavy Usage

Persistent heavy users of the service, who in MVD's reasonable opinion could be seen to be over-using their contended service, may at MVD's discretion find their available bandwidth or context restricted at certain times of the day or be forced to move to Pay As You Go (where available) or SDSL (where available).

Restricted context will increase the contention ratio on the connection during business hours (08:00 to 18:00) only or at all times depending on the severity of the overuse.

Appeals

50GB Exceeders: Business cases where one line is part of a multi-site VPN or similar will be considered, traffic profiles and type will be taken into consideration. The data transfer of the combination of sites must not exceed 50GB per site.

100GB Exceeders: Business cases where one line is part of a multi-site VPN or similar will be considered, traffic profiles and type will be taken into consideration. The data transfer of the combination of sites must not exceed 50GB per site.

Please email ns@maintel.co.uk to register an appeal against our decision.

Illegal Activities

You must not, by using the service, possess or transmit illegal material. You should be aware that as the Internet is a global network, some activities/material, which may be legal in the UK, might be illegal elsewhere in the world and vice versa. When you visit a website, a copy of the visited pages is stored on your pc in the web browsers' cache files. Storage of illegal material in this way may well be a criminal offence, as well as contravening this AUP.

If you are in any doubt as to the legality of anything, don't do it and take independent legal advice before proceeding.

You must not gain or attempt to gain unauthorised access to any computer systems for any purpose, including accessing the Internet. As well as being in breach of your contract for the particular service, such hacking or attempted hacking is a criminal offence.

Forging Addresses

You must not send data via the Internet which has forged addresses or which is deliberately constructed to adversely affect remote machines. You must not configure your pc as an open relay system.

Port Scanning

You must not run "port scanning " software which accesses remote machines or networks, except with the explicit prior permission of the administrator or owner of such remote machines or networks. This includes using applications capable of scanning the ports of other Internet users.

If you intend to run a port scanning application, you must provide MVD with a copy of the written consent received from the target of the scan authorising the activity. This must be supplied to MVD prior to the application being run.

Spam or Unsolicited Email

You must not participate in the sending of unsolicited bulk email or any other form of email or Usenet "abuse". This applies to material, which originates on your system as well as third party material, which passes through your system.

Internet Connection Sharing

If you share the resources of your internet connection over a Private Network on your premises, you must make sure that your network is secure, and that any internet Connection Sharing software that you are using does not permit access from outside of your network. This is especially important if running an "Open Proxy Server". This is because an "Open Proxy Server" will allow other users of the Internet to exploit your internet connection, and use it as if it were their own. For example, an external user could access your local network or send unsolicited e-mail(s) that would appear to come from you.

What Action Will MVD Take?

Compliance with this Acceptable Use Policy is a contractual requirement. If you fail to do so, your service may be suspended or terminated.

MVD may operate systems to ensure compliance with this AUP, including without limitation port scanning and testing of open servers and mail relays.

Customers who engage in abusive behaviour will be notified that their behaviour is unacceptable and may have their accounts suspended or terminated.

Account Restoration

A suspended account may be restored at MVD’s discretion, upon receipt of a written undertaking by the abuser not to commit any future "abuse". All cases are, however, considered by MVD on their individual merits.

A Guide to Avoiding Email Abuse

Email is without doubt an extremely effective and convenient method of communication. It is fast and cheap. Unfortunately, it is also the most common source of abuse over the Internet. Although much unsolicited email (SPAM) may just be a harmless but annoying way of advertising of products or services, some can be as distressing as receiving malicious telephone calls.

There are some simple steps you can take to minimise the likelihood of receiving
nuisance emails:

  • Don't give out your email address unless you are absolutely sure you can trust the recipient. You should treat your email address as you would treat your telephone number.
  • When posting into newsgroups configure your newsreader so that it doesn't show or it disguises your email address, i.e. joe.bloggs32@nospam.isp.com. In the posting you would say, “to reply to Joe, remove the nospam". A person responding to the email then has to remove the nospam section of the email address. This makes it more difficult for automated newsgroup trawlers to strip email addresses from the postings. The majority of the mail lists that are used for the bulk sending of emails are compiled from undisguised email addresses in newsgroups.
  • Avoid posting into newsgroups if you are not entirely sure about the nature of their subject matter. If you are going to post into these groups, be aware that there is very little your ISP can do to protect you if you become a victim of abusive emails resulting from your posting or a "flame war". If you do post into such newsgroups, it is a sensible precaution to keep your email address private, as often the only cure to stop nuisance emails is to change your email address.
Never publicise your home address or telephone number.

Be very careful when sending details such as your credit card number by email. Unless you are completely sure you can trust the recipient and the details of the recipient's email address don't do it.

When filling in on-line forms always look for and complete any "data protection opt out" boxes if you do not wish to be contacted regarding advertisement and promotion of any products and services. The information you provide may be disclosed to other organisations or used for marketing or other purposes, which you did not envisage. If in doubt, do not use the on-line form. If you do become a victim of abusive emails, there is often very little your ISP can do to stop the abuse. However, the ISP of your abuser can possibly do something under its terms and conditions. Accordingly, we recommend you to take the following action:

Email the "abuse department" for the individual's ISP.

Send the relevant ISP as much evidence as possible. It is no use simply complaining about the activities of an individual, you must provide evidence of the abuse, e.g. send the whole email, newsgroup posting or the URL of the website to abuse@ the ISP in question. The ISP will probably need the IP Address that the abuser was using at the time of the abuse. This is the unique ID allocated to that user at that specific moment and can be found/seen in the header of the email, and in the header of the newsgroup posting.

It is unlikely that an ISP will simply give out the name and details of an alleged offender. However, an ISP may need to divulge such information to appropriate authorities, such as the police or the courts, if formally requested to do so.

In cases of extreme net abuse, you may need to contact the police if you think further action should be taken. If you decide to do so, you must be prepared to provide the police with any evidence you have. The police will then consider whether a criminal offence may have been committed and whether further action can or should be taken.

Sharing Internet Access on a Private Network and Running Personal SMTP Mail Servers

Some methods of sharing internet access or applications expose your external internet connection to other internet users, and enable them to send unsolicited bulk emails via your computer (known as SPAM).

As MVD do not block any ports it is vital that you configure your network securely, you are fully responsible for security in your own network and failure to secure it properly may result in your disconnection from MVD services.

Email - Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

Exchanging emails with others generally involves using common sense regarding the content material and being polite and courteous. The vast majority of MVD’s customers understand what is appropriate when sending or receiving emails. Regrettably, there are occasions when individuals or groups of people exchange emails or involve in online activities, which are considered to be unacceptable by the Internet community. This is described by the generic term of "abuse".

This email AUP is based on current "best internet industry practice" and draws on the collective experience of email users and service providers across the internet community.

Abusive emails

It is not always obvious whether an activity is innocent, inadvertent, or intentional but as a general rule, email users should be aware that what is unacceptable (and possibly illegal) offline (oral or written), applies equally online. As with telephone calls, you must not send any emails, which cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety. You should not send false messages likely to cause distress (e.g. advising the recipient that a relative has been in an accident when they have not), or any other material which is distressing, grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing or in any other way unlawful. Particular care should be taken to avoid any material, which is offensive to people on grounds of gender, race, colour, religion or other similar categorisation. Always be sensitive to the fact that children might have access.

Spam (Unsolicited Bulk emails)

You must not use MVD’s email system to send unsolicited emails, bulk or otherwise. The sending of such emails is an abuse of the service and you will be in breach of the relevant terms and conditions.

Setting up Your Mail Server (Open Relay)

If you choose to run an SMTP email server on a private network on your premises you must ensure that it is configured correctly, so as to only accept mail from your private domain. MVD will block access (TCP port 25), to your SMTP email server from outside of your domain to prevent it from being exploited for the purpose of sending unsolicited emails.

Internet Connection Sharing

If you share the resources of your internet connection over a Private Network on your premises, you must make sure that your network is secure, and that any Internet Connection Sharing software that you are using does not permit access from outside of your network. This is especially important if running an "Open Proxy Server". This is because an "Open Proxy Server" will allow other users of the Internet to exploit your Internet connection, and use it as if it were their own. For example, an external user could access your local network or send unsolicited e-mail(s) that would appear to come from you.

What Action Will MVD Take?

Compliance with this Acceptable Use Policy is a contractual requirement. If you fail to do so, your service may be suspended or terminated. MVD may operate systems to ensure compliance with this AUP, including without limitation port scanning and testing of open servers and mail relays.

Customers who engage in abusive behaviour will be notified that their behaviour is unacceptable and may have their accounts suspended or terminated if such behaviour continues.

If we find out that you are using our service for illegal purposes, we may notify the police. If we receive a Court Order requesting us to reveal your identity to someone complaining that you have used this service in an abusive manner we will do so.

Account Restoration

A suspended account may be restored at MVD’s discretion, upon receipt of a written undertaking by the abuser not to commit any future "abuse". All cases are, however, considered by MVD on their individual merits.

Chat & Instant Message Services - Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

Using Chat and Instant Message Services on the internet generally requires politeness, courtesy and caution in exactly the same way as face-to-face and telephone conversations. This is probably more important when communicating with strangers. Most people understand and apply acceptable standards of behaviour and language when using these services.

However, there are times when individuals, or groups, behave in what is considered by the Internet community to be an unacceptable way. This is described by the generic term of ‘abuse’.

Conduct in Chat Rooms

Please remember that what is acceptable by one culture may be regarded as offensive by another. Since the Internet is worldwide, please take great care to avoid giving offence.

We recognise the right to freedom of expression, but with that right comes a responsibility to respect the feelings of others. It’s not necessary to use inflammatory language to express strongly held views. Abuse may be innocent, inadvertent or intentional. It’s not always clear which is which, so please remember that you must not use the service to:

  • Distribute illegal, indecent or offensive material or any messages that may incite disorder or encourage illegal activities
  • Cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety to other users
  • Impersonate someone else
  • Distribute material in which you do not own the copyright, without the permission of the owner of the relevant rights
  • Transfer files that contain viruses, trojans or other harmful programs
  • Distribute advertisements or junk mail (‘spam’)
What Action Will MVD Take?

Compliance with this Acceptable Use Policy is a mandatory requirement under our Terms & Conditions. If you fail to comply, your service may be suspended or terminated. MVD will co-operate with providers of other Chat and Instant Message Services to identify any customers committing abuse. If we discover that you’ve engaged in abusive behaviour we’ll notify you that your behaviour is unacceptable. Your account(s) may be suspended or terminated.

If we find out that you’re using our service for illegal purposes, we may notify the police. If we receive a Court Order requesting us to reveal your identity to someone complaining that you’ve used this service in an abusive manner we will do so.

Account Restoration

A suspended account may be restored at MVD’s discretion, upon receipt of a written undertaking by the abuser not to commit any future "abuse". All cases are, however, considered by MVD on their individual merits.

Internet Glossary

Applet - A type of computer program that allows animation and other interactive functions on a file or Web page.

ADSL - Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line - technology that allows you to access the Internet over standard phone lines at very high speeds.

Bit - The smallest piece of digital information understood by computers.

Bandwidth - The rate information travels from one place to another either inside a computer or between computers. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits per second, kilobits (thousands of bits) per second, or megabits (millions of bits) per second. A 28.8 modem allows for a connection of 28.8 kilobits per second.

Blocking software - A computer program that allows parents, teachers, or guardians to "block" access to certain Web sites and other information available over the Internet. All blocking software has filtered the information before blocking access to it. (See also "filtering software")

Bookmark - A placeholder for interesting or frequently used Web sites, so that these sites can be revisited easily without having to remember or retype the internet address.

Browser - A software product that lets you find, see, and hear material on the World Wide Web, including text, graphics, sound, and video. Popular browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Byte - Bytes are a basic measurement of computer memory. A byte is made up of eight bits.

Cache - A cache is a place on your hard drive where the Web browser stores information (text, graphics, sounds, etc.) from pages or sites that you have visited recently so that returning to those pages or sites is faster and easier.

Chat - A feature of online services or Web sites that allows participants to "talk" by typing messages that everyone can read at the same time. Here's how it works: The participant enters the chat room, types a message on his or her computer, and sends it; and it is instantly displayed on the screens of the other users in the chat room. Admission is generally not restricted. You never know who is going to be reading your messages or responding to them, so it's best to be cautious.

Chat room - A "place" or page in a Web site or online service where people can chat, or "talk," with each other by typing messages. It is "real-time" communication like talking on the phone, except the "talkers" are typing text as with e-mail. E-mail, on the other hand, is delayed communication.

Client-based filter - A software program that you install on your own computer to block access to inappropriate material, prevent kids from accessing the internet at certain times, or to prevent kids from revealing personal information. See also "filtering software" and "blocking software."

Cookie - A piece of information unique to you that your browser saves and sends back to a Web server when you revisit a Web site (the Web server is the computer that "hosts" a Web site that your browser downloads or "sees"). The server "tells" your browser where to put the cookie on the server. Cookies contain information such as login or registration information, online "shopping cart" information (your online buying patterns in a certain retail site), user preferences, what site you came from last, etc.

Commercial service - General term for large online services. These services are like special clubs that require membership dues. Besides providing access to the Internet, commercial services have lots of content, games, and chat rooms that are available only to members.

Directories - Similar to search engines, directories are indexes of Web pages organised by subject.

Domain name - A Web site address, usually followed by .com, .org or.co.uk. See also "URL".

Download - Copying data from another computer to your computer. "Download" is also used to mean viewing a Web site, or material on a Web server, with a Web browser. See also upload.

E-mail - Electronic Mail. A way of sending messages electronically from one computer to another.

Ethernet - The most common technology for connecting computers together in a network.

Filtered ISP - An Internet Service Provider (ISP) that automatically blocks access to content that is inappropriate for children. Each filtered ISP uses its own company criteria to decide which Web sites are inappropriate. When choosing a filtered ISP, parents and other caretakers should make sure the company's criteria are consistent with their own values and judgments.

Filtering software - Software that sorts information on the Internet and classifies it according to content. Some filtering software allows the user to block certain kinds of information on the Internet. See also "Blocking Software, "Client- Based Filtering Software," and "Server-based Filtering Software."

Firewall - A security device that places a protective "wall" around a computer or network of computers, keeping it from being accessible to the public.

FTP - File Transfer Protocol - a way to transfer ("download" or "upload") files from one computer to another, for example from your hard drive to a Web server in order to update a Web site.

Flaming - Sending a nasty piece of e-mail or posting a nasty comment in a newsgroup or discussion group, usually in response to a posting that offended someone.

Gateway - Generally any device that provides access to another system. For example, an ISP might be called a gateway to the Internet; also a hardware device that connects a local network to the internet.

Hardware - The nuts, bolts, and wires of a computer and computer-related equipment, also the actual computer and related machines such as scanners and printers.

Hyperlink - An image or portion of text on a Web page that is linked to another Web page (either on the same site or in another Web site). If it's a word or phrase, you can tell it's a link because it's another colour, it's underlined, or both. If it's an image, you can tell it's a hyperlink if you see a border around it, or if the cursor changes to a little hand when you drag the cursor over the image with the mouse. You just click on the link to go to another Web page or another place on the same page. See also links.

HTML - Hypertext Markup Language - The standard language used for creating documents on the World Wide Web.

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol - The standard language that computers connected to the World Wide Web use to communicate with each other.

Home page - The first page or document Web users see when connecting to a Web server or when visiting a Web site.

ICRA - Internet Content Rating Alliance rating system - a rating system for Web content (see also RSACi).

IMor Instant Message - A chat-like technology on an online service that notifies a user when a friend is online, allowing for simultaneous communication (like talking on the phone, only with text). See also "Web-based instant messaging."

IRC - Internet Relay Chat - A part of the internet (not on the Web) that allows participants to "chat" online in a live forum that usually centers around a common interest. IRC is the earliest form of online chat.

IP - Internet Protocol - The computer language that allows computer programs to communicate over the Internet.

Java - A computer programming language that allows World Wide Web pages to have animation, calculators, and other fancy tricks. See also "applets".

LAN - Local Area Network - A network of connected computers that are generally located near each other, such as in an office or company.

Link - Highlighted text that is designed so that clicking on it will take you to another document, Web page, or Web site. See also hypertext.

Monitoring software - A type of software product that allows a parent or caretaker to monitor the Web sites or e-mail messages that a child visits or reads, without necessarily blocking access.

PICS - Platform for Internet Content Selection - PICS is a technology that allows Web browsers to read content ratings of Web sites, but it is not a rating system itself.

Plug-in - A program that works with browsers to play audio and video.

Port Scanning- Port Scanning is an activity, which by using a particular type of software gives the user the ability to scan the computer system of another Internet user. The purpose of which can be (but is not limited to), passwords and usernames, remotely controlling that computer or destroying data on that computer.

RSACi - Recreation Software Advisory Council's Internet rating system - a rating system for Web content that uses PICS technology. RSACi was recently renamed the Internet Content Rating Alliance (ICRA)

Search engine - A tool to help people locate information available on the World Wide Web. By typing in keywords, users can find numerous Web sites that contain the information sought.

Server - A host computer that stores information and/or software programs and makes them available (or "serves" them) to users of other computers. You download the information on a

Web server with a Web browser - Server-based filter (Unlike client-based software) that is installed on your own computer. Server-based filters work on a host server (for example, a Web server) generally located at an Internet Service Provider or a LAN at a company. Your computer is connected to this server so that you receive only the Web pages that are not filtered on the server.

Spider - A software program that "crawls" the Web, searching through Web pages and sites and indexing those pages in a database of Web pages that can then be searched using a search engine.

Spam - Unsolicited "junk" e-mail containing advertising or promotional messages sent to large numbers of people. Sometimes people or companies send sexually explicit unsolicited e-mail, known as "porn spam."

TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol - A computer "language" that allows for transmission, or "publishing," of information across the Internet.

Trojan (Horse) - A Trojan (horse) is an "apparently useful program containing hidden functions that can exploit the privileges of the user [running the program], with a resulting security threat. A Trojan horse does things that the program user did not intend" Trojan horses rely on users to install them, or they can be installed by intruders who have gained unauthorised access by other means. Then, an intruder attempting to subvert a system using a Trojan horse relies on other users running the Trojan horse to be successful.

Upload - Copying or sending data or documents from your computer to another computer, such as the server that hosts your home page. See also download.

URL - Uniform Resource Locator - The World Wide Web address of a site on the Internet.