I've been using someone else's VPS and connecting from my computer. I've been connecting via WinSCP and the server is hosted on OVH. Is it possible for the VPS host to have access or view the files on the connecting computer?

If it is possible, what do I do to delete the files, or protect them?

  • A VPS you don't own is basically a system controlled by somebody else. There is nothing special in it which increases or lowers the risk of connecting to an untrusted host. That said: it is unlikely that the VPS had access to the files on your system but it can not be definitely said to be impossible. It is like of talking to some person which looks friendly but should still be treated as untrusted - did you accidentally reveal some important information and will the person misuse these information? Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 21:50
  • OP, Are you referring to files that you copied to the VPS through WinSCP? If so, then the answer to your question is: yes, the VPS host has full access to everything stored on the VPS. As to whether or not it would be a violation of their terms and conditions, or even whether or not it would be in their interests to do this, is another question. See security.stackexchange.com/questions/103666/… for more info.
    – mti2935
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 22:03
  • @SteffenUllrich Thanks that helps. I met the person online and have known him online for almost a year. He has my full name and I have his full name. Other than my full name and IP he really doesn't have anything else of importance unless he was able to access the files on my computer.
    – R.Peter
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 22:10
  • @mti2935 No. I'm fully aware that any files I transfer onto the VPS are avaliable to the host. What I'm questioning is if he would be able to view the rest of the files on my disk when I connected. My disk was not encrypted but I'm looking to encrypt it through VeraCrypt now. Also, I'm not as concerned if OVH (the hosting company) has access but more if the person I know who has bought the OVH VPS and hosts it on his own servers has access.
    – R.Peter
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 22:12
  • OK, thanks for the clarification. That seems unlikely, although not impossible. He would have had to have found a vulnerability in WinSCP, that he could exploit from the server, and then pulled-off the exploit. If you are using an up-to-date version of WinSCP, I would say it's highly unlikely.
    – mti2935
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


WinSCP's connection is one-way. You do not automatically open up the connecting computer to the connected computer.

If there was a very specific vulnerability in WinSCP, then it could be possible that this access could be granted, but then the connected computer would have to know about this vulnerability and purposely exploit it.

  • +1 + As with any SSH connection, one needs to verify the host key of the server. Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 9:21
  • Thank You. And one more question, would this be the same case if it were a dedicated server instead of a VPS?
    – R.Peter
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 19:45
  • Yes, because it's not about the server; it's about the type of connection made.
    – schroeder
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 20:51

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