February 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to our February 2014 Great New Zealand / Net Action Tourism Web Marketing newsletter.

In this newsletter:

  • Domain name for sale – newzealandtravelbookings.co.nz
  • Reporting and Checking Scams
  • Domain registration scams
  • Smartphone / mobile security
  • McAfee name change
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Spam from your fridge?
  • How to make up a secure password


I have had so many scam emails and letters lately that I thought I would focus this newsletter mostly on security issues – lots of snippets that may help you including scams to be aware of and also how to make up passwords you will remember. But first…

Domain name for sale – newzealandtravelbookings.co.nz

www.newzealandtravelbookings.co.nz is a domain name we have that is now for sale. If you own this you can probably also get the .nz domain newzealandtravelbookings.nz when released later this year If you are interested acquiring www.newzealandtravelbookings.co.nz, contact us or make us an offer.

Reporting and finding Scams

If you get a suspicious IRD email, send it to phishing@ird.govt.nz. You can report and look up scams at www.scamwatch.govt.nz

Various Domain registration scams

Here are a few or the many to watch out for..

1) Renewal of your existing domain

The first ones are for renewal of your existing domains. These emails just look like domain registration invoices that you need to pay. But they are from someone other than your current domain registrar. If you pay the invoice you end up transferring your registration to them and also paying a higher amount than you would have been paying with your current registrar. They often have options for 3 and 5 year registration.

You should know who your existing domain registrar is and how much you pay them. It should be somewhere from $29 per annum or it may be included in your hosting plan – stick with them unless you have any reason to change, especially if it is part of your hosting plan. If your renewal is already included you could end up paying twice.

2) New domain extension scams

These are letters that also look like invoices but they are for domain extensions that you do not own. Like yourdomain.net or .com etc. Yes buy these if you like but do you need them? And you can also get these from your current registrar anyhow.

3) “Someone is stealing your domain name” scams

These emails suggest that someone is about to steal your domain name and that you should pay this company to make sure they don’t. They are actually saying that someone is trying to buy one of the other domain extensions that you don’t have and that they will make sure you get it instead. As above, you can do this yourself with your current registrar if you really want these extensions. This company will probably charge you heaps of money to investigate and check things out under the guise of doing you a favour by protecting your intellectual property.

All of these scams initially look important and very plausible. But if you think about it and READ THE FINE PRINT they are just misleading you or scaremongering.

Smartphone security

There was a good article in the NZ Herald talking about how most people are aware of security on their computer but not on their mobile phone or tablet.

If you are browsing or downloading on your mobile, do you have antivirus and security software installed?

The article talks about this and how all of the information on your mobile (like contact lists, credit card numbers) may be freely available to Google, Apple, Facebook, hackers or application providers. If you have accepted installation terms and conditions for an app you may have consented to give away your privacy. You can read the full Herald article here:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=11207471

Apple dominate the mobile market followed by Samsung – apparently 2/3 rds of Americans will have an Apple Phone (or their latest device) by 2017. Hopefully there will always be good alternatives and Apple will not come to so totally dominate the way Google now does in the search market.

McAfee Security Software Name Change

McAfee Security Software (antivirus etc) is changing its name this year to Intel Security.

Intel acquired McAfee for $7.7 billion and seem to be keen to disassociate themselves from the notoriously controversial John McAfee, original founder of the company.

John McAfee’s reaction to the name change was’

“I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet. These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users. My elation at Intel’s decision is beyond words.”

No love lost between those two parties!!

(The other two major anti virus / security software suites are Symantec Norton Security and AVG Internet Security. There are others too.)

Internet of Things (IoT)

This is the new term that has been coined to cover the multitude of other internet connected devices like TVs, refrigerators, routers, home heating systems etc – anything connected or that can be accessed via the Internet.

Consider the future of things like home heating systems etc that could be accessed remotely so a technician can diagnose a problem without coming to the house. We know of one person who can already remotely turn on heating, open windows, turn on the spa etc at their fully internet enabled holiday house.

The sky is the limit really if you have the money!

Spam from your fridge?

Is your fridge spamming you?

Seriously! Is it? Sending you emails?

As more and more devices become Internet enabled the potential for more security issues arise

The same article talking about McAfee (see above) said the following

“As home appliances become internet-enabled, the security risks have increased. A recent investigation showed that even a hacked refrigerator was sending spam emails.“

An article at http://www.proofpoint.com/about-us/press-releases/01162014.php talks of proven cyber attack and malicious emails (750,000) from refrigerators, televisions, routers, security systems, and other Internet connected devices.

Symantec (Nortons) talks about security of the IoT and already existing threats.
http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/internet-things-new-threats-emerge-connected-world

For more articles search for “”security of internet enabled devices”

Making up Secure Passwords

How do you remember all those passwords? This article (originally from New Plymouth Senior Net October 2012 newsletter I think) has some great suggestions. I am not totally sure that this method is totally ideal and secure, but it is certainly way better than what people do now, such as write down their passwords or just use very simple, obvious passwords.

(Some of the Senior Net newsletters have some great info in them – do a search for “senior net newsletters.”)

Here are their suggestions:

“Having just one password for all your computer internet requirements is very dangerous in this online connected world. Keeping the same password for lengthy periods is equally dangerous. Remembering them is a difficulty and writing them in notebooks or on sticky labels tagged on computer screens defeats the purpose.

In this example here’s a way that might help.

· Think of two memorable short words and a number.
First word: cat
Second word: top

· Now a number (maybe someone’s birth year, reversed): 97
· We’ve got cattop97

· Play with upper-lower case combinations.
· Now we’ve got caTtoP97.
· Take this combination and make it the base of your unique passwords

· Your TradeMe account. Grab the first letter of TradeMe, T and the last letter, e
· Combine it with your master password and you get TcaTop97e

· Other examples could be:
For Gmail: GcaToP97l
For Online Banking: BcaToP97g
For iTunes: icaToP97s
Etc, etc

When it’s time to change passwords, maybe four times
a year would be good, just think of two more short
words and a number to form your master password.”

Thanks for reading – we hope you have been rewarded with some useful or interesting info.

Please contact us with any questions about your website or Internet related issues. We are happy to help.

Best regards

Ron, Judie, Sue & the team at
Net Action Ltd and Great New Zealand Ltd
07 866 3929