Online Security

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Advice to all internet users to assist you in keeping your computer and online activities safe and secure.

The internet is a great source of information, and a convenient method of keeping in contact with friends and family. Consideration of your online security is also important and if neglected, can result in damage to your computer systems and in a worst case scenario, theft of important personal information or your identity.

Deltacom believes it's important to make you aware of common internet security risks and provide you with information to make you a more security conscious internet user.

What are some of the risks?

Malware

Malware is a generic term used to describe malicious software, which installs itself on your computer system or network and is designed to cause damage, redirect your internet traffic or steal personal information. Common types of malware include:

Virus

This is software intended to cause damage to your computer and/or network. Usually delivered via email, it is frequently self-propagating and generates high amounts of internet traffic.

Trojan

A Trojan is created to hijack your computer system. Often a Trojan will use your computer to relay spam email or redirect your internet traffic which sometimes results in toll charges.

Spyware

Designed to steal your personal or financial information, spyware is often downloaded unwittingly when online. Once installed, it sends out information on websites you visit and anything you've typed on your computer e.g. usernames, passwords and credit card details.

Hoaxes and Scams


Hoax emails are designed to deliver malware to your computer system or trick you into providing personal information (often known as phishing). They may also link to a website for the same purpose.

What can I do to minimise these risks?

Use Deltacom Email

Deltacom provides its email customers with virus scanning on all email sent to your Deltacom email address and this is scanned before you receive it. If a virus is detected, an attempt will be made to remove the virus. A successful attempt will mean that the email and attachment will be passed on to you without the virus, while an unsuccessful attempt will result in you receiving a copy of the original message without the attachment, and a notification message advising the virus and attachment has been removed.

Install Security Software

We strongly recommend that customers install a trusted internet security software suite making sure that it includes anti-virus protection, a firewall and spyware detection capabilities.

  • Anti-virus: Anti-virus software maintains a database of known viruses by way of regular updates. As well as performing regular scheduled scans of your entire computer system, it is also designed to run in the background while your computer is running and detect any newly introduced threats.
  • Firewall: A firewall allows you to dictate which computers on the internet can make contact with your computer. Some firewall software comes pre-configured and will automatically stop some of the more common that might access your computer.
  • Spyware Detection: Spyware detection works in a very similar way to anti-virus software but specifically targets spyware.

It is important to note that no security software is going to be 100% effective all of the time. Unfortunately there is always going to be some time between the when new malware is created and the time updates can be issued to address them.

Update Regularly

Ensure that you regularly update your security software to protect you from new threats. Most security software has an automatic update option. We recommend you turn this on. We also recommend that you regularly update your operating system. Manufacturers of popular operating systems such as Microsoft Windows frequently create security updates for their products to protect users from exploits in their products that malware could take advantage of.

Read Before You Click

It can be easy to click ‘yes' or ‘ok' on everything that pops up on your screen when surfing the internet. However doing this without paying attention can result in you agreeing to terms and conditions that could install spyware on your system. Always make sure you understand what you're agreeing to before you confirm it.

Look For Signs Of A Secure Website

Before you enter any personal details into a form on a website, ensure that you check that it's a secure website. These are noted by the presence of a padlock icon usually located in the bottom bar of your web browser, and a URL (website name) that starts with https rather than the usual http. The ‘s' notes that the website is secure. An example of a secure website is the Deltacom Internet webmail page https://webmail.deltacom.net.nz.

Enable Toll Call Control

Internet diallers, sometimes called Premium Rate Diallers, are a security problem experienced usually by dial up internet users. Internet diallers install themselves on your computer and replace the phone number your computer normally uses to connect to your internet provider to that of a paid service. The first most users know of the issue is when they see 0900 and toll calls on their phone bill. A simple way to overcome these issues is to ask your phone provider about putting a pin number in place that must be used every time a toll call is made from your phone line.

Turn It Off

If your modem or computer are off, there's no internet traffic passing through them. Switch your computer and modem off when you are not using them. With modems in particular, make sure they are completely off rather than in Standby Mode. If unsure, unplug it from the power supply.

Do Personal Stuff At Home

If at all possible, avoid using public computers such as those in libraries and internet cafés to perform personal tasks such as internet banking. You can never be sure about how safe and secure public computers are.

Change Your Password

Although it sounds like an inconvenience, regularly changing commonly used passwords is highly recommended for internet users. How often you do this is up to you but at least once a month is a good starting point. When thinking of a new password try and use a combination of letters and numbers and avoid anything that's immediately recognisable such as car registration numbers, birthdays and addresses. Deltacom Internet users have the ability to change their password online without calling the helpdesk.

Destroy Personal Documents

Malware is only one threat. A scam artist can just as easily obtain your personal information by searching through your garbage or mailbox. Treat your identity and personal information like money, don't leave it lying around for others to find.

Scrutinise All Transactions

Common targets of scam artists are bank accounts and credit cards. Always go through your statements and bills to ensure that you can account for all transactions.

Be Wary When Handling Email

Email is the number one method used by fraudsters and malware to target internet users. There are some common sense checks that you can make if you suspect an email you've received may be of a malicious nature. In general, if you think it's suspicious, delete it and definitely don't reply.

Do you recognise the sender? If not, it's probably not a good idea to open or reply to this email. It may just be harmless spam, but it could be a scam designed to trick you into revealing personal information.

Is the email addressed to you directly? Check the ‘To' field of the email. If you see a large number of email addresses or an email address that looks similar to yours but is not quite right, be suspicious. Also look for emails that address you with Dear Customer or use your email address as a name.

Does the email address look legitimate?
Always check the ‘domain' of the email address. The domain is the last part of the email address after the @ symbol e.g. the domain of This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is clear.net.nz. If an email looks as though it's come from one company but has an unrelated domain, this could indicate a scam or malware.

Is the content of the email nonsensical? Some viruses will often send emails full of nonsensical sentences in an attempt to fool anti-virus and spam detection software into thinking that the email is legitimate.

Are you being asked for personal information? Deltacom will never ask for your personal details unless it's regarding an existing issue that you've already been in contact with us about. Common hoax emails supposedly from your internet provider for example will often ask you to provide username and password details and advise that failure to do so will result in the shutdown of your account. It's not uncommon to see imperatives throughout the email i.e. you must do this or you have to comply.

Does the information requested match a New Zealand standard? If you receive an email asking you for your ‘zip code' or any other overseas naming convention for address details, this is usually a good sign that the email isn't genuine.

Is there incorrect spelling and grammar throughout the email? Hoax emails are sometimes literal translations of scams originally written in another language. This often results in obvious grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It's also not unusual for some hoax emails to be completely typed in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Is the email warning you of a potential threat? Unless you've subscribed to a service that updates you about internet security threats, emails you receive about potential threats are most likely not genuine. Additionally, emails of this type may ask you to forward the email to friends and family and/or perform tasks such as deleting ‘suspect files' from your computer. In some occasions, you may be deleting system files that your computer operating system needs to perform specific tasks.

Are there outlandish promises being made in the email? If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. A common scam is to ask people for money to cover administration costs to release a larger amount of money that the sender of the email promises to share with you.

Do you see any suspicious links or attachments? If you're using an email program such as Outlook Express, you can easily check where a link will take you by hovering your mouse over it. If the link written in the email is different from the one you see appear at the bottom of your email program then it might not be genuine.

NOTE: Deltacom may sometimes send you promotional emails with links that point to something called Mightymail. These links should be safe to click on.

What can I do to help Deltacom?

Let Us Know

While we have systems in place to advise us if a threat is present on our network, we also rely on our users to notify us if they suspect something is wrong. If you receive a hoax or scam email, forward a copy of the email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If we have received multiple examples of the same email and the threat has been confirmed, our systems will proactively block any further examples of this email.

Be Security Smart

By ensuring you follow ‘best practice' in relation to your online security, you may be helping to stop the spread of a scam or malware. Not only are you assisting Deltacom, you are also assisting other Deltacom customers and all internet users.

More Information:

For more information about Online Security, visit the NetSafe website.

NetSafe is a programme of New Zealand's Internet Safety Group (ISG), which has been designated the Ministry of Education's 'agent of choice' for cybersafety education in New Zealand.

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