You check your phone, tablet or laptop and identify a free public WiFi hotspot, jackpot right? Well if you’re overseas or out of mobile data and need internet it may be, giving you a free trip to the internet super highway… but it’s not nearly as safe as you think it is. Regardless of whether the free WiFi requires a password you collect from the counter or you just hit connect, you’re sharing a network with numerous other users and you’re sharing your data as a result.
Whilst sharing a network, you are not protected from other users who are connected to it as well; thus making it possible for others to sniff your data either through crafty efforts or just lax security. Even if you’re just checking your email, let alone taking the risk of checking your internet banking, it’s critical that you take the steps to keep yourself secure every time you connect to a public network. After all, it’s rather trival to sniff out passwords over WiFi; it takes almost zero effort to eavesdrop on other users. So the question is why put your security and your privacy at risk?
So what should you do?
1. Avoid the sensitive stuff
Do you really need to do your internet banking over public WiFi, do you really need to buy something and enter your Credit Card over public WiFi? Think about avoiding these things, by doing so you’re keeping your most important accounts/details secure and minimising your risk – granted you should be using HTTPS/SSL.
2. Don’t enable network sharing
When you first access a new WiFi network a Windows computer will ask you what sharing zone you want to be in. Always set it to a public network to ensure that you’ve got network discover and file sharing disabled.
3. Use HTTPS and SSL connections
Where possible, opt for the more secure HTTPS connections. Many websites such as Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, etc will automatically default to turning it on and this helps to avoid others sniffing your traffic. If you’re collecting mail using an application such as Microsoft Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc; in your email settings enable “Use SSL” – this is a good idea for any internet connection.
4. Use a Virus Scanner and Firewall
Turn them on and keep them up to date. A firewall isn’t going to stop everything, but it’s going to do a darn good job of protecting you from some of the basic attack attempts.
5. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
This might seem a tad extreme, but if you can it’s perhaps best to always use a VPN when on a public WiFi network. What this is going to do is encrypt all of your network traffic to a secure server in the cloud, preventing local WiFi users from sniffing your data. Using something like Vyprvpn or CyberGhost will get you going, or even a VentraIP VPS with a VPN setup on it.
These 5 tips aren’t going to cover everything, but they are excellent steps to take to minimise your risk on free public WiFi. Always consider a safety first approach and if it’s something truly sensitive, ask yourself whether it’s something which needs to wait until you’re on a more secure internet connection.
Additional link: Stay Smart Online – Australian Government Initiative
So you’ve created a blog as part of your New Year’s resolution, but like many you’re struggling to fulfill the resolution ritual. To ensure your blog doesn’t fall into the pile of incomplete resolutions, and ensure you’re getting the most out of your new venture we’ve compiled a list of strategies to help you develop.
When setting up any new project, it’s important to have a vision and scope for what you’re wanting to achieve. It’s great to have dreams, but you also need to ensure you set out those goals and objectives based upon those. Lay down what you want to do with the blog regarding topics, what you’re hoping to get out of it and who your target audience is; then formulate S.M.A.R.T. goals. This refers to:
Specific – Be clear in what you are wanting to achieve, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
Measurable – Establish criteria for measuring the goal(s) set.
Attainable – When identifying the goals, make sure it’s one which you can develop the skills and attitude required, but also the capacity to reach.
Realistic – You need to be realistic, it can be high and realistic – something which you are both will and able to make work.
Timely – Whilst long-term goals are excellent, ensure it’s grounded to a realistic time-frame but not too relaxed that there’s no sense of urgency.
With your S.M.A.R.T. goals defined you’re giving yourself accountability for the future of your blog, allowing you to make visible progress and kick your goals.
Set a clear content schedule for your blog from the get go. Determine how much time you have available to you for new content and set a suitable schedule to ensure you can get the content up frequently. Aim for a post or two per week, and give yourself time to write your articles. If you need to set aside some holidays and weekends in advance of your article releases, to give you time to think about your content and structure.
Your writing style reflects who you are and who your audience will be. Think about your target audience to understand the post quality, length and language needed to appeal to your readers.
The design of your blog needs to reflect who you are, your content and your audience. Importantly slapping on the first WordPress theme you like may not suit the purpose of your blog, albeit that may be all it needs if that’s your style. Take a look around at blogs with similar content to yours, getting inspiration and a feel for what you want out of yours. Given the popularity of WordPress, there is no doubt you’ll be able to find a nice free or premium theme to suit your needs, but if nothing catches your eye you can always look at a freelance designer to give you that custom look.
It’s important to promote your blog from the very start to ensure you get your views up and your ideas heard. If you’re blogging about a popular topic, link to other blogs with similar or opposing views and aim to get a link back. Utilise social media to keep in touch with your readers, using Facebook and Twitter to send you traffic you can maximise your visitor reach.
Give these points a bit of thought and aim to make the most out of your new blog adventure. The most important part of this process is to learn and have fun, so never lose sight of those. As you progress you’ll develop skills and knowledge which are highly transferable, giving you new discussion points in social experiences, improve your time management, better your writing skills and establish new found project management skills to apply in the work place.
VentraIP Economy Web Hosting with cPanel delivers a quality, fast and reliable service perfect for blogging. VentraIP provides you with a one click auto-installer to setup your new WordPress blog within minutes, allowing you to get started quickly without the fuss. Signup for your new VentraIP Economy Web Hosting service today from just $3.98 per month when using the VIP50 coupon to gain 50% off the first invoice.
2014 has been another big year for VentraIP Australia with many achievements and goals being reached, but we can promise you that 2015 will be the biggest and the best.
Over the past twelve months the company has experienced extraordinary growth thanks to our loyal customers who continue to refer and recommend us to their friends, family and colleagues.
Throughout the year we added more than 200 newTLD’s with many more set to be launched next year.
In July we officially launched Synergy Wholesale to replace the VentraIP Wholesale brand and create a completely white label and independent wholesale channel for resellers to fairly compete in the market with a guarantee that all resellers pay the same price regardless of market share. This approach has resonated with resellers who have come to Synergy Wholesale in droves since its launch.
In October we were named on the BRW FastStarters 2014 list with revenue exceeding $4.1M for the FY 2013-2014 period which represented 57% year-on-year growth.
And we introduced an awesome new predator in to the plush toy world with Ventrasaurus becoming a must-have item for thousands of customers with photos being put up all over social media. We’re very proud to announce that a bigger and better Ventrasaurus will be hatched in 2015.
From a technical standpoint our business has never been in a better position following the completion of “Project Re-energize”, a three year technical initiative that has been completed a full year ahead of schedule.
All shared and VPS hosting servers in our fleet now run from Dell servers, with a mix of hardware being used including the powerful C6220 cloud servers with enterprise-grade Intel SSD DC S3500 drives for our shared hosting customers, as well as R620 and R720 servers which are used for Zuver shared hosting and VPS nodes.
In March we completed the move to NextDC S1 in Sydney delivering complete power and network redundancy with no incidents of that nature taking place since the move.
At the same time we also deployed the first pair of our new Brocade core routing appliances and added more than 25Gbps of additional connectivity to Sydney with Vocus, Megaport IX, NSW-IX and Equinix IX being added to the network. While we did experience some minor issues with our original deployment of Brocade core switching appliances they were quickly replaced with Extreme Networks core switching appliances and there have been no further issues since.
In October we replaced our existing network infrastructure in Melbourne with new Brocade core routing appliances and Extreme Networks core switching appliances, increased connectivity with VIC-IX moving to 10Gbps and Megaport IX moving to 5Gbps.
We have also made a number of changes to our advertising, routing and internal network policies in consultation with our new network administrators Evan and Kyle who came to us from iiNet and Web24.
In November we deployed our SpamExperts outbound spam filtering platform which now prevents our shared web hosting servers ending up on email blacklists and RBL’s.
Customer Service Highlights
As we announced at the end of last year our primary focus in 2014 would be improving our customer service and technical support.
Our Customer Service and Experience Manager, Branden, has overseen a massive culture shift throughout the company which has resulted in the best customer eTicket survey results since we began taking them in 2009.
In February we launched a revolutionary new customer service campaign known as the ‘$10,000 Customer Service Guarantee’ the allowed us to obtain highly constructive feedback from our customers while rewarding them from taking the time to provide it.
In August we began our ‘cutting the red tape’ campaign which systematically removed many auxiliary fees across a number of different products and services.
In November we launched a refreshed VIPControl with even more functionality and improved user interface for our customers.
And throughout the year many of our internal processes were streamlined or completely redesigned to give our customers better service and faster resolution times.
2015 and beyond
Next year will be very exciting for us and our customers as we introduce the biggest ever advancement to our core business when a project that we’ve been working on since 2012 is completed.
While we can’t tell you exactly what it is, we promise that it will be a huge benefit to all of our customers and is guaranteed to set VentraIP Australia apart from the competition.
We will also be releasing a number of new products and services as details of new partnerships with key vendors will be announced, including two new email hosting platforms.
Our new corporate cloud hardware, complete with a fully redundant MariaDB backend cluster, will be put in to production for customers accessing VIPControl and our corporate web sites, FAQ and blog.
And we will finally release our new web site which is a complete redesign with a new blog and FAQ (see below for a sneak peek).
Thank you for your continued support in 2014 and we look forward to serving you in 2015.
We’re celebrating this holiday season by giving away our brand new VentraIP Australia inflatable beach balls to the first 1,000 orders placed using any of the offers of the below.
These awesome beach balls will go quick so get your order in fast to avoid disappointment! Also, please ensure your postal address is correct inside your VIPControl account as that is the address that will be used for delivery of your beach ball.
75% off new Economy, Business and WHM Multi services
You or a friend can purchase any new Economy or EconomyPLUS, Multi-Account and Multi-AccountPLUS or Business and BusinessPLUS cPanel hosting service and take 75% off the first invoice. Pre-pay up to 1 year in advance to maximise your savings! To take advantage of this offer, simply use coupon code XMAS75 when placing your order on our web site.
50% off new Economy VPS services
You or a friend can purchase any new E-VPS or E-VPSPLUS and take 50% off the first invoice. Pre-pay up to 1 year in advance to maximise your savings! To take advantage of this offer, simply use coupon code XMASVPS50 when placing your order on our web site.
$2 off new .com.au and .net.au domain name registrations
And finally, you or a friend can take $2.00 off any new .com.au or .net.au domain name registration. Simply use coupon code XMAS2 when placing your order on our web site.
Please note that we are limiting the beach balls to one (1) per customer so that we can share the beach balls around, but you can use these coupons as many times as you want throughout the summer.